ARDRE Extra Training

ARDRE PhD students will greatly benefit from the interdisciplinary nature of the programme, covering the disciplines of biology, chemistry and pharmacy. They will have access to methods and equipment available in the two Faculties, thereby receiving training in state-of-the-art research skills way beyond their own discipline. In some cases, it is envisaged to create multi-disciplinary projects involving different research teams from different Departments and finally, ARDRE will offer possibilities for laboratory rotations.

ARDRE PhD students will also receive professional training in a commercial environment. Excellent options for inter-sectorality are given by close collaborations between ARDRE-FMs and commercial entities active in drug development, target characterisation and related technologies. The following modalities of professional training will be developed:

  • In many cases, PhD students working in ARDRE labs perform high-quality research on biological pathways relevant for ageing research and/or regeneration research using the typical academic technologies according to the state-of-theart, e.g. gene inactivation studies basically working within a typical laboratory environment using cell lines, three-dimensional cell culture models or model organisms. To enable the performance of such candidates in a commercial environment, fellows will be sent to appropriate companies from the ARDRE ancillary network where they will gain the complementary expertise related to drug research, such as screening for small molecule inhibitors of selected biological or biochemical processes, followed by training in the development of lead compounds and their use in clinical studies. Fellows in this part of the programme will also become acquainted with the industrial culture and project development.

  • PhD students working in ARDRE laboratories dealing with drug development and the identification of bioactive compounds will be seconded to top level academic institutions in the ARDRE ancillary network, such as world class universities in which the secondees will be trained in high-profile biomedical research using state-of-the-art model systems where bioactive compounds can be applied for a therapeutic or preventive benefit.

  • The third pillar of the secondment programme consists in the secondment of professionals from commercial partners to teach entrepreneurship, industrial working culture, and economic thinking to ARDRE PhD students in focused teaching activities. Both types of activity will significantly enhance the inter-sectorality of the advanced training of the PhD students and provide the basis for extensive networking during the PhD work as well as networking and job options once the PhD thesis has been finished.

  • The inter-sectoral exposure of the PhD students will be further enhanced by training in non-academic transferable skills, as part of the formal ARDRE training programme. ARDRE will invite experts working in industry or the non-academic sector to deliver courses in entrepreneurship, exploitation of research results, open science, ethics and patenting tailored for the recruited researchers. ARDRE will also organise networking events, e.g., summer schools, where the doctoral researchers will be able to present their work. During their secondments, ARDRE students will be mentored by experts from the non-academic sector. Moreover, networking with the international scientific community is envisaged a major determinant of an ESR's success. Finally, ARDRE FMs will encourage and support their PhD students to participate in international symposia and workshops to present their own data and to network with the international community.

The ARDRE ancillary network

Both, SMEs dealing with all aspects of using natural products for improving human health, and “big pharma”, involved in drug screening, drug design and clinical realization are part of the multifaceted ARDRE ancillary network. The primary non-academic organisations are SMEs involved in drug research and/or translational research into ageing and regeneration and big pharmaceutical companies. The ARDRE-DP has various powerful measures to provide an excellent basis for international networking of its PhD students. Collaborations with renowned research institutions exist, for example with the University of California at Davis (USA), Université du Luxembourg (Luxemburg), University of Barcelona (Spain), University of Leeds (UK), University of Padova (Italy), Technical University Dresden (Germany) and University of Galway (Ireland). Academic and commercial partners in the ARDRE ancillary network are mostly located outside of Austria, and PhD students will greatly benefit from the extensive international inter-sectoral networking available through ARDRE. 

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