Education and Training – University of Copenhagen

DanStem > Education and Training

Education and Training

Strategy for education

DanStem is committed to perform innovative research and at the same time disseminate knowledge by contributing to ample educational activities. The Center scientists teach undergraduate and graduate students, mentor and supervise postgraduates and provide extracurricular educational activities. Scientists at all levels are committed to public engagement through broad spectrum of outreach activities. The center's scientists participate in pedagogical training and skill development, and are committed to ensure high quality standards for education. 

The Center is committed to:

  • Provide high quality learning and teaching environment for students at all levels
  • Train graduates to achieve the highest personal and professional capacities
  • Make a significant, sustainable and socially responsible contribution to The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at The University of Copenhagen
  • Enhance the Center’s position as a leading research center

Supervision and mentoring

DanStem’s training programs are research-based and focus on individual projects, with a close and professional supervision. Students are paired with group leaders based on their research interests and background.

All Center’s PhD students are registered at The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen, which offers education in a broad spectrum of health science disciplines. Additionally, students are enrolled to the Graduate Program of Molecular Mechanisms of Disease (MoMeD), a cross-institutional research programme located at BRIC, (integrated at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences). 

Extended (1+3) PhD model

DanStem offers a coherent and flexible PhD educational program, which emphasize scientific excellence. The program is open to students (academic and industrial) and to clinicians. The curriculum includes a pre-doctoral year, followed by three years of PhD education. The pre-doctoral year 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 an assessment committee. Upon passing this exam, students are ready to enroll formally as PhD students at the PhD school, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, and at the Graduate School of Molecular Mechanisms of Disease (MoMeD).

PhD Courses

DanStem provides theoretical and practical courses, emphasizing on processes developing, testing new hypotheses and interpretations of knowledge in the fields of cell and developmental biology.
Teaching and mentoring are fundamentally based on the following methods:

  • Critical assessment of scientific literature
  • Formulation of new stimulating research questions
  • Presenting scientific results on scientific discussions in conferences and workshops
  • Writing competitive research proposals
  • Writing scientific papers for international peer-reviewed journals

Copenhagen BioScience PhD Progamme

The Copenhagen Bioscience PhD program is a Novo Nordisk Foundation initiative, launched in 2016. The programme offers talented students with a university degree from outside of Denmark an opportunity to launch their careers within the Foundation’s Research Centre Cluster. Up to sixteen students are recruited annually through this mechanism, where up to four students are eventually placed at each NNf Center. The screening and selection of candidates is based on academic achievements, research experience, academic references and interviews. The programme follows the DanStem PhD model of 1+3.

PhD Board

In order to enhance the communication with our PhD students and to ensure a continuous and open dialogue, Danstem established a PhD Board. the Board to consists 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

DanStem’s post-doctoral training aims to develop excellent research professionals and leaders in industry and in academia. The Center’s mission is to equip postdoctoral fellows with confidence and skill, assisting them in planning and pursuing their preferred careers successfully. Each postdoctoral fellow is encouraged to approach DanStem PIs outside of his/her home laboratory to explore and get supplementary advice and support. The postdoctoral training program is based on individual research projects, working closely with a Group Leader.

Post-doctoral training involves the acquisition of technical skills and 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 participation in conferences and meeting invited guest speakers from the DanStem seminar series. In addition, DanStem is co-organizing a monthly seminar series focusing on career and fundraising opportunities  together with three Departments at the Faculty. 

Path to leadership

Junior Groups Leaders receive support on a Center level and on University level. The Center provides with full support to enhance leadership performances by pairing up junior group leaders with senior scientists, invite them to join lab meetings and lab retreats and support in applying for relevant funding. The University and the Faculty are offering a basic professional coach as a general introduction to 'Good Leadership at University of Copenhagen'. Part of this program focuses specifically on research group leader development with the purpose to enable this target group develop leadership and project management skills. A Novo Nordisk Foundation Cluster initiative for Junior Group Leaders was established to provide an interaction and peer-support platform.