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The Training

Symbiosis research can only be successful if it is interdisciplinary. The complexity of the interactions between the symbiotic partners and between these and their environment requires investigations at all organizational levels from single genes to ecology and evolution. In addition, many of the symbionts that will be investigated in this network are currently uncultivable. A wide range of new techniques has recently become available for investigating uncultivable microbes that can be applied without separating host and symbiont. These include genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, bioinformatics, and imaging techniques such as Raman microspectroscopy and secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS). Symbiomics aims to provide network-wide training in and access to these state-of-the art methods in microbial research. Some of these techniques are well established in many of the research groups involved in Symbiomics. Other very new or highly specialized techniques are only available in some research groups, in which case the participants will have access to these either through workshops and courses, or internships in the laboratories with the expertise of interest.

An advisory thesis committee will be established for the PhD student as soon as they enter the ITN that will accompany them throughout their project and be responsible for their training and personal development. During the first meeting of the advisory thesis committee, an extensive personal career plan will developed. Together with the student, the advisory thesis committee will assess the strengths and weaknesses of the student’s previous training, explore viable career options, and develop a training and research program. The thesis committee will then meet with the student twice a year to review progress towards scientific and career goals, provide suggestions and support for any problems that might arise, and ensure the success of the student’s research and training.

Symbiomics places a strong emphasis on soft skills training in topics such as time management, writing and presentation skills, negotiation skills, and leadership skills. To develop the commercial skills of the PhD students, internships to our commercial partners are planned within several projects, and will be made available to any student interested in gaining experience and training in the private sector. Our aim is to provide young scientists with a broad set of interdisciplinary and transferable skills. In addition to gaining these skills, through internships, network-wide workshops, courses and meetings, as well as the exchange and discussion of results, the network will provide the fellows with a training they could not receive at this level through one partner alone.