GIGA Doctoral School

Given the rapid progress in science and technology over the past few decades, the questions that need to be addressed in current and future research have dramatically grown in complexity. Thus, a single research discipline often fails to provide an adequate answer, calling for insights and methodologies from multiple fields. Moreover, most modern research projects require the collaborative efforts of many scientists working across both geographical and cultural boundaries in academia and industry. Thus to be successful, tomorrow’s scientists must have not only a solid background in their chosen fields but also a broad understanding of many disciplines, as well as the ability to collaborate with their peers in other research fields and cultures. In this context, we have launched an interdisciplinary, international and inter-sectorial GIGA Doctoral School for Basic and Applied Biology.




Centrally selected early-stage researchers (ESRs) will be enrolled in this training programme. The selection process will be both fair and transparent, based on a stepwise selection procedure and a detailed review by internal and external experts who will evaluate each applicant. The programme will include both educational training and a research project. The educational training will be performed in several modules with the first module being obligatory for all ESRs and additional modules spread throughout the remaining PhD period. The initial module will provide 12 weeks of training and is built as a connected educational ensemble that will contain both discipline-related and transferable skills courses. This module will precede the research project thus helping the ESRs to obtain the essential theoretical and applied skills needed from the start of the PhD trajectory. Additionally, ESRs will become familiar with research at the GIGA, thus allowing for a more informed and thoughtful decision regarding choice of host laboratory and PhD project. The specific topic for the PhD project will be formulated using a bottom-up approach in which the ESR will define a research project together with the host laboratory. Research topics are widely diverse and cover the majority of modern research lines in basic and applied biology. This is ensured by the diverse nature of research performed at the GIGA.


Together with its academic and industrial partners, the GIGA provides the ideal environment for establishing this new doctoral school. The GIGA is a research institute established within the University of Liège and contains an integrated ecosystem that fosters collaboration and resource-sharing among clinicians and basic researchers in a variety of disciplines. Additionally, the GIGA has state-of-the-art technologies in the form of technological platforms that offer the most advanced services to support the researchers. The GIGA serves as an incubator for biotechnology training and start-ups, thus contributing to the economic development of Liège and the Walloon region. Having a tight connection with biotech companies and pharmaceutical industry, it has all the necessary ingredients to train a future generation of independent researchers.


Our goal is to train independent researchers and further develop their talents. The GIGA Doctoral School will give young researchers an essential head start, helping them to pursue a successful career in academia, industry or government in order to provide innovative solutions to the biology-based questions of tomorrow.