The programme will start with a joint five-day summer school in September, in which students will have the opportunity to meet and interact with scholars and fellow participants of the MEME programme. The summer school will include an introductory programme, an excursion and a two-day symposium with invited speakers and a poster session.
After the summer school, students will continue their 1st semester with a course programme in either Groningen or Uppsala. For the 2nd semester, students will move to Munich or Montpellier for research or course work. The 3rd semester again starts with a summer school for which the students are actively involved in the organization. Students are free to choose where they want to spend their 3rd semester (including Harvard University). The 4th semester is entirely devoted to research, where students have the opportunity (but are not obliged) to move to a different partner university again. At the end of the 4th semester, students attend the summer school once again, where they will be awarded their degrees.
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The courses that are offered can be classified in four categories:
- Courses that focus on fundamental aspects of evolutionary theory, and that will be taught in the first year.
- Courses that focus on specialized topics within evolutionary biology, such as coevolution, adaptation, evo-devo, population genetics, behaviour, ecology and genomics.
- Courses that focus on methods and techniques of modern evolutionary research including experimental design, statistics, evolutionary modeling, phylogenetics, bioinformatics, molecular techniques and QTL analysis.
- Courses that teach general skills of importance in academia, including presentation techniques, scientific writing, project and time management, teaching skills, research ethics, science and society, career development, intercultural communication and various language courses.
During their research projects, students will be conducting their own research under close supervision of an experienced researcher. The student becomes a junior member of the research group and participates in the research meetings, literature clubs, and discussion events. Students in the MEME programme will spend at least half of their time doing research, carrying out at least two different projects. Students are encouraged to publish the results of their research projects in peer-reviewed journals.