The TIMCC training program will enable a new generation of scientists to fulfil the increasing demands in fundamental and applied research. The TIMCC ITN will mount a highly competitive collaborative research program at the interface of medical research, life science and industrial application filling in an important gap in the training of young scientists for the early step in translational science and thus improving their career prospects in public and private sectors.

Specifically it will:

The training program of the TIMCC ESRs will have two parts consisting of seven elements: 2 elements within the University based PhD program en 5 elements within the TIMCC network based complementary training.

Part 1 – A high quality PhD program at one of the 6 partner institutes which consists of two elements:

  1. Research project (‘training through research’), combined with
  2. A specified number of obligatory and optional courses. Courses of the PhD program in one partner institute are open for TIMCC fellows from another partner institute.

Part 2 – TIMCC network based Complementary Training. This will provide the ESRs with complementary skill training not only specifically relevant for their research but also for skills in management, communication, IP rights, commercial exploitation of results, research policy, entrepreneurship and ethics, to supplement the PhD training program of the partner institutes and consists of the following five elements:

  1. TIMCC topic oriented workshops with face-to face teaching
  2. TIMCC Annual Meetings for ESR progress report presentation
  3. TIMCC Annual Meeting Expert seminar lectures
  4. TIMCC provided web-based training (e-learning)
  5. Secondments to TIMCC laboratories for research experience

Project based research training

Each ESR will be appointed to one of the specific research projects supervised by an individual PhD supervisor (mentor) at the host organization. The ESRs will have a second supervisor and an advisor (from within the host institute or the network) to provide optimal general advice and guidance about all aspects of their research activities. Supervisor and ESR will jointly prepare a description of tasks and milestones to be achieved in the research project during the first year. Both the plans for research and the personal training will be submitted to the Supervisory Board and the Network Training Officer, who will also monitor progress of all appointed ESRs and ERs. Their progress will be reviewed at the TIMCC annual meetings. The research training projects are designed to be integrated into the research programs of individual participating laboratories. This ensures that the following conditions are present: a) A proper environment of intellectual support. b) A physical and intellectual infrastructure to pursue the project. c) Detailed exposure to relevant research undertaken within the ER and ESR’s area of interest. d) Monitoring of progress informally throughout the duration of the project. e) Scientists with overlapping practical and theoretical interests are available to support the trainee.

Training at private sector

For the ERs appointed to the partners of the private sector a special training program will be designed in management skills, writing grant applications, fund raising and other company-related issues, like protecting IP rights, development challenges and strategies etc. In addition the training will focus on the requirements of the processes in preclinical drug discovery and for early clinical activities. The ERs at Synovo and Alligator will be considered entrepreneurs in training and will be given the means to provide training to the ESRs about the specific requirements for the development of small molecule therapies, from identification of target diseases, defining strategies to obtain a therapeutic according to the new European guidelines.
Associated Partner MedImmune has extensive experience in providing training to young researchers, including PhD students and undergraduate students on year-long industrial placements, as well as post-doctoral fellows. MedImmune will host various ESRs for their secondment.