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Education Program

Here you can find detailed information about our educational concept,  IRTG-specific guest seminars and research visits.

Education Program

Educational Concept

The Educational program of the IRTG1902 aims to support the development of young scientists to qualify them for future positions in research and development. Therefore, an interdisciplinary, systematic and ambitious training will be made available to medical and natural scientists in the area of cardiovascular biology including professional and transferable skills required for a successful future career.

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The IRTG-specific guest seminars will be organized together with the graduate students. Starting in year 2 the graduates will be in charge to set up a program with guest speakers. They will identify actual scientific topics and possible speakers. In addition to their scientific talk distinguished guest speakers will be asked to meet with the graduate students for round table discussion on specific science related topics such as career in science, ethics, making decisions, etc.

In year 2 and 4 summer schools will be organized one at UVA the other at HHU. This event gives students and PIs the opportunity to directly interact, get an overview of the projects status, and plan future experiments. Local, national, and international speakers will be invited to the common conference. The IRTG specific guest program in year 4 will be part of the HHU summer school to be held at Düsseldorf. Guest speakers will be invited and the program will be complemented by local speakers from IRTG, RTG, RU and CRC at Düsseldorf. The doctoral students will be in charge of organizing the program. Advanced students will be integrated into the program in form of lectures. Summer Schools are important elements to train conversation with colleagues, to discuss science and to start networking in the scientific community. The guest program will be set up in collaboration with the graduate students and has not been defined yet. Possible speakers include: Prof. Jörg Heineke, Hannover, Role of myostatin in Cachexia, Prof. Ralf Brandes, Frankfurt, Redox-regulation of cardiovascular function, Prof. Barbara Walzog, Neutrophil - endothelial interaction, Prof. Ralf Adams, Münster, Ephrins in Vascular Development, Prof. Ingrid Fleming, Frankfurt, Role of AMPK in vascular function, Prof Stefan Anker, Berlin, Cardiac Cachexia, Prof. Dörthe Katschinski, Göttingen, Hypoxic Signaling,

All of the projects of the IRTG have been designed as tandem-projects, i.e. a common research focus will be addressed by the American and German partner labs. All of the PhD students, American and German, will therefore visit the partner labs for six month in the context of this collaboration. We are planning to send the first group of students (3) from 10/2014 to 03/2015, the second cohort (4) from 04/2015-09/2015 and the last group (4) from 10/2015-03/2016. Thus, all of our students will have finished their research exchange half a year before finishing their thesis in 09/2016. The American PhD students will join the German labs following the visit of the German PhD students. This approach will allow a tight collaboration of the German and American PhD students over one year resulting in the development of an intensive trans-Atlantic cooperation. The German and American PI´s will define the practical work to be done ahead of the exchange phase to optimally prepare the research internship at the partner labs. Furthermore, during the whole period of time a shared supervision of both the American and German graduate students by both the American and German PI´s is essential for the success of this phase. Internet conferencing held on a regular basis will allow all parties to follow the progress as well as to identify and solve problems. In order to prepare for the exchange phase, each of the planned summer schools will be held in advance of starting the exchange phases enabling first personal contacts.

The American and German parties of the IRTG agree that the educational program must be continued during the six months graduate student’s time in the partner laboratories. To ensure accreditation of educational elements by the home faculties, HHU and UVA members agree to run a common trans-Atlantic practical course on “Functional analysis of the cardiovascular system.” The course will be offered in part in Germany and in part in the US. It will be accredited by the German branch of the IRTG. Moreover, it will be registered as an educational element at the Faculty of Arts and Science at UVA and will therefore be an official part of the educational program at UVA. Given the complementary expertise and methodology used at both partner institutions, this shared educational element will enhance the expertise of the American and German PhD students. Besides this common educational element, participation in journal clubs and progress seminars will be obligatory during the exchange phase. This will be particularly demanding for the German students who will have to perform in front of native speakers, present their science and cope with the discussion of their data.

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