Soft skills for the academia and industry

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
Soft-skills' are nowadays recognized as important capacities complementing the technical expertise of scientists by improving their ability to work and interact with others, and they are strongly required by the professional world including academia and the biotech industry. The goal of this course is to familiarize the students with this type of skills by interacting with professionals in the biotech and scientific dissemination fields and by hands-on exercises. The course will provide to the students the opportunity to measure and improve their attitude toward science communication, team-working, research and the development of scientific project proposals.
Expected learning outcomes
The students will improve an array of capacities that are key for the development and diffusion of biotechnological and bio-based industrial approaches. The course will enhance their communication and public speaking skills besides team-work capacity and critical scientific literature reading. The students will acquire basic principles about writing a scientific project proposal focused in particular on environmental microbial biotechnology applied to circular economy and bioeconomy.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
- Course roadmap, teaching methods. Teacher and students' introduction.
- R&D in academia and private companies
- Scientific Communication and Social Media
- Marketing in biotechnology industry
- Technology Transfer & Startup
- Tinkering zone @Museo Nazionale Scienza e Tecnologia
- How to conduct a bibliographic research. Tips and suggestions to create an effective presentation. Creation of the working teams. Distribution of scientific articles for the Journal Club.
- Journal Club 1
- Journal Club 2
- Journal Club 3
- Journal Club 4
- Journal Club 5
- How to write a scientific project - part I
- How to write a scientific project - part II
Prerequisites for