The International Doctoral Program (PDI) has existed since 1999; From the 'Galilei' promotion to the 2017 'Albert-Einstein' class, nearly 500 PhD students have benefited from the numerous benefits offered by the programme. Henceforth, the PDI of the University of Strasbourg concerns both doctoral students in co-supervision between the University of Strasbourg and an international partner institution and doctoral students who benefit from Idex doctoral contracts (Initiative of Excellence). The aim of the programme is threefold: to attract excellent international students, to increase the international mobility of young researchers and finally to develop their intercultural and interdisciplinary skills.
Nadja Groysbeck, a doctoral student of Austrian origin, has just started her thesis in the Biotechnology and Cellular Signalling laboratory within the framework of Idex financing. "I hope that the PDI will allow me not only to get to know people from different origins, but also to learn things from other scientific fields". The start of the academic year celebrations she attended have already met some of her expectations. "The programme promotes interdisciplinary exchange and cooperation. I hope to discover new possibilities of collaboration and that new ideas will come to life. "
A network to overcome disciplinary and linguistic barriers
For Abdoul-Djawadou Salaou, doctoral student of Togolese nationality at the Icube laboratory in co-supervision with the University of Victoria (Canada), "the PDI ensures ease in our mobility (travel costs between sites, priority access to housing, etc.) and access to resources for the smooth running of our co-tutorship". Indeed, doctoral students benefit from competitive financial aid, as well as privileged access to the studios of the European Doctoral College.
"It's also the chance to be in the forefront of training. We can choose our training, and above all we are encouraged to organise or direct" adds the young computer specialist. For example, "Europe" conferences hosted by MEPs are proposed monthly. Through their membership of an international scientific community, programme members have a network that transcends disciplinary and linguistic barriers. Since 2015, doctoral students regularly take the opportunity to organise thematic scientific conferences themselves. Thus, two doctoral students in the fourth year of the Linus-Pauling promotion (2015), Marguerite El Asmar Bou Aoun, a Lebanese national, a joint doctoral student with the Université Saint-Joseph in Beirut (Lebanon), and Alizée Légendart, doctoral student in co-operation with the Ca 'Foscari University of Venice (Italy), organised the start of the academic year conference on the theme 'Politics and religion in European societies: stakes and conflict'. "Through the PDI, I learn to express myself on a philosophical or religious subject in a popular way without losing the scientific rigour of the subject, emphasises the doctoral student. By collaborating with Alizée to organise this conference, I learned a lot about the administrative functioning of the university in France. It was also a great asset to collaborate with someone from another culture and to learn how to accept differences."
The next conference, "Energy transition", scheduled for 6 December 2017 at the European Doctoral College within the framework of Eucor - The European Campus, will be hosted by PDI students.