Doctoral Programme

Skills Training and Professional Development at LISER

LISER PhD candidates are affiliated at Doctoral schools of Universities in Europe or abroad. They take most of their mandatory training and/or optional courses at their home university.

In addition, at LISER, after assessment by the PhD supervisor of the candidate's specific training needs, a doctoral training plan is elaborated following this general scheme.

A combination of different types of training modalities are offered to all PhD candidates:

  • On-site training at LISER
  • Summer, Winter Schools and Workshops

The on-site training courses are grouped in three modules:

  • Lectures on research methodology
  • Tutorials on software and data
  • Transferable-skills training

Training modules are covered by external professors and experts in the Institute's research fields, and by local research staff. Besides technical courses the Institute organises non-technical courses that enhance the development of key skills to advance in a research career such as time management, academic writing, presentation skills, conceptual frameworks, project writing, building networks, etc.

Furthermore, with the aim of increasing the academic environment and research exchange, the Institute organises weekly research seminars series where external and local researchers present their work, including PhD candidates.

LISER research staff also provides regular introductions and updates on data collected at LISER and on specific research software and software applications.

Moreover, the fruitful cooperation developed between the University of Luxembourg and the Luxembourg research institutes allows all PhD candidates in Luxembourg, whether enrolled at the University of Luxembourg or at other universities, to attend all doctoral training and courses organised in Luxembourg.

Summer, Winter Schools and Workshops

A number of events organised by LISER at the European or international level (conferences, workshops, summer or winter schools) gives the opportunity to LISER PhD candidates to meet renowned international researchers, to network and to increase their contacts for their future career.

In addition, LISER PhD candidates have the opportunity to attend other events such as conferences and workshops, either at the partner universities or elsewhere.

Likewise, doctoral workshops organised thematically to incorporate presentations of candidates and their supervisors and other in-house researchers working on similar research areas and topics serve as an additional venue for research exchange and learning.

Professional development

The close personal relationships LISER supervisors and teams establish with each PhD candidate allow them to play the role of mentors; they regularly give advice and share their personal networks.

According to the LISER PhD training scheme, the next career step of LISER PhD graduates is expected to be outside of the Institute (and most likely outside of Luxembourg) so that graduates are able to create new connections, build up experience, and get extended exposure to the international research community.

This will normally be in the form of a temporary postdoc position in a foreign university or research institute or of an entry-level university lecturer position. Graduates should also be equipped to take up non-academic research positions as analysts in top-level international policy institutions.

LISER helps in placing its PhD graduates:

  • by advertising the profile of its job market candidates on a dedicated LISER webpage
  • by committing to provide timely and detailed reference and recommendation letters for its job market candidates
  • by informing PhD candidates about the typical timing and processes of the international market for post-doc researchers in the social sciences
  • by providing transferable skills training on academic CV writing and academic interviews
  • by dedicating a lump sum of up to 1000 euros to finance the travelling costs directly related to job market applications

LISER maintains contact with its PhD Graduates by offering them the status of unpaid LISER junior research fellows (for an initial period of three years).

This status allows them:

  • to continue participating free of charge in workshops, and seminars organised in the Institute
  • to use the LISER affiliation in their publications
  • to have access to office space for short research visits.