First summer school took place in Valencia

Summer school is a must in all Doctoral Networks projects! For us it’s an unique period in which formal and informal activities join together and get mixted, offering a quality training to our DCs while creating memories for life!


Main training sessions

The first RETORNA summer school took place in the same week as the first Annual meeting. The week was dedicated to training sessions on topics considered fundamental at this starting stage of the PhD adventure. The focus was on:

  • impact from an early stage
  • how to write a scientific paper
  • ethics in science
  • the begining of retina studies: the importance of Santiago Ramón y Cajal
  • analyzing an winning poster
  • communication, conflict and time management



Students attended also the conference “RNA Therapeutics: Precision Genome Surgery for imprecision medicine by our external advisor Prof. Stephen Tsang from the Columbia University.


Another activity included in the summer school was a tour at the UCV facilities, mainly at the UCV laboratory in San Carlos where DCs could meet other researchers and see where Maria Eduarda (DC1) and Chiara (DC10) are doing their PhD.


Discovering the Valencian culture

Cultural and informal activities were also included in the Summer school program, giving DCs the opportunity not only to discover Valencia but most importantly to create friendships in a more relaxing environment.

DCs discovered the city by attending a guided city tour. During 1h 30 minutes walk our young researchers got to know the most important places in Valencia and received tips on what to visit in their free time, as well as precious information on typical food and drinks.

While a tour in the city center is a must during all year long, a water activity was perfect at this time of the year. DCs were involved in a paddle surf activity organized especially for them so to relax and enjoy the Valencian sun and good weather.

For those who may not know, the typical Valencian dish is the paella valenciana, made with four main ingredients: chicken, rice, white beans, green beans. Originally it was created around the Albufera lagoon area, south Valencia where all the rice fields are located. The paella is much more than a dish for the Valencians, it is a very good and tasty excuse for friends to meet and spend time together. So that is what we also did! Paella in El Palmar and a boat ride in the Albufera was a perfect afternoon plan during summer school.

All the participants could discover interesting facts about the Albufera natural park and taste its delicious paella!

In conclusion, the summer school was quite intense, with a well balance training sessions and cultural activities where we could all learn and improve our knowledge while having fun and making new friendships.


Thank you all for attending the event!

The RETORNA Consortium