Training program

Training program
Whereas the research program is defined by the research projects of the members of the Collegio dei Docenti, CDSM plays an important role in enhancing the skills and capacities of the students through a dedicated training program. This program both addresses the improvement of scientific and transferable skills.

Scientific skills
• Dedicated, specialist courses are offered on relevant scientific arguments by members of the Collegio dei Docenti and/or external (international) experts. These courses are specifically prepared for CDSM and the arguments are treated at a higher level compared to MSc-courses. Currently, CDSM has a total of 17 active courses on arguments covering all areas of the school (e.g. catalysis, energy, molecular recognition, nanochemistry, etc.) which are offered over a 2 year timespan. Each course has a duration of 24 hours (3 CFU) and is concluded with a final examination which has to be passed by the participating students. Each PhD-student of the course is obliged to follow 4 courses during the first 2 years of the PhD-program. A detailed list of courses can be downloaded here.
• The scientific courses are complemented with workshops and condensed lecture cycles held by renowned international experts. Each PhD-student is obliged to accumulate 20 hours of these additional courses during the duration of the PhD-program. These events are organized ad hoc by members of the Collegio dei Docenti and often constitute also an important possibility for the PhD-students to interact directly with experts in their field. In recent years, workshops have been given by Freed (Cornell, USA), Dick (Regensburg, D), Smarlsy (Giessen, D), Alexander (Nottingham, UK), and Barone (Scuola Normale Superiore, I).
• Seminars are organized on a monthly basis (CDSM Seminar - 10 annual) in which (inter)national experts are invited to present the latest developments in the research areas of interest to the CDSM-community. Importantly, PhD-students contribute to the selection of the invited speakers. Examples of recent speakers include Nitschke (Cambridge, UK), Credi (Bologna, I), Groves (Princeton, USA). This year in June Eric Anslyn (Texas, USA), associate editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, one of the highest-impact journals in the field of chemistry will be present to discuss science and scientific publishing.

Transferable skills
A successful insertion of the PhD-students in the job market, be it in industry or in academics, not only depends on scientific excellence, but equally well on their ability to present themselves and their research and to communicate with other scientists, non-scientists, and society at large. CDSM offers a wide variety of initiatives that permits the PhD-students to develop these so-called soft skills.
• Each PhD-student is obliged to follow 2 courses (each of 24 hours) dedicated to Scientific Writing/Technical English/Bibliographic research and a STEPS-module in collaboration with Confindustria, aimed at making PhD-students familiar with industrial research aspects, such as technology transfer and IPR.
• Each PhD-student has an annual personal budget (including the first year) for visits to (inter)national conferences.
• Each year CDSM organizes the Chemistry PhD-day in which the PhD-students present their research to the scientific community either through oral communications (third year) or poster presentations (first+second year).
• Students are strongly encouraged to perform teaching assistance in the laboratory courses of the Corsi di Laurea e Laurea Magistrale that are offered by the Departments of Chemical Sciences (DiSC) and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DSF).
• Students are strongly encouraged to participate in events dedicated to dissemination, such as Non è Magia, è Chimica (NEMEC), the annual science fair organized by DiSC, or the Researchers’ Night organized by the University of Padova.
Every second year, CDSM organizes together with Confindustria Padova, a meeting with regional chemical and pharmaceutical companies to strengthen connections with industry and to allow PhD-students to establish preliminary contacts with future employers.