Metastatic melanoma is a hard-to-treat disease and it remains as one of the most worrisome cancer. There is an urgent need to improve the current therapies (chemotherapy, radiotherapy) that have a limited efficacy.
A single therapy is not efficient to tackle metastatic melanoma and a combination of therapies is thus emerging as a necessity to efficiently eradicate all cancer cells. Recently, the development of immunotherapies has shown promises, in particular chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cells. Nevertheless, the physical barriers represented by cellular and non-cellular components of the tumor microenvironment combined to the abnormal tumor vasculature and high interstitial fluid pressure, hamper an efficient tumor infiltration of CAR-T cells. In this context, thanks to a network of 18 partners (including 10 non-academic partners), MELOMANES aims to train 12 doctoral researchers for the development of a combined therapy exploiting the properties of magnetic nanoparticles to induce damage on the tumor microenvironment by magnetic and optic hyperthermia in order to facilitate the infiltration of CAR-T cells. Research and transferable training of the doctoral researchers will be performed in a highly interdisciplinary, intersectoral, and international environment. In addition to acquiring skills related to the research project, they will be trained also in open science, communication and dissemination, responsible research and innovation, circular economy, ethics, data management, entrepreneurship, marketing, intellectual property, and gender dimension in research. Their competences will be validated through certification and qualification examination, allowing a new generation of highly skilled doctoral researchers to emerge with a high-level training in particular in the multidisciplinary field of nanomedicine.
DESCRIPTION OF THE INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH PROJECT
- Project funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the European Commission can be held responsible for them.
The doctoral researcher will design and implement a training program that helps the other doctoral researchers of the Melomanes project to become equipped to be researchers of the future. The past decades we have witnessed a change in the relation between the science and society. It has become increasingly important for researchers to not merely have the capacities to conduct the technical and scientific research work that is part of their daily routines, but in addition, to be able to actively engage with society. The skill set of a capable researcher entails among other capacities, the ability to align research practices and agenda's with societal needs and concerns, and to critically reflect on social and future consequences of the research itself, while navigating its inherent complexity and uncertainty. By following the training program designed by the doctoral researcher, the other doctoral researchers of the Melomanes project will be prepared for the broad and diverse expectations that are part of current and future academic work.Objectives
- Create a training program design that helps the doctoral researchers in the project to develop three key capacities: a) navigating complexity and uncertainty, b) being able to critically reflect on the role of research in society and its social and future consequences and c) being able to design and facilitate meaningful dialogue with societal actors.
- Implementation of the training program in the Melomanes project
- Obtain insights into how to effectively train researchers to acquire the above capacities, and how to tailor-make such a training program for specific trans- and interdisciplinary research fields.
For the design of the training program the doctoral researcher will make use of systems thinking methodologies and artistic methods. While the first type of methodologies will be an important point of departure for designing sessions that focus on developing the skills needed to navigate complexity and uncertainty while doing highly specialized research work; the second type will be of help in designing training sessions with a focus on developing dialogue and reflexive capacities.Expected Results
The expected results are 1) the design of a training program that can be adapted for other types of trans- and interdisciplinary research practices and 2) Melomanes doctoral researchers that are prepared for the broad range of skills needed to perform academic research work.Supervisors and host organisationsMain supervisors and recruiting organisation:
Athena Institute, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
The position is offered within the Athena Institute, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences. The institute's mission is to study and design interfaces between science and society to contribute both to a deeper understanding of innovation processes as well as a responsible implementation of research and innovation in society. Athena's research program amongst other focuses on analysing complex global health challenges, designing interventions and conducting participatory monitoring and evaluation research. For more information about the Athena Institute visit our website
.Co-supervisor (academic partner):
EMPA (Zurich, Switzerland)Co-supervisor (non-academic partner):
MISVIK (Turku, Finland)Planned mobility track and secondments:
There are two secondments planned for the doctoral researcher:
Enrolment in Doctoral School:
- Mapping the innovation processes to analyse opportunities and barriers for integrating the training program, at MISVIK in Turku, Finland (3 months).
- Development of an interface between risk assessment, life cycle assessment and RRI as part of the preparation for designing and implementing the training program in the context of nanomedicine, at EMPA in Zurich, Switzerland (7 months).
Athena Graduate School,
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam