Complex challenges – such as the understanding of health and disease – require a synthesis of knowledge obtained from diverse approaches within different disciplines. The qualification programme of EvoPAD will promote the intellectual exchange and communication across disciplinary boundaries and provide the doctoral students with the necessary skills for acquiring and applying knowledge in a multidisciplinary world. The qualification programme will comprise the following key elements:
(1) Three-phase EvoPAD education programme
The three-phase EvoPAD education programme will provide the students with the necessary tools for a successful career in a multidisciplinary, fast-changing scientific world. It will be tailored to individual students, especially towards the end of the doctoral phase. The curriculum will be structured into three phases, which generally correspond to year one to three of the doctoral studies:
- Phase 1: Cross-disciplinary training
- Phase 2: Science-skills training
- Phase 3: Tailored Education
(2) EvoPAD meetings
In order to facilitate scientific exchange and personal contacts, the EvoPAD doctoral students will meet every four weeks to discuss scientific, organizational, and personal matters. During the EvoPAD meetings, doctoral students will, e.g., talk about relevant scientific topics, invite EvoPAD researchers, or present and discuss their individual projects. The meetings will be an important instrument to actively participate in the development of EvoPAD, as the students will regularly discuss whether the EvoPAD programme suits their needs and identify where improvements or further teaching elements are needed. As an occasion for socializing, the meetings may be combined with a BBQ or other activities.
(3) Studium integrale
EvoPAD doctoral students will be given the opportunity to participate in the multidisciplinary Studium integrale of the Münster Graduate School of Evolution (MGSE) that is offered collaboratively by MGSE members of different faculties. It will not only provide the students with a broad knowledge in evolutionary biology, but also facilitate contacts with peers and senior scientists both from the students own and from other disciplines.
(4) Project-oriented training
Throughout their work all EvoPAD students will be fully integrated members of their respective research groups and take part in all scientific and social group activities. The doctoral students will profit from the excellent research environment and the international network provided by all participating PIs and their groups. The graduate students will benefit from additional support and supervision provided by postdoctoral researchers, fellow doctoral students and technicians in their research groups.