ILH Academy

In the ILH, special emphasis is given to the training, support and career development of junior scientists in lung biology and pulmonary medicine. To this end, ILH liaises with pre-existent expertise at the Biomedical Research Campus of the JLU, within the DZL and within the Excellence Cluster Cardio-Pulmonary Institute (CPI). At the JLU, the Graduate School “Molecular Biology and Medicine of the Lung” (MBML) has been set up 16 years ago, with > 300 PhD or MD-PhD doctoral fellows trained up to date: notably, more than 70% of the alumni of this Graduate School have pursued a scientific career after terminating the program. Moreover, the MBML is closely linked to the DZL Academy and the CPI Academy. Current plans in the vibrant educational environment include:

  • Harmonizing the educational programs to have one overarching program at the Giessen Lung Research Hub.
  • Establishment of annual joint retreats focusing on training, support and career development of junior scientists in lung biology and pulmonary medicine.
  • Set-up of an exchange program, allowing to form “pairs” of students under common mentorship of an ILH scientist and scientists from other sites of the DZL or the CPI.
  • Initiating an individualized ILH mentoring program.

These additional activities will complement the current levels of educational outreach of the ILH:

  • Undergraduate Outreach: In cooperation with JLU/UGMLC/CPI, scientists of the ILH get engaged in various teaching activities, aiming to reach out to MSc students in the different biomedical disciplines and attract the most talented of them for a doctoral fellowship in lung research. Moreover, talented MD students are attracted to translational pulmonary research early in their career by providing financial support for selected individuals to perform experimental work (6-12 months) and prepare an MD thesis in an ILH laboratory (small stipends for such research period available via the Medical Faculty). These MD students will be integrated into a structural educational program offered by the Giessen Graduate School for the Life Sciences.
  • MD and PhD Education: All doctoral researchers in the various ILH research groups are entered into the Molecular Biology and Medicine of the Lung (MBML) graduate program.
  • Postdoctoral Career Development Programs: In collaboration with the DZL Academy and the CPI Academy, the ILH Academy offers refresher and advanced courses in fields relevant to lung biology and disease, encompassing both physiological/medical and basic science topics, and soft skills training units to address the fields of project management, manuscript preparation and third party fund raising. Advanced intensive courses focus on specific areas or techniques arising from recent scientific discoveries. Training programs in management and entrepreneurship address exploitation aspects and career options outside of academia. Moreover, in addition to funds available via the budgets of the various ILH research groups, the ILH Academy provides competitive funds for postdoctoral fellowships, aiming to attract outstanding external postdoctoral fellows (up to 2 years after MD or PhD) to the ILH, and start-up grants, aiming to foster early independence and qualification for high-class external funding. This is of particular interest for starting a Medical Scientist Career.
  • Clinical Scientist Tracks: The ILH joins the Giessen Clinical Scientist Program CAREER. Grants in this program cover – in addition to laboratory personnel and consumables - up to 50% of the applicant’s own position to enable periodic relief from clinical duties.