Infos for Course Organizers

Teaching formats in the doctoral cursus

The Lemanic Neuroscience Doctoral School (LNDS) wants to provide students with broad background knowledge in neuroscience irrespective of their actual thesis topic. That is, we aim to offer courses and training events ranging from cellular-molecular to cognitive-clinical and in silico neurosciences. Since our inter-university doctoral program hosts students from Geneva, Lausanne and Fribourg please consider offering blocked teaching sessions to avoid unnecessary and time-consuming commuting for students. Please see the LNDS course website for existing courses.

Please contact the LNDS coordinator for more information and if you are interested to organize a teaching event described below and/ or make use of an alternative format (e.g. e-learning). Please find below a course offer template form, serving to detail and promote your offer on the LNDS website.

Looking forward to hear from you!

Courses preferentially take the format of:
• Events that take place on several days of one week
• Events that take place once a week over several (likely consecutive) weeks
• Doctoral school courses should have a session duration of at least 3-4h

Several types of teaching events are invited:
Courses: Consist of lectures and/or demonstrations and/or hands-on sessions. Courses can be given by one or several teachers. The evaluation of student’s learning achievements is obligatory to grant doctoral school credits (please see guideline section below). Evaluation forms are available.
Tutorials: Consist of a series of discussion built around a global neuroscience topic (e.g. “Views on the influence of grad school on brain performance in PhD candidates”) usually spanning 5 sessions with 2-3h each. Local tutor(s) are asked to give a small introduction to the global topic, define subtopics (e.g. “Influence on memory”, “Influence on survival in the outside world” etc.) and provide students with 2-3 papers of interest for each tutorial session. Students prepare these papers for discussion with the tutor(s), and are evaluated upon their active participation to the discussion, as well as their ability to analyze and synthesize information from the scientific papers. Ideally, not more than 10-12 students participate in a tutorial to foster efficient interaction. Evaluation forms are available.
Workshops based on local symposia or conferences: For LNDS students, the participation to local symposia or national conferences usually warrants entries on a “seminar sheet” (12 entries = 1 ECTS) as these events do not provide the possibility to assess students’ learning achievements. However, the valuation of full school credits for such events can easily be re-discussed given that symposium/ conference organizers  provide students with the possibility of either
– discussing 2-3 event-relevant papers in a post-event session, or
– submitting an essay containing a critical discussion of scientific outcomes presented at the event.
Journal clubs: Please see here for more information.

Some more guidelines …

• All courses should be given in English (incl. slides and other materials) since we have a great number of international students.
• A minimum of 6 participants is required for a course to take place.
• An evaluation/ assessment of students’ course achievements is required to validate doctoral school credits. This can be done via a written exam, an essay the student hands in after the course, or an article presentation followed by a discussion. Please find below an evaluation template that can be used and sent back to the doctoral school.
Course teachers should mainly be local and faculty members. One or two external speakers per course can be sponsored by the doctoral school upon demand and when justified.
• If you wish to obtain a financial contribution from the LN program for your course (e.g. for speaker’s travel expenses), please keep in mind that at least 50% of course participants must be from the LNDS or the EPFL-EDNE program.
• The duration of courses is translated into doctoral school credits according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) as shown below. Please note that in-class and homework together count as “working hours” and are accredited.

ECTS# in-class periods (45 min)
114 ± 2
1.521 ± 2
228 ± 2
2.535 ± 2
342 ± 2