VDS Physics Summer School 2018

 Programme Overview

Daily Schedule

Monday, 2 July 2018

Academia Today

Trends in the academic sector & academic career development

Scientific research takes place in a highly competitive work environment. Very often this tempts early stage researchers to focus on immediate and urgent tasks and leaves them with little time to contemplate their medium-term personal and professional development and on their long-term career paths, its possibilities of access and its potential barriers.
The first day of the VDSP Summer School is aimed at reflecting on recent developments in the academic sector and at acquiring key skills for a successful academic career such as presentation techniques, time management and leadership skill.


Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Research grant proposals

Evaluation criteria & tips for writing

The second day of the VDSP Summer School will provide guidance on how to approach proposal writing with a particular focus on the funding schemes of “Horizon 2020”, the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme until today with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). This day will cover the process of preparing and submitting a research grant application. It will take into account typical evaluation criteria and provide tips for the structural as well as the linguistic specifics of research grants.


Wednesday, 4 July 2018

From academia to the private sector.

Identifying strenghts & skills trends for the private sector

Recently, the private sector has increasingly been drawing the attention of PhD students approaching the end of their doctoral studies who are at the crossroad between remaining in the academic environment and leaning towards a career path in private companies and industries. While the academic career still remains attractive to many students, the opportunity to enter the private job market seems equally inviting.
The first part of the third day of the VDSP Summer School is aimed at helping you to identify professional and personal strengths, to present yourself during the application process and to highlight your scientific skills and competences to the private sector.
The second part of the day covers science communication to a non-scientific audience. You can win the realization of your own science story by a professional video studio in a short animated video!


Thursday, 5 July 2018

Opportunities outside academia

The job market in the private sector, NGOs and beyond

 An alternative career path: science for development.
This day of the VDSP Summer School starts with an overview of the job market outside academia. A natural choice for PhD students in science seems to take up positions in consulting and technology based companies, but how can one find one’s way through the various companies? In the morning session guest speakers will give some insights through case studies and discussions of personal experiences. The purpose of the day is also to present an alternative career option, most of the time overlooked by doctors in science: intergovernmental, international agencies and NGOs fostering sustainable development. In the afternoon, you will be able to join a visit to the United Nations Office Vienna (UNOV), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) where you will be introduced to the Sustainable Development goals of these intergovernmental organizations and will receive advice on possible career options.


Friday, 6 July 2018


First-hand expertise from specialists and successful founders

The last day of the VDSP summer school focuses on start-ups, entrepreneurship and managing skills. Founders and research partners of a successful spin-off company which has evolved from fundamental research will guide you through the various stages of building and running your own business. In a World Café setting you will have the opportunity to talk to a range of experts about Intellectual property and patenting, funding schemes for entrepreneurs, business models and legal frameworks, and how to shape your own team. This day will be complemented by a workshop on negotiation skills.