NextImmune - PhD Training Program

Career Development

Career orientation and development, within and outside academia

Both universities, the University of Luxembourg (UL) and the University of Southern Denmark (SDU), offer specific information for career orientation to their PhD students with “Campus Carrières” at UL and a “Career Centre” at SDU. In addition, events for career orientation are being organised at LIH and UL.

PhD students are encouraged to discuss with renowned international scientists during the workshops of the lecture series “Infection & Immunity” or during international meetings inside and outside of Luxembourg, which are very good opportunities to gather information about working conditions, educational backgrounds and potential career paths. The external lecture series speakers also provide important contacts for postdoctoral opportunities to PhD students.
NextImmune will encourage highly gifted/ambitious PhD students to spend several months in partner laboratories abroad in order to allow them to build their scientific network. NextImmune also offers, through an associated PhD position, close contact and interaction with the Luxembourg-based biotech enterprise Complix Luxembourg S.A., an LIH-derived start-up with a drug pipeline in oncology and infectious diseases based on their proprietary Alphabody technology. Complix has its R&D facilities at the House of BioHealth in Esch-sur-Alzette. It is thus located in the same building as the LIH-DII and very close to the Belval Campus of the UL.
The LIH Research and Knowledge Transfer Office (headed by Dr Fabrice Mouche) was recently awarded with grant support under the FNR KITS program for the ACTOR project (Accelerate innovation and value CreaTiOn from Research projects - KITS 15/11011677). Together with ACTOR, LIH's Department of Infection and Immunity and NextImmune will engage in an “Impact the Actor” Lecture Series to help researchers in understanding and taking full advantage of open innovation models in the pharma/biotech industry while building their entrepreneurial spirit. The PhD students of NextImmune will have a privileged access to this new Lecture Series. This lecture series will allow to present career paths and professions outside academia to the NextImmune PhD students, such as industrial R&D, science management, patent reviewing, communication, biotech start-up, capital investment, value creation in biomedicine, technical support or sales.
These measures assure that PhD candidates are exposed to biotech industry, which enhances their chances for a position in the private sector, thus widening their career perspectives.

Mobility of PhD candidates

International mobility will be encouraged for collaborations on research projects, as well as acquiring of new techniques by the PhD students.
The collaboration with SDU is of high importance to projects of NextImmune, as this partner will allow to have access to patient samples and data. It will be possible to apply for mobility funding grants, such as the Erasmus+ scheme run by UL or the Internationalization Fund for PhD students at SDU, in order to spend some time in a significant laboratory abroad (e.g. at Prof. Tak W. Mak’s research group in Toronto, Canada or at Prof Cezmi Akdis’ research group in Davos, Switzerland) benefiting from the foreign scientific expertise. International collaborations with the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg and the RIKEN Center for Integrative Medicine in Yokohama, Japan are currently being implemented and will also allow students to visit our partners there.
NextImmune will have yearly internal applications rounds for PhD students that are interested in intermobility grants. Applications will be evaluated by the PhD steering committee and NextImmune's Advisory Board in order to select the best proposals. Mobility issues in NextImmune's PhD Training Program will be handled by the PhD steering committee.