Training & Courses

Summer School PhotoReAct, 20-24 May 2024


The fourth training school within the PhotoReact project was held from May 20 to 24, 2024, at the School of Chemistry of the University of St Andrews, under the coordination of Prof. Eli Zysman-Colman. This event featured a rich blend of academic sessions, professional training, social activities, and excursions to the picturesque Scottish countryside.


The program started with a tour of the Zysman-Colman group laboratory and a guided exploration of St Andrews, highlighting the city's history and curiosities.

Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) then presented their recent work, leading to valuable discussions and feedback from peers and mentors. Distinguished guest lecturers, Prof. Shawn Collins and Prof. Luca Dell'Amico, delivered insightful talks on the customization of copper-based photocatalysts and mechanistic investigations in light-driven synthetic chemistry, respectively.

Despite the bad weather, the participants enjoyed an excursion to Dunnottar Castle and a hike to Stonehaven, being enchanted by the landscape. 

Additionally, the ESRs participated in an advanced training course on ‘From Doctoral Skills to a Fulfilling Career’, held by Chiat Cheong of Qia Consultancy & Training, facilitating the sharing of experiences and career-building tips, discussing work-life balance and career guidance and development with goals beyond research and development, and learning negotiation techniques.
Overall, the training school successfully combined academic enrichment with professional development and cultural experiences, greatly benefiting all attendees.



PhotoReAct Networking event Paris, 23- 25 October 2023

The second PhotoReAct Networking event took place from October 23 to 25, 2023, in Paris and was organized by CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France). 

The event provided an opportunity for Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) to engage in various activities, including networking discussions, guided tours of Paris, a visit to Montmartre and the Sacré-Coeur Basilica, as well as a boat tour with dinner.

ESRs also received training on 'From PhD Skills to a Fulfilling Career' by Chiat Cheong from Qia Consultancy & Training, which offers consultancy services to research organizations for the development of PhD programs aimed at career orientation.

Through this training, ESRs gained insights into the potential of a Ph.D. and learned how to structure their career development.

During the Networking event in Paris, the PhotoReAct Supervisory Board meeting was held. The meeting agenda included discussions on PhotoReAct project management and upcoming activities.

Spring School PhotoReAct, 27-31st of March 2023

The third training school within PhotoReAct project was held in Toledo from 27 until 31 March 2023. Spring school was organized by JANSSEN CI by coordination of Jesús Alcázar. The school was an opportunity for ESRs to have scientific discussions with distinguished lecturers, to get soft-skills training as well as to interact more with each other.

The event started with Toledo tour with ESRs followed by lab tour to Janssen lab. 

The scientific part of the school was initiated by ESRs sharing their research updates. The presentations among group develops presentation skills of ESRs and result in useful discussions and suggestions among members.

The lectures/presentations by External speakers gave an opportunity to gain knowledge in the fields of Photochemistry & Organocatalysis, Technologies and Processes for Sustainable Chemistry, Automation Enabled Application of Photochemical Synthesis, Photoredox Catalysis to Enable Challenging Medicinal Chemistry Transformations.

In the part of soft-skills training, ESRs received training on diversity at work place and thinking outside of the box.

The session focused on meeting:

• Raise awareness of the positive impact of gender balance on science innovation and the potential barriers women face in this context and develop tools to help minimize them.

• Understand the impact of diversity on value generation and innovation process.

• Learn how unconscious biases are behind many barriers to women's progress in science.

• Land concrete examples of the impact of diversity in science and learn through the real-life experiences of experts in the field.

All in all, school was completed with the highest possible benefit both scientifically and socially.

During the Spring school in Toledo, the Supervisory Board meeting of the PhotoReAct network took place. Subjects of the meeting covered PhotoReAct project management and upcoming activities.

Program of the Spring school can be downloaded here.

PhotoReAct Networking event Amsterdam, 24- 26 August 2022

The first in person PhotoReAct Networking event took place from 24 to 26 August 2022 in Amsterdam, organized by the coordinating team of the PhotoReAct project. The event gave an opportunity for ESRs to interact more with events: Boat-tour with Saloonboat Hilda in the Amsterdam’s canals, Boules (Jeu de Boules), guided tour of the Rijksmuseum, lab-tour at the University of Amsterdam. ESRs also got training on presentation skills by Barend van den Broek, Valley Consult and lecture on “Operation Night Watch”, Katrien Keune, professor by special appointment of Molecular Spectroscopy, John van Geuns chair, Van't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS), Head of Science at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.

ESRs received a training “Presentation Skills for PhDs” with outcomes;

• Know your barriers to successful presentations & how to deal with it.

• Apply techniques to help people pay attention and remember the

information you share.

• Convey your information to create a meaningful journey for the audience.

• Deliver your presentation to spark mindsets.

• Get acquainted with presentation methods to create an engaging experience for the audience

During the Networking in Amsterdam, the Supervisory Board meeting of the PhotoReAct network took place. Subjects of the meeting covered PhotoReAct project management and upcoming activities.

Program of the networking event can be downloaded here.

Summer School PhotoReAct, 6-10th of June 2022

Second School PhotoReAct took place from 6 until 10 June 2022 in Bologna. Organized by the Photochemical Nanoscience Laboratory of University of Bologna in the scope of their traditional event Ciamician Photochemistry School which this year had its ninth edition under title "From Fundamentals to Applications".

Photo: The very first group photo

The 2nd PhotoReAct school was aligned with the Ciamician photochemistry school in Bologna and the ITN meeting was dovetail onto it. The Ciamician school of photochemistry is permanent and is held every three years; starting from the 2019 edition, the school is open to international students and is held in English. The IX Ciamician Photochemistry School- From Fundamentals to Applications (6th – 10th June 2022) was organized by the Photochemical Nanoscience Laboratory of the University of Bologna, is an introductory course designed for graduate students, PhD students and researchers.

The main topics discussed during the School concerned the following:

  • theoretical aspects of electronic absorption and emission processes,
  • photochemical techniques and steady-state and time-resolved spectroscopic measurements,
  • application of photochemistry in the field of bioimaging, light harvesting antennae, molecular machines, organic reactions, solar energy conversion and medicine.

In the course of the Summer School in Bologna, a fourth Supervisory Board meeting of the PhotoReAct network took place in the hybrid format. Subjects of the meeting covered recruitment and management updates, upcoming project deliverables and secondments plan.

Program of the training school can be downloaded here.


Winter School PhotoReAct, 24- 28 January 2022

First training school within PhotoReAct project was held online from 24 to 28 January 2022. The School was an opportunity for ESRs to gain knowledge from the distinguished lecturers in the fields of chemical photocatalysis, photoredox reactions and computational chemistry, as well as to strengthen their soft skills through trainings in time and project management and career development. 

Photo: ESRs presentations during Winter School PhotoReAct

Program of the training school can be downloaded here.