Paving the way for future leaders

We are committed to shaping the next generation of researchers dedicated to epithelial biology.

As a Marie Curie Doctoral Network, our approach to bringing about innovation is via realistic goals strongly integrated into the overall research programme. The 10 doctoral candidates who join our project will gain multidisciplinary and cutting-edge expertise from our hosting institutions and associated partners, developing advanced culture methods which are required to research epithelia form and function.

Training objectives

  • 1

    Train scientific excellence: Enable the fellows to plan, manage, and conduct cutting-edge scientific research using state-of-the-art methodology; to work with integrity; and to be able to think interdisciplinary.

  • 2

    Foster personal effectiveness: Provide the fellows with the skills, confidence, and resilience to succeed in the modern information economy. Train the fellows to be mobile in terms of disciplines, sectors, and cultures. Instil the value of diversity in the workplace and make the fellows aware of unconscious biases.

  • 3

    Promote open communication and dissemination: Train the fellows to always communicate their ideas and results in an open, clear, and transparent fashion. Teach them to network and communicate with scientific peers and other stakeholders, including policymakers.

  • 4

    Convert innovation into entrepreneurship: Give the fellows the skills needed to convert knowledge and ideas into products and services for economic or social benefit and to recognize opportunities for valorisation.

Network Training

Training schools and symposia

We have envisioned a series of events designed for all the DCs involved in our project. These meetings aim to increase the exchange of expertise between institutions, foster the dissemination of research results and nurture networking. Moreover, we will complement these events with five Training Schools for DCs to learn new techniques, needed to convert ideas into new knowledge.

Training schools

We will organise several meetings to gather supervisors, DCs and partner organisations to transfer knowledge in a pedagogical way. These schools will cover scientific expertise in key topics of the research programme, but also transferable skills such as science communication, entrepreneurship, or personal effectiveness (e.g., career counseling). The training schools will be supplemented with online events in the form of e-learning courses and fellows meetings.

Network-wide meetings

We will organize a network-wide meeting or symposium each year, during which all beneficiaries and doctoral candidates meet. These gatherings are of key importance to promote network integration and ensure that the members of our project make optimal use of their complementary knowledge and skills, and share new insights.

Local training

Scientific and transferable skills

The doctoral candidates that join our project will be enrolled as PhD students at the hosting institutions. The local PhD programmes offer opportunities so that together with the network-wide training, our fellows can assemble a tailor-made training programme that best suits their background and future career goals. The training goals of each DCs will be discussed with the supervisor and are part of the Training and Supervision Agreement that is established at the start of the project.

External training

International Symposia

All of SurfEx’s doctoral candidates will aim to participate in at least two scientific international events during which they will give an oral or poster presentation. These scientific meetings must be relevant in the field of epithelial biology.