Education and Mentoring – University of Copenhagen

DanStem > Education and Mentoring

Education and Mentoring

Our Educational Mission

The mission of DanStem is to contribute to the society through the pursuit of education, learning, and research at the highest international level of excellence.

we aim to: 

  • Enhance our position as leading research center and to measure our performance against the highest international standards.
  • Provide high quality learning and teaching environment for our students.
  • Produce graduates fully equipped to achieve the highest personal and professional standards.
  • Make a significant, sustainable and socially responsible contribution to The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at The University of Copenhagen. 

Our Strategy for Educational Activities

The Center’s overall strategy is integrated with the overall strategy of The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Knowledge to Health.

We are constantly developing our education strategy and therefore continuously collaborate with the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine (ICMM) and with the Department of Biomedical Medicine (BMI) on educational matters and participate in teaching and other educational activities.

We teach — educating students at all levels, from undergraduate to the most advanced graduate level. Our students experience the processes of developing and testing new hypotheses and interpretations of knowledge in the fields of cell and developmental biology. We provide our own courses and teach at relevant courses provided by other departments. 

Quality Assurance — DanStem is committed to ensure quality standards for education by systematic and ongoing assessment and development of activities. We continuously offer scientific staff members to participate in pedagogical training and skill development to strengthen their teaching portfolio. 

Quality standards teaching at SUND

Quality assurance in UCPH study programmes 

Implementing the Educational Strategy

The role of the Center scientists is to perform cutting edge research and contribute to educational activities such as undergraduate teaching, extracurricular educational activities, postgraduate education and supervision, as well as to public education and engagement. The scientists at the Center are faculty members and are contributing to the educational effort of the University. 

Our Teaching Portfolio

DanStem uses the university-wide mechanisms for developing teaching competences, and encouraging reflective development of the teaching portfolio. 

We provide scientists with the best possible environment to perform cutting-edge basic stem cell research, and translate the promising results into novel therapies for diabetes, cancer and Parkinson’s disease.

The center plays an active role in training undergraduates, PhD students and Postdocs at The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at The University of Copenhagen. We have developed advanced platforms for training scientists with the potential of becoming leaders in developmental, stem cell and basic cell biology.

We ensure high quality education, offering courses of our own, as well as teaching at courses offered by other departments. We have tailored new approaches to train and mentor students at all levels and established an advanced career programme traineeship for Postdocs.

Our training programmes are based on individual research projects, where junior scientists work closely with a principal investigator (PI). The students are paired with principle investigators based on their research interests and background.

Our senior and junior scientists often engage in outreach activities, organizing events for students at all levels, and interacting with patients and the general public.

Brief Summary of Educational Activities and Educational Outreach for 2016

DanStem PhD Course 2017 (4.3 ECTS)

Novo Nordisk Foundation Centers, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen -  Statement about education and educational activities 

Supervision and mentoring

DanStem scientists supervise and mentor Bachelor and Master students from a variety of different study programmes. Our PhD students are enrolled into The Danish Research School on Molecular Mechanisms of Disease (MoMed) at The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen.
The students are interacting with international and national students and research leaders via seminar series, research retreats and conferences. We provide training in hypothesis testing, experimental design, data analysis and interpretation, grant writing, and oral and written presentation.

PhD scheme

The DanStem PhD scheme offers a coherent, flexible and attractive educational programme, which emphasize scientific quality. The scheme is open to students (academic and industry) and to clinicians.

The curriculum includes a pre-doctoral year, followed by PhD education, and is tailored for students who wish to complete a PhD degree and pursue a research career at the highest levels.

The Pre-doctoral year trains students in the principles of stem cell biology, with emphasis on developmental, cellular and molecular mechanisms. This enables students to develop tools and basic skills necessary for their research projects. At the end of this year, students submit a written proposal for a PhD project and defend it orally before a committee. Upon approval by the committee, the students are enrolled formally as PhD students into the PhD school at the faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. While the successful completion of this qualifying exam is a DanStem requirement and we recommend a year of pre-doctoral studies, it can be taken at any point, allowing particularly advanced students to move more rapidly towards the completion of their degree.

DanStem’s PhD scheme is an integral part of the research strategy. A healthy intellectual environment is driven by a critical mass of high calibre students. This goal was achieved in 2016 with the establishment of the Copenhagen Bio-Science PhD programme. This new initiative offers talented students with a university degree from outside of Denmark an opportunity to launch their careers in the vibrant environment of the Novo Nordisk Foundation research centre cluster.

We provide our students with tools and techniques that will enable them to:

  • Critically assess the scientific literature.
  • Write scientific papers for international peer-reviewed journals.
  • Present scientific results on posters and presentations at international scientific conferences and workshops.
  • Constructively communicate with members of interdisciplinary research teams.
  • Formulate new exciting research questions from their own research and new findings reported by others.
  • Participate in scientific discussions at an international level.
  • Write competitive research proposals.

PhD Courses

DanStem PIs are participating as speakers at PhD courses at the faculty of Health and Medical sciences at the University of Copenhagen, as well as at courses provided by other universities. We offer a yearly PhD course at the highest level, inviting key speakers in stem cell and developmental biology.

DanStem’s annual PhD course aim to: 

  • Increase the student’s understanding of concepts related to stem cells.
  • Teach the attendees a critical approach to stem cell literature.
  • Explain the foundations of stem cell and developmental biology.
  • Increase the awareness of the technical and ethical issues surrounding the use of stem cells.

Copenhagen BioScience PhD Progamme

The Copenhagen Bioscience PhD programme is an initiative that offers talented students with a university degree from outside of Denmark an opportunity to launch their careers within the Novo Nordisk Foundation research centre cluster. Up to sixteen students are recruited annually through this mechanism. Students are selected based on academic achievements, research experience, academic references and interviews. The four-year programme is divided into a pre-doctoral year followed by three years of PhD training at one of the Novo Nordisk Foundation research centers

The first year of the programme includes short rotations, a common course, common seminars and selection of PhD project. All awardees have to pass an examination at the end of the first year in order to qualify for the following three years of PhD education. The programme is fully covered by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

PhD Board

In order to enhance the communication with our PhD students and to ensure a continuous and open dialogue, we have established a PhD Board to consist of two PhD students’ representatives, one PI and the PhD coordinator. Via this channel, students can bring up ideas, suggestions and/or opinions openly.

Post-doctoral Training

Our post-doctoral training aims to develop world-class research professionals and leaders.

Post-doctoral training involves the acquisition of technical skills but also transferable skills like grant writing, budgeting, lab management, paper review, science communication and mentoring of students. Post-doctoral fellows are offered opportunities to build national and international networks through their participation in conferences and meeting invited guest speakers from the DanStem seminar series. In addition, DanStem is co-organizing a monthly seminar series DanStem co-organizes focusing on career and fundraising opportunities young scientists together with three Departments at the Faculty (BMI, CPR, ICMM). 

Path to leadership

DanStem has implemented a Strategic Career Development plan for Young Principal Investigators. The plan involves different offers for Career Development, mentoring and networking. It covers support in the areas of funding, setting-up of an independent research group, visibility in the scientific community, best practices for publishing and skill development.