Training Programme

Organovir’s training programme will train PhD students to lead innovation in the field of organoids for virus research. The training programme exists out of several components, which are briefly highlighted below.

Network-wide training course

This course is designed to ensure that all PhD students have a broad understanding of the various topics of this Innovative Training Network (ITN). All PhD students will participate in different workshops designed for organovir related topics.

Communication & dissemination course

This tailored communication course, which will be developed by the National Institute for the Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), will teach all young researchers how to disseminate their research results to various stakeholders. These include their colleagues and professional experts, but also the broader public, such as policy makers, patient organization, platforms and communities.

All young researchers will be trained in various established tools and platforms of communications, such as social networks, websites, newspapers, applications (apps). In addition, they will learn when, how and to whom they should communicate their research results, in order to maximize effective communication.

Programme goals

  • Become experts in the field of organoids for virus research
  • Develop transferable managerial skills (project management, leadership, Intellectual Property (IP), commercialization & ethical legislation
  • Develop a strong understanding of the life science business and to be highly employable in both the academic and non-academic sectors
  • Obtain a pre-MBA certificate
  • Obtain a PhD degree

Conferences provide PhD students with international meeting points where they can network with experts in the field of organoids for virus research. Conferences also provide them with the opportunity to present their results, advocate their messages and to practice their public speaking. Each PhD student will present at least once at a leading (inter)national conference per year in a relevant field. PhD students are encouraged to attend conferences other than scientific conferences.

Each PhD student will move from their host institute to another partner organization to work in a different environment. The young researcher will spend at least one secondment at another host organization, with a variable research period ranging from 1-10 months. 60% of all the secondments taking place in Organovir are intersectoral as we aim to provide intersectoral exchanges of expertise. The other 40% are mono-sectoral exchanges, as these secondments are planned for the benefit of research PhD students. The secondments are designed not only to train PhD students but also to ensure knowledge transfer across institutions and bring in complementary expertise.

Each PhD student will be allocated a coach that is complementary to their research and training programme. A PhD student working at a university will have a coach from industry and vice versa. This coach will have an independent advisory role and will provide an additional (different) perspective to the PhD students for addressing research and career questions.

Each PhD student will follow a personalized PhD student programme. The PhD student will select the basic scientific courses that are most applicable for his or her career and which can be added to their portfolio upon completion. Each PhD student can further select workshops and conferences to obtain a PhD degree at their host institute.

Personal developmental plan

All PhD students will develop a personal developmental plan (PDP) for their self-development and career planning. The PDP focuses on the following aspects:


  • own ambition and opportunities in career development
  • gender issues
  • work life balance
  • strengths and weaknesses
  • opportunities and threats.


The PhD students will learn how to develop themselves best through using various assessment tools, personal reflection and 360-degree feedback under support of their coach.

Pre-MBA programme

The pre-MBA programme is intended to deliver PhD students with an entrepreneurial and business analytics mind-set. After completing the pre-MBA programme, PhD students will obtain a pre-MBA certificate that will allow them to follow a MBA course with exemptions at the Amsterdam Business School.


The pre-MBA will focus on the following the courses:

  • Project management/process improvement
  • Intellectual property (patent/legal)
  • Entrepreneurship and financing
  • Marketing/sales/communication
  • Strategic decision making