In December 2016, LIH and LNS signed a bilateral agreement to collaborate on the training of PhD candidates. The agreement enables free access to training opportunities offered at both institutions for PhD candidates from both institutions.
Moreover, Luxembourg’s research institutions are developing a “quality framework for doctoral training” based on national guidelines defined together with the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR). This framework will guarantee adequate research, training and supervision conditions for PhD candidates. With the conclusion of the bilateral agreement, LNS, which only hosts a limited number of PhD candidates to date, is integrated into LIH’s institutional “quality framework for doctoral training” that is being progressively implemented.
PhD candidates employed at LNS thus now have the opportunity to attend LIH-internal PhD events and training courses for early-stage researchers, in addition to the openly advertised Training & Workshops series and scientific lectures series with international speakers. Just as LIH’s PhD candidates, they will be part of a quality monitoring ensuring the efficient progress of their PhD thesis and adequate work and supervision conditions. In turn, LNS also makes any internal training or event relevant for PhD candidates accessible to LIH’s doctoral researchers.
‘The agreement on doctoral training further strengthens the collaboration between both institutions,’ tells Prof Simone Niclou, Head of Unit at LIH and President of the Board of Administration at LNS. ‘Our joint efforts on doctoral training are already tangible. Indeed, the two institutions, together with the University of Luxembourg, have started a research and training programme for PhD candidates in the field of cancer research end of last year.’ stresses Prof Niclou.
The 6.5-year programme, funded by the FNR PRIDE scheme, is named “CANBIO – Training in Cancer Biology: Focus on tumour escape mechanisms” and will train 18 PhD candidates specialising in cancer research. The programme addresses the increasingly important clinical problem of tumour progression and recurrence. The different research projects within CANBIO will investigate aspects of genetic tumour heterogeneity, how tumour cells misuse the immune system to their own advantage and how therapy-induced changes in the tumour microenvironment affect tumour cells and induce metabolic resistance.
CANBIO is led by LIH’s Department of Oncology. Next to the LNS, a further national partner is the Life Sciences Research Unit at the University of Luxembourg. It also involves two foreign universities and collaborations with private companies.