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7th November 2014, LERU Open Seminar, Innovative Doctoral Training: From Principles to Practice, Brussels

The one-day programme included 

  • Presentation of the LERU paper ‘Good elements in doctoral training’ 
  • Doctoral education in the European Research Area
  • Opportunities and challenges for doctoral researchers from research-developing regions 
  • Creating a university ecosystem that fosters innovation in doctoral education: trends and challenges

The League of European Research Universities (LERU) is a consortium of “research universities” in Europe. Founded in 2002, as a partnership of 12  universities, it expanded its membership to 21 universities in 2010.  The 30-page LERU paper presented at the seminar consists of 17 principles and 4 conclusions, together with a list of recommendations. The principles are grouped into (a) formal research training, (b) activities driven by doctoral candidates, (c) career development, and (d) concepts and structures. Each group of principles is illustrated by short reports from each of the LERU members showing how they implement these principles. It is an interesting approach that gives each LERU member the opportunity to reflect on the degree to which they live up to the LERU principles. The LERU principles are all consistent with the ORPHEUS standards. The paper can be downloaded from (PDF).

There were about fifty participants. ORPHEUS was represented by Michael Mulvany.

17th July 2014, ORPHEUS workshop; ORPHEUS PhD Standards: bridging PhD programs to promote global collaboration

International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR )2014 workshop, Cape Town, South Africa


  • Do we need global standards for PhD education: Prof. Zdravko Lackovic 
  • ORPHEUS-AMSE- WFME Standards for PhD education:   Prof. Michael Mulvany 
  • Do we need international Standards:  US position Prof.  Joey Barnett 
  • Do we need international Standards:  Indian position Prof. Arunabha Ray 
  • Do we need international Standards:  South African position Prof. Tiaan Brink 

The workshop reviewed PhD education in a variety of countries with a view to determining whether a consensus can be obtained about the expected outcomes of PhD education, the content of PhD programmes and the manner in which PhD education is organized. Speakers were be asked to relate their PhD programmes to the standards recommended by ORPHEUS (Organisation for PhD education in biomedicine and health sciences in the European system, www.orpheus-med.org). The workshop showed that although there are substantial differences in PhD programmes between countries, large areas of agreement could be identified.

21st September 2013, ORPHEUS workshop on PhD education at 7th Croatian Congress of Pharmacology, Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb, 21 September . ORPHEUS workshop on PhD education at 7th Croatian Congress of Pharmacology was organised in Zagreb by Zdravko Lackovic on the behalf of the Croatian Pharmacological Society. Paricipants: PhD candidates and professors of Zagreb and other health science schools from Croatia. Speakers: Zdravko Lackovic ORPHEUS President., Michael John Mulvany ORPHEUS Vice President and Peter Holzer dean of Doctoral Studies, Medical University of Graz.

17th September 2013, ORPHEUS vice-president represents ORPHEUS at conference on the future of the UK PhD, London

London, 17 September. ORPHEUS vice-president represents ORPHEUS at conference on the future of the UK PhD arranged by the Society of Biology, the Biochemical Society and the British Pharmacological Society. Participants included representatives for UK graduate schools as well as representatives for BBSRC, QAA, MRC, Wellcome Trust, HEFCE, the Biochemical Society, the British Pharmacological Society, the Society of Biology. The purpose of the conference was to discuss the UK PhD in the light of developments in PhD training in Continental Europe. Topics included: What are the advantages to the UK PhD training model? Are there any disadvantages?; Do Biomedical PhD’s require their own standards distinct from other PhD’s e.g. physics?; How do the UK PhD training schemes match the ORPHEUS model?; Are there any other available models e.g. LERU guideline?; What advantages would standardisation bring?; What type of training should we be offering PhD students?; How do we ensure the quality of the PhD? E.g. untrained examiners; Are there any improvements to be made to current programmes?; How do organisations use their PhD programmes strategically?; What roles does industry play in PhD training?

9th-10th September 2013, ORPHEUS vice-president gave plenary lecture entitled “PhD candidate involvement in setting standards for PhD training”, Luxembourg

ORPHEUS vice-president gave plenary lecture entitled “PhD candidate involvement in setting standards for PhD training” at annual “Life Sciences PhD Days”, Université du Luxembourg conference arranged by the PhD students of Doctoral School in Systems and Molecular Biomedicine and supported by the doctoral school.

