Training concept

MgSafe Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) are trained according to the concept of “T‑shaped skills”:

The ESRs will achieve an in depth training to become scientific specialists in a specified field, whereas the horizontal bar of the ‘T’ indicates broad skills necessary for the ability to collaborate across disciplines with experts of other areas and to apply knowledge in areas of expertise other than one's own.

MgSafe will stimulate critical knowledge based scientific thinking across traditional academic borders and provide deep understanding of a highly specialised field. In parallel, MgSafe offers the broad overview industry requires from future employees.

MgSafe training is based on three main pillars:

WP5: Professional interdisciplinary skills for the development of medical devices;

WP6: Presenting science to various target communities;

WP7: Leadership in science and industry.

Thus, MgSafe focusses on the crucial aspects for a better employability specifically needed in the growing field of medical device industry.

link wikipedia T-shaped skills

Training events

I WP5 I Professional interdisciplinary skills training

There have been more than ten scientific training events. Due to the pandemic, most were held virtually and therefore could not offer a real hands-on experience. In addition, the duration was often shorter than originally planned, also due to the pandemic.

Introduction into the network and techniquesDetailed introduction to contents, structure and communication means in MgSafe; training in literature surveys, available databases, important software, format of documents to be used in MgSafeIntroduction to the network and techniques: Oslo, Norway, June 2019: The training ‘introduction into the network and techniques’ consisted of four parts. Part I: Financial and administrative matters of the MgSafe training network (coordinator to ESRs), part II: Introduction into network ESRs (each ESR introduced him/herself to the network), part III: Introduction into network beneficiaries (PIs of each beneficiary introduced themselves and their institution work package wise, including WP 5 – 7, part IV: Introduction into dissemination activities and related issues.
Materials Science2 workshops: WS 1 “Mg alloy design and processing”: degradable implant materials, basics in metal physics and corrosion;
WS 2 “Introduction of surface sensitive methods, correlation between measured parameters and material properties”: High-resolution techniques for surface characterisation. Training in different methods of surface characterisation.
Materials Science I: Brüttisellen, Switzerland, September 2019: Mg alloy design and processing: degradable implant materials, basics in metal physics and corrosion, Introduction of surface sensitive methods, correlation between measured parameters and material properties. In addition, there were sessions on biomaterials and (Mg) implant design and performance.

Materials science and research II June 2021 Warsaw virtual
Imaging Techniques5 workshops: WS 1 µCT. Introduction to µCT of animal samples. In addition, SRµCT and phase contrast methods.
WS 2 MRT/MRS/NIRS. Introduction and hands-on course on MRI and near infrared spectroscopy. In addition, training in multivariate software tools for analysing the spectra.
WS 3 PET. Theoretical and practical introduction in working with nuclear probes in medical applications.
WS 4 “Imaging data processing and analysis”. Software 3D analysis methods for µCT or MRI datasets. Subjects cover analysis of bone in the vicinity of a metal implant, to assess the quality of osteointegration.
WS 5 “Deep / Machine Learning Approaches for Data Analysis”. Training in new approaches to deal with large amounts of multimodal data to bridge the gap between material and biological data
Brüttisellen, Switzerland, September 2019: μCT & SRμCT (as well as SAXS), data processing and analysis: Differences between laboratory and synchrotron X‐ray sources, fundamental algorithms for data processing, introduction of relevant programs for visualisation, and Introduction in Machine / Deep Learning approaches.

UiO hosted a virtual workshop “Imaging Techniques” on μCT, which introduced data processing μCT of animal samples.

UGOT organised an online PhD course ‘Raman spectroscopy of mineralised tissues’ in October 2020.

USPA Imaging, March 2021 Amsterdam, fully virtual; MRI MHH May 2021, fully virtual.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Pisa, Italy, December 2020, fully virtual.

In addition: virtual SAXS workshop by Hereon/HZG April 2021.

µCT, clinical CT, High-resolution 3D imaging, Immunohistochemistry, PET, USPA, NIRS, multimodal data management, Pisa, Italy, April 2022.
Animal care, histological evaluation and operation techniques2 workshops: WS 1 Animal care: laboratory animal handling and operation techniques
WS 2 (immune-) Histology
MUG hosted a workshop on animal experiments in December 2019. The workshop combined presentations on general regulations for animal studies, ethics, animal behaviour, models in a broad research area, in orthopaedic research and an overview on studies focussing on Mg-based implants in an in vivo set-up. Students were to set-up an animal experiment thereby discussing animal type, implant type, proper controls, number of animals needed, collaboration partners, experiments and financial aspects. The practical part of this workshop also included hands-on training in surgery, scarification and suturing. ESRs were also trained in the μCT procedure at this facility and visited several labs.
(Immuno-)Histological techniques, Inflammation, tissue regeneration & remodelling, Animal models, Gothenburg March 2022.
Regulatory affairs and patient safetyIntroduction how to deal with magnesium in clinical application: from in vitro studies via in vivo studies via clinical trials into the clinicGothenburg March 2022: Entrepreneurship in Bioengineering, Clinical Perspectives from Magnesium implant applications, Regulatory affairs in the medical device industry.
From bench side to clinic (SYN), Safety considerations for MRI of degradable implants (MRI.T), April 2022, Pisa, Italy.

I WP6 I Presenting science to various target communities

There were five network-wide transferable skills training events . In addition, the ESRs were introduced into ‘Financial and administrative matters of the MgSafe training network’ and ‘Dissemination activities and related issues’ in Oslo, June 2019, applied individually for funding and beam time, and presented their work on several occasions, honing their presentation skills.
Unfortunately, some of the transferable skills training events had to take place virtually and could only be offered in an abbreviated form due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.

Good scientific practiceGood scientific practice, pitfalls and how to circumvent or deal with themWS 1: Good scientific practice MUG Graz, Austria, December 2019
WS II: March 2021 Hannover, virtual
Writing SkillsTarget-group oriented writing; writing of reports and scientific papers, and funding and beam time proposals at various levelsWriting Skills (1) MUG Graz, Austria, December 2019 workshop on “How to write and publish a scientific paper”, six “golden rules” to improve the scientific writing and to create a powerful scientific message.
Writing Skills (2) MHH, OsloMet March 2021 Hannover, virtual.
The training in proposal writing was done practically: a large number of proposals were submitted.
Presentation SkillsAdvanced techniques such as the use of voice and body language to catch the audience’s attention The ESRs presented their work on several occasions, at MgSafe meetings as well as on national and international conferences and work shops by giving talks and/or presenting their progress in poster sessions and talking to professionals in the field. During the Mid Term Meeting in December 2019 it was requested by the ESRs to replace a second “Presentation Skills” Workshop by a “Media Training”.
This Media training especially for the ESRs took place.in March 2021 Amsterdam as a virtual event.

I WP7 I Leadership in science and industry

There were four network-wide leadership skills training events. In addition to this rather theoretical training, the ESRs have created an organisational structure that is similar to the one of the PIs: they nominated WP leaders, who hold regular WP meetings and report at the ESRs’ jour fixe. There is an elected speaker, who in turn is present at the beneficiaries’ jour fixe and represents the interests of the ESRs there.
The ESRs elected their representatives for different MgSafe boards (SB, DB, EB) and agreed on their communication routes within MgSafe. The latter was fixed in an MgSafe ESRs Virtual Team Charter.

ESR daysThe ESRs organised several “ESR Days” practicing communication skills, exchange of information, networking and project management. The ESR Days included the invitation of visiting scientists by the ESRs. for topic related workshops organised independently by the ESRs including the financing aspects of such events.ESR day in June 2021 WUT, Warsaw, Poland, virtual: ‘What to do after PhD: To be or not to be a post-doc’, and ‘PhD: What next?’ virtual.
ESR day in August 2021, MUG, Vienna, Austria, hybrid, with a scientific part on materials science, immunology and Mg Ion channel signalling, as well as soft skills training (Art of science communication, project development for research proposals and self-presentation online). This ESR day was organised in connection with a satellite meeting to the (virtual) 13th Biometal 2021 international conference.
ESR day in March 2022, UGOT, Gothenburg, Sweden, hybrid: ‘Bridging Science & Entrepreneurship’, organised as a webinar on biodegradable magnesium implants.
ESR day in April 2022, IFC-CNR, Pisa, Italy: final ESR event in connection with the final MgSafe meeting and international conference on ‘New Trends in High Resolution pre-clinical Molecular Imaging’.
Strengthening personal skillsThis is part 2 of the career preparation for the EU labour-market oriented activities. It includes motivation analysis and personal learning environment, project management , conflict and stress management and time managementMUG hosted a workshop on personal learning environment: leadership in working environments and related psychological aspects: theoretical and practical sessions, psychometric personality tests, individual discussions.
Project management Pisa, Italy, December 2020, virtual
In addition to this rather theoretical training, the ESR have created an organisational structure and elected their representatives for different MgSafe boards.
Post-doctoral career and future leadershipPreparation of the ESRs for their future post-doctoral career in both research and non-academic environments. Themes include “Management of international research projects” and “How to write attractive CV and job applications”.
As an alternative job perspective, a workshop for entrepreneurship & commercialisation of results will be organised.
Career planning & application training, Hamburg, Germany, November 2021 (ESRs in person!).
ESR day "Bridging Science & Entrepreneurship", Gothenburg March 2022, hybrid.