PhD Training Plan

The goal of this PhD Course is to provide students with a first-level education, allowing them to pursue professional careers in Science. Although the major emphasis of the Program is on experimental research, we also provide ample learning opportunities through weekly Journal Clubs, dedicated Courses, Progress Reports and Seminars which cover most aspects of the Life Sciences.

The training plan is personalized and agreed upon with supervisors, so that it fits in with the overall work plan and needs of the specific student. The goal of the program is to form an individual able to perform self-directed research and possessing a level of competence allowing the student to compete with the best International Schools for postdoctoral positions, and/or to enter competitive programs in Industries.

In Progress Report students develop their teaching and lecture skills. During Courses and Seminars, they are trained in problem-solving, and acquire information from qualified investigators in fields that can be distant from their ongoing research activity, thus contributing to their overall vision of Biomedicine. Care is taken to ensure adequate and direct interaction of the speaker with the students. In Journal Clubs, the students learn how to structure a scientific paper and to critically discuss the evidence presented in the manuscript.


A number of courses specifically tailored for PhD students are organized by the faculty during each academic year. The courses span a broad spectrum of topics, and consist a series of lectures held by the same Professor (typically during one-two intensive weeks, 10-20 hr). Students must attend at least one course per year.


PhD students must attend 12 seminars per year to complete the educational obligations. A series of seminars by top-level scientists is organized each year at the Vallisneri building. Moreover, students are encouraged to attend seminars organized by other centers and Institutions in Padua, depending on their specific interests and lines of research.

Journal Clubs

They are organized as group activities with one presenter and one opponent who leads the discussion of a recent scientific manuscript, with the contribution of all the audience which is mainly composed by peers (graduate students), postdocs and young PIs. Participation to at least 75% of the Journal Clubs is compulsory.

Progress Reports

At the end of each academic year, 2.5 days are devoted to the presentation of the reaserch activity of all the students enrolled in the program. This formats allow the students to show supervisors and colleagues the work they have been carrying out, and receive suggestions/inputs for future directions. In this occasion, the PhD students are evaluated by the faculty and admitted to the next year of their PhD.

PhD students are strongly encouraged to participate in International summer/winter schools to complete their educational obligations. Financial support is provided for this purpose.

Soft Skills

The PhD School offers activities aimed at providing the students with soft and transferable skills. Specifically, a course planned for 2020 (Science Communication in Biomedicine and Biosciences. How to communicate the impact of scientific projects to different audiences) will deal with dissemination of research activity. The students are also encouraged to attend a course organized by Research Hub@UniPD on writing and management of international projects, and to attend additional soft skill courses that contribute to their training. Specifically, they are invited to attend the “PhD Educational week on Transferable skills” organized by the University of Padua.