Opening of the new GIGA Doctoral School next week


At the GIGA, we strive to continually improve the training of the early stage researchers. In this context we are pleased to announce the launch of interdisciplinary, international and inter-sectorial GIGA Doctoral School for Basic and Applied Biology.


The GIGA Doctoral training program is formed to complement PhD research projects. An educational curriculum is comprised of discipline-related courses and transferable skills training. Our aim is that all early stage researchers will be equipped with the right combination of research-related and transferable competencies for future careers in academia and industry.


The courses will start on the 1st of October. We invite all of you to come join us Monday, October 1st at 10:00 for our opening.


We are excited to welcome the first four PhD candidates appointed to join the school. These researchers have been chosen this spring from more than 70 international applications. We will introduce these four PhD candidates (Alexandra, Tine, Alexander and Mathieu) to you every day of this week.


Additional information, courses descriptions and subscription requirements can be found at:


We also take this opportunity to thank the partners of this doctoral school: ULiège and the Léon Fredericq Fund.


Sans titre FLF


The PhD candidates


Alexandra Kovetskaya (24), Russian



Education: studied biology at the Novosibirsk State University, Russia (BSc + MSc)

Spoken languages: Russian (native), English


Why did you apply to the GIGA doctoral school? First of all, I am greatly inspired by the training program provided by the GIGA doctoral school as it allows not only to acquire discipline-related knowledge but also to develop many transferable skills that are crucial for a career in academia. The other reason I am attracted to this program is the opportunity of working with top-class research groups at the GIGA.

What is the area of research that interests you the most? My research interests lie primarily in the area of neurosciences.

My hobbies are:  snowboarding, hiking, watching the wildlife, photography



Mathieu Ledent (24), Belgian


Education:  University of Liège.


Spoken languages: French (native), English.


Why did you apply to the GIGA doctoral school?

I believe that beginning with 12 weeks of lessons and workshops in many fields that I don't master yet will help me to improve myself and be more efficient as a PhD student. I like the international aspect of the Doctoral School and I hope that I will learn a lot from students coming from other scientific areas. I also think that during these 12 weeks, I will learn more about the many laboratories inside the GIGA and their research topics and I hope that I will be able to make the right choice about my host laboratory and my thesis subject for my PhD.


What is the area of research that interests you the most before to start the program? I am mostly interested in research in oncology, especially in the fields of genetics and immunology.


In my spare time, I enjoy practicing sports: road bike, running, mini football and tennis. I love listening to music and I play drums. As often as I can, I put on my hiking boots and I go travelling.



Tine D’aes (27), Belgian


Education: I obtained a master's degree in clinical psychology from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and a master's degree in biomedical sciences: neurosciences from the University of Antwerp.

Spoken languages: Dutch (native), English and some French

Why did you apply to the GIGA doctoral school? Because I was very much drawn by the student- rather than project-centred approach.

What is the area of research that interests you the most before to start the program? I am interested in a wide variety of neuroscientific (and other) topics.

Your hobbies? I love simply spending time with friends or family, exploring cities and walking in nature, watching a good movie or reading a good book, listening to music, cooking, and so on.





Alexander Tashkeev  (24), Russian


Education: Lomonosov Moscow State University - MS in Human and Animal Physiology / Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology - MS in Biotechnology (bioinformatics track)


Spoken languages: Russian (native), English


Why did you apply to the GIGA doctoral school?

I was lucky enough to participate in the work on the online-course on genomics that was made by a joint group including people from GIGA, and then I met them on the corresponding winter training. When they told about the GIGA Doctoral School, I realized that it is exactly the chance to work with ones of the world leaders in the field and to have a rare opportunity of direct collaboration with the clinicians and industry. Along with the declarable goal to train independent researchers, this left no room for doubts whether to apply or not.


What is the area of research that interests you the most?

I am mostly interested in the functional investigation of genomes and transcriptomes in order to decipher mechanisms that shape the complexity of living organisms under normal or pathological conditions.


My hobbies are: Reading, walking, kickboxing