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« It is an extremely rewarding experience on a scientific and human
The results of the competition of the INSERM Liliane Bettencourt School (EdILB) were announced on June 19, 2018: the four AMU applicants were successful and one of them was even ranked valedictorian ! Let’s take this opportunity to present this competition which implements a double curriculum in medicine and science (MD-PhD Program).
Alexandre Giraudo, Johanna Meunier, Eve Playoust and Martin Castagné, second year students at the Faculty of Medicine of Aix-Marseille University, are all winners of the 2018 EdILB competition. This competition was created to develop the MD-PhD status, by selecting second year students in medicine, pharmacy or dentistry, and offering them training in basic research. Bringing researchers and clinicians together is also one of Marseille NeuroSchool’s goals, which encourages future doctors to train in (neuro)science.
The EdILB competition is a two-stage process. A first selection takes place in September, based on an application file (motivation letter and critical reading of a scientific paper), at the end of which 60 students are admitted out of a total of 200 candidates. These 60 students enter their first year and follow the February school: two weeks of scientific training in Sèvres, with lectures in different fields of research and maths, physics, chemistry and biology courses.
The selection for the second year takes place in June, after a 30-minute oral presentation during which the candidate answers the questions of two examiners on the article he/she has read during the previous 30 minutes. Biology is a mandatory subject, with a choice for the second subject between maths, physics or chemistry.
Alexandre (the valedictorian) and Johanna are both among the 27 laureates who will enter the second year of the School simultaneously with their third year of medical studies.
EdILB’s winners must complete two three-month research trainings in laboratories of excellence and pass a second Master’s course.
After this dual fundamental and experimental training, they interrupt their medical or pharmaceutical studies to prepare a their second year of Master’s degree (“Master 2”) in a laboratory of their choice, in France or abroad.
After the validation of their Master 2, before the fourth year of medical studies, EdILB students prepare their science PhD either during an interruption of their medical studies (track 1), or following the Master 2 (track 2).
In addition, students will attend conferences twice a year in Paris with students from previous years and they will benefit from a personalized follow-up and support throughout their double curriculum by the School’s scientific and educational team. Thanks to the cooperation and support of the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation, the School provides funding for the various stages of the curriculum.
Martin and Eve are in the second group. They can ask their Dean to continue a double curriculum in medicine and science. They will have to validate 60 ECTS credits by:
- following the EdILB February school (4 ECTS)
- validating the 6 months of DFGSM3 research internship (6 x 6 ECTS, or 36 ECTS in total);
- validating Master 1 teaching units of their choice (20 ECTS).
Then these students will also receive funding.
Why participate in this competition? First of all, for medical students, it is a real scientific training that enables them to get involved in basic research at an early stage. Moreover, the experience itself is worth it, as Eve explains:
“I strongly advise 2nd year students to try this competition because, whatever the result, it is an extremely rewarding experience on a scientific and human level: we meet many researchers, professors and students interested in research, just like us. It’s really exciting! “
Finally, the school stays in contact with its students and sets up research assistant chief of clinic (CCA) positions, i.e. young doctors who will benefit from a 50% protected time to do research while being hospital practitioners.
For the moment, Aix-Marseille University does not offer any official training for this competition, but several researchers have volunteered to tutor our students since February. “We will try to create an official tutorship with these tutors to prepare future participants in the best possible way.” adds Eve.
All the more reason for our medical students to try their luck next year!