Kaisa_2012_3_photo by Veikko Somerpuro

You can register to either 1 ECTS theoretical part or 5 ECTS theoretical + practical part. See more in 'Description'.

The course is organized online/following university's regulations.
Application period: 30.4.-13.5.
Selected students for the practical part are notified by 22.5.
Theoretical part and the launch of practical part: 28.5.
Indicate clearly which part you want to participate in when registering.
Practical part: June-November 2020.

Postdocs: register to ils-office@helsinki.fi

5.5.2020 at 08:00 - 13.5.2020 at 15:00


Here is the course’s teaching schedule. Check the description for possible other schedules.

Thu 28.5.2020
12:00 - 15:00
Thu 28.5.2020
15:30 - 17:00


PhD students and postdocs in the following fields/doctoral programmes

  • Doctoral Programme in Wildlife Biology: Computational Biology
  • Doctoral Programme in Microbiology and Biotechnology: Microbial Biotechnology, Genetics and Genomics of Microbes
  • Doctoral Programme in Integrative Life Sciences: Proteomics, Genetics and Genomics, Cell and Molecular Biology, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology and Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology
  • Doctoral Programme in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences: Experimental and Computational Chemistry
  • Doctoral Programme in Mathematics and Statistics: Mathematical Biology
  • Doctoral Programme in Materials Research and Nanosciences: Computational Chemistry, Biophysics and Computational Physics, Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  • Doctoral Programme in Computer Science: Machine Learning, Algorithmic Bioinformatics, Data Analytics
  • Doctoral Programme in Drug Research: Bioactivity screening, Pharmaceutical microbiology, Drug interactions, Toxicology

Application period: 30.4.-12.5.

Selected students for the practical part are notified by 22.5.

Theoretical part and the launch of practical part: 28.5.

Practical part: June-November 2020.

This course is intended to provide a theoretical framework and practical applications for the best practices in project management, mentoring and leadership.

The course is separated in two independent modules: theoretical part (1 credit) which is open to everyone and a practical part (4 credits) to which PhD students are selected based on their scientific expertise. The practical part provides selected students an opportunity to put in practice the theoretical framework by coaching the Aalto-Helsinki team in the international iGEM 2020 competition.

Theoretical part (1 ECTS)

Date: 28.5. 12:00-15:00.


Preliminary reading material.

Career Coach Minna-Rosa Kanniainen: Theoretical and practical aspects of mentoring (45 min + QA)
Career Coach Minna-Rosa Kanniainen: Project management: PhD and beyond (45 min + QA)
Research Director Brendan Battersby: Leading teams and projects, (45 min + QA)


Practical part (4 ECTS)

Course launch event: 28.5. 15:30-17:00, practical part: June-November.

The practical part enables selected students to engage in practical mentoring of the Aalto-Helsinki iGEM team. The Aalto-Helsinki team is an international, multidisciplinary team of ten students from Aalto and Helsinki universities with expertise in biotechnology, bioinformatics, genetics, evolutionary biology, physics, chemistry, molecular biosciences, biosystems and biomaterials. The group will design and prototype a synthetic biology project and participate in the world’s largest synthetic biology competition, iGEM among other top universities in the world.

The goal of Aalto-Helsinki team is to develop a biosensor to be able to detect and quantify

Substances such as pharmaceutical compounds that affect the environment and which wastewater treatment plants are currently struggling to detect.

Preferred qualifications for mentors:

  • Enthusiasm towards mentoring and science.
  • Background in one or several of the following: mathematics, bioinformatics, biochemistry, molecular biology, microbiology, chemistry, pharmaceuticals, biosensing, electronics, molecular thermodynamics, knowledge in wastewater treatment plants.

Practical course content and requirements:

  • Organizing a dry-lab workshop/tutorial for all the team members.
  • Attending progress meetings once every two weeks. Mentors will provide feedback and assistance for the Aalto-Helsinki team on their progress and project development.
  • Mentoring the team via Whatsapp/e-mail/phone and providing advice and troubleshooting on urgent practical issues related to the project.
  • Availability until November. The practical part of the project is carried out from June until August and the meetings and availability would be mainly needed during those months.

The project is presented in November

  • Writing an essay at the end of the course reflecting the use of best practices learned in the theoretical part.

Upon successful completion, the mentors will get a certificate for their participation.

Juha Saarikangas