3rd-5th April 2014, ORPHEUS 2014 CONFERENCE: Creating Career Opportunities for PhDs in Life and Health Sciences, Lausanne, Switzerland

A conference to discuss expectations on PhD education. Aimed at delegates from Universities, Public & Private Sectors and PhD students

PhD training and careers in life science, how to improve them? During the 9th international ORPHEUS conference, delegates from academia, public & private sectors together with PhD students will be invited to present their research, experience and expectations on PhD education. Plenary sessions, workshops and poster sessions are planned to maximize networking between all participants. This event is organized by the Doctoral School of the Faculty of Biology and Medicine and will take place at the University Hospital Center in Lausanne from April 3rd to 5th, 2014. Don’t miss the occasion to participate and actively contribute to the improvement of PhD education. The program is on-line: http://www.unil.ch/orpheus 2014. Register early!


•Creating Career Opportunities

•PhD Supervision

•Transferable Skills

•Nursing Sciences, Public Health, Neuroscience and Interdisciplinary Programs

•PhDs around the World: International Aspects

•Responsible Conduct in Research

24th-26th June 2013, ORPHEUS WORKSHOP AND EDUCATIONAL PACKCAGE „Responsible Conduct in Research“

The ORPHEUS workshop was held in Dubrovnik at Interuniversity Centre (IUC) (http://www.iuc.hr/) with renown international lecturers from the fields of ethics in science and research; Reidar K. Lie University of Bergen, Department of Philosophy, Adjunct Research Fellow, Department of Bioethics Clinical Canter National Institutes of Health, USA and former Head, Unit on International Research Department of Bioethics Clinical Center National Institutes of Health, USA , Henk ten Have, Director and Professor McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts Center for Healthcare Ethics, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh USA, former Director of the Division of Ethics of Science and Technology at UNESCO.

Here is the program of the workshop:

Day 1 Monday 24th of June 2013

9.00- 10.30. Ethics in Science ( 2 hours of lectures)- Reidar K. Lie

10.30-11.00 Coffee Break

1100.-12.30 Ethics and Scientific Research and NIH ( 2 hours of lectures) – Reidar K. Lie

12.30-13.30 Lunch Break

13.30- 15.00 Research and Global Health (2 hours of lectures)- Reidar K. Lie

15.00-16.30 Practice Examples- How to Teach – Ana BoroveÄŤki and Zdravko Lacković ( 2 hours of seminars)

16.30-16.45- Coffee Break

16.45-18.15 Round table Discussion- Experiences in Teaching Ethics of Science and Research for PhD Students

Day 2 Tuesday 25th of June 2013

9.00- 10.30. Ethics and Global Problems (2 hours of lectures)- Henk ten Have

10.30-11.00 Coffee Break

1100.-12.30 UNESCO core curriculum- Henk ten Have (2 hours of lectures)

12.30-13.30 Lunch Break

13.30- 16.30 Practice Examples- How to Teach – Ana BoroveÄŤki and Zdravko Lacković ( 2 hours of seminars)

Day 3 Wednesday 26th of June 2013

9.00- 10.30. (2 hours of tutorials)

10.30-11.00 Coffee Break

1100.-12.30 Improving Teaching Skills (2 hours of tutorials)

12.30-13.30 Lunch Break

13.30- 15.00 Improving Teaching Skills (2 hours of tutorials)

15.00-16.30 Improving Teaching Skills (2 hours of tutorials)

The workshop is collaboration between ORPHEUS, University of Zagreb School of Medicine, Duquesne University from Pittsburgh, University of Rijeka Faculty of Law and University of Bergen. The workshop was aimed at educating junior and senior teachers at PhD programs involved in teaching ethics of science. The participants were given UNESCO materials that was specially developed for the teachers of ethics. They also received copies of the manual “Responsible conduct of Research” edited by Ana Borovečki and Zdravko Lacković. They were also provided with information and material regarding publications of the European Science Foundation especially the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity. Participants also had to prepare a short teaching presentation in order to improve their teaching skills.

Beside lecturers there were 11 participants at the workshop coming from Croatia, Georgia, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia Ukraine and Turkey. Some of the participants especially junior colleagues who were eligible got HESP/OSCE scholarships.

The organizers are planning to host similar event next year approximately at the same time.