Campus IFOM-IEO

  www.ifom-ieo-campus.it
  www.ifom-ieo-campus.it
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Lack of guidance, support and training

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - PhD Student in Milan (Italy)
Former Employee - PhD Student in Milan (Italy)

I worked at Campus IFOM-IEO

Pros

The campus has a wealth of students form all over the world and should be a highly stimulating place to work. It is in many respects with a lot of interesting seminars organised and access to all online journals to keep you up to date with publications. There is no shortage of facilities, reagents and excellent organisation in this respect. This allows you to to dedicate the most time to your project and actual experiments without worrying about sterilising equipement or preparing basic reagents and solutions.

Cons

The PhD program doesn't offer training or lessons. You need a good basis or some actual experience in the field of your group before you start or you will find it very difficult. You are left very much alone to navigate your way though experiments and projects with little guidance or feedback. A group leader seems to give out pseudo projects to give you something to do but in reality it is a project of little importance to the leader. This attitude is very isolating and demoralising. In the initial stages of a PhD I think some training and supervision is needed to design a simple but effective project for the purpose of developing subsequent independence in research.

There is great emphasis on publication and more attention is given to key post-docs who have the experience and initiative to provide the results to satisfy the group leader. I know many people who followed the PhD program and never published, around 60% of the students. You may get your name tagged on the end of someone else's paper but as you have not been given the guidance needed in this early stage of your career to learn and mature through a project it is unlikely you will publish anything you have done.

I would advise anyone thinking of going to this campus to choose the smaller research groups but be very aware of their publication record. Smaller groups, which would be ideal for a PhD student as they are close-knit and the leader cares about the person, have often become the target of the campus board and have disappeared overnight with the group members being distributed in other groups if lucky.

Opportunities to participate in Meetings was also limited. I never got an opportunity, it was never offered and when I asked I was told it had to be a meeting related to my project. At the time I had 3/4 lines of experiments with negative results and no project. I argued that a meeting in general would be of value but it was rejected. I went to a very small meeting in UK and paid for it myself just to be able to see what a Meeting entailed. It was a enlightening experience and was annoyed this kind of opportunity was not readily available.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

- The board should be talking to the group members, post-docs included, to see if they feel that the groups have sufficient projects and guidance for students. In the group I was in the post-docs were disillusioned with the lack of direction and guidance aswell and they spent four/five years working but with no publications.
- Ensure that group leaders have projects for PhD students and don't just want the funding for other projects. If they don't care in sharing their knowledge and expertise and developing the career of a young scientist then I don't think they should have PhD students. I think a quick look at the number of students taken by each group over the years and the final project and publications of each would show how interested they are in developing young people.
- The opportunity to participate in international meetings is a great learning experience

3 Other Employee Reviews for Campus IFOM-IEO (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    IFOM-IEO campus

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milan (Italy)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milan (Italy)

    I have been working at Campus IFOM-IEO

    Pros

    Good salary, good opportunity to create collaborations with other scientific groups in the campus, a number of technological services and facilities to do better and more quickly your scientific projects, international seminars events such as workshops and theoretical/practical courses are weekly scheduled.

    Cons

    Phd students are often alone without a teacher guidance. The campus do not offer any opportunity of job carrier for your professional growth.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I think it is essential for a PhD the partecipation to international meetings to know the recent scientific discoveries not yet published and to understand the short cut to reach results. Thus, I suggest to introduce in the PhD program the duty to partecipate in international meetings.

  2.  

    European Institute of Oncology

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milan (Italy)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milan (Italy)

    I worked at Campus IFOM-IEO full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people are great to work with, collegiate and collaborative environment, enjoy the opportunity to work with other people across different disciplines, great resources and access to a great range of valuable equipment.

    Cons

    If you end up in research, ability is highly dependent on the group you join. Your advisor may be extremely bright or completely inadequate to handle responsibilities. However those are common problems in all academic laboratories. Not enough alternatives for a career outside academia discussed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Care more about your people and less about internal politics.

    Recommends
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