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AIV Master Program

Each AIV year class brings it’s novel mix of biologists, computer scientists, physicists and engineers. This diversity in academic paths is an exceptional opportunity for students to discover the power and efficiency of collaborative and mutual teaching and learning.

We encourage creativity, original projects and ideas. So, students are urged to interact with the teaching staff, with the other students, to participate to extra curriculum activities such as the CRI scientific clubs. Students can also organize events, create or participate to scientific clubs, invite researchers to attend to the Friday sessions or give a talk, etc… Being involved, sharing your knowledge and expertise is the best way of spending a very fruitful year with us.

  • AIV 1st year

    First year of the AIV master (M1)

    • Semester 1
    • Semester 2: internships
    • iGEM competition
    • What is next?
    • Courses M1

    The first semester starts with a 3 week-long bootcamp that gives a condensed overview of the biology, chemistry, math and physics that students will see during the semester. Since students all come from different scientific backgrounds we try to give a feeling of the subjects that will emerge during the semester, and to give an intuition on which subjects the students should start working on their own. Typically, a student with physics background needs to work on fundamental biological concepts such as central dogma, evolution, DNA, methods in biology, while a biologist usually needs to focus more on the mathematical and physical concepts that are used in quantitative description of living systems.

    After this bootcamp, several core courses will take place on weekly basis. Students will learn the theoretical and practical concepts that are required to perform scientific research at the frontiers between biology, math and physics.

    In the second M1 semester, students “learn through research”, following an internship in a laboratory of their choice in the Paris area or by participating in the Paris Bettencourt iGEM team at the MIT international synthetic biology competition. Our Paris-LB team iGEM is the first French team to participate and is singled out each year, including winning the 2013 world championship. In addition to the internships or iGEM participations, students follow seminars and the Scientific Communication Course.

    The research internship is an integral part of the training. The internship will be full time, and should ideally consist in a defined project that will lead to results within the 5 month period. Ideally the internship runs from the beginning of February to the end of June. Any research projects related to synthetic, systems and quantitative biology are possible. It is a great opportunity for the students to discover what it actually means to do research in a laboratory.

    As an alternative to this long internship, students can apply to the iGEM Paris Bettencourt Team. Every year a small group of students from AIV and other Masters programs around Paris gather their strengths and are hosted by the CRI to setup an iGEM project and participate to this competition of synthetic biology. This usually starts by brainstorming sessions and project building and does not require a full time involvement before may or June.

    Meanwhile we expect that participants find an internship of typically 3 to 4 month before joining the iGEM Team. Note that since the iGEM competition finale takes place in November, the participants will have to organize themselves to stay in the team up to that date. Forthe students continuing with us in the second year of the Master, this means that the first lab rotation of M2 will be dedicated to finishing the iGEM team project.

    At the end of the Master 1, and given that you have passed all exams, we will discuss with you the opportunity for you to continue with us in M2. Usually all students that want to stay with us, can do so. However, if for some reason you prefer to switch to another Master program that is more specialized and focused on your favorite research topic, we’ll help you to make the transition.

  • Second year of the AIV master (M2)

    During the 2nd year, students deepen their knowledge of life sciences, develop their ability to critically analyze scientific works and discover the Research world. Two tracks are offered:

    (I) general interdisciplinary track for students who wish to develop their knowledge in various interfaces with Life Sciences

    (II) SSB track for students who wish to further their knowledge in systems and synthetic biology.

    The structure of the year in terms of seminar courses and internship is the same for both tracks.

    The year is designed to help the students find their way into the research realm. Students can follow to the second year from the master’s first year program or apply directly, having fulfilled previously an equivalent of 4 years post-high school education, including at least one internship in a research settings.

    The M2 year consists of a one week workshop along with the FdV 1st year PhD fellows. In small groups, students learn how to create interdisciplinary research projects. This is followed by weekly Friday afternoon courses, throughout the year, geared to develop the students’ capacities to read and analyze current scientific articles.The remainder of the M2 curriculum is devoted to research, through three internships, with at least one theoretical internship and one experimental internship. For those willing to pursue in a PhD program, the last semester will give them the opportunity to prepare a thesis project.

    Students will have the opportunity to learn research by doing research in labs, to meet with many researchers and to discuss recent interdisciplinary research articles and reviews. At the end of the year, most of the students will apply to a PhD program, in France or abroad. One of our role as teachers is to make sure that all of the students know by the end of the M2 what scientific questions they would wish to work on during the 3-4 years of their future PhD and assure that the students have acquired the needed basis to tackle them.

    Year overview

    The year starts with one week workshop at Sèvres, and then the students are expected to perform 3 internships of 3 months each while preparing and attending courses on Fridays at 15.00h.

    Here are the main important dates for M2:

    CIRP workshop at Sèvres 8 – 12 September 2014
    Internship I 15 September to 19 December 2014
    CARA sessions
    19 September to 12 December 2014
    CRI Opening Days Early October 2014
    Internship I defense 18 – 19 December 2014
    Internship II 5 January – 1 April 2015
    BibSyn 23 January – 27 March 2015
    Internship II defence 1 week in April 2015 (joint event with FdV)
    Internship III
    7 April – 3 July 2015
    ZOIO April – May 2015
    Rehearsal of FdV application April – July 2015
    Internship III defence
    Early July 2015

    Courses M2

  • Guidelines

    There is a lot of diversity in this Master, but for this to work we have to share several common values and adopt a few rules. Let’s list some of them.

    1.  Students have priority to express themselves during the class.

    2. Discussions should remain at all time argumentative and, needless to say polite. The important point here is that it is not useful to say that you disagree with one idea. What’s useful is to explain why you disagree and if possible to propose your own reflexion and idea on the topic.

    3. Be proactive in class. There’s no point for you to attend the Friday sessions if you do not try to participate to the discussion. We know it’s difficult to ask questions, but it is worth trying again and again. As a rule of thumb, if you don’t understand something, just ask !

    4. Come prepared. Read the article or the reviews that are being presented several times and earlier than on Friday morning. Participate to the Moodle, engage in discussion before and during the sessions.

    5. Be on time and respect deadlines. You have to meet the deadlines so that everyone can prepare before the Friday session. This is true for both the students that will present and for those that will listen to them. Sending a post the day before is not relevant and does not help. If you think you cannot meet the deadlines, let us know as soon as possible.

    6. Students have a lot of autonomy, and we encourage a level of independency. This does not mean that you are alone in your study endeavours, teachers can always be contacted in times of need.

    7. Respect the work of your fellow students. At several occasion you will have a choice between finishing your experiments in the lab and attending the presentation made by two of your co-students. The priority should be given to the Master. At all times. It’s up to you to organize your schedule so that all Friday afternoons are free. During internships defense, you are all expected to attend at all time, and not only for your talk, which is very disrespectful for your colleagues.

    That being said, everything is possible providing that you discuss with us in advance. Also and importantly, we encourage creativity. You can organize events, create or participate to scientific clubs, invite researchers to attend to the Friday sessions or to give a talk, etc… Be involved, share your knowledge and you will spend a very interesting year with us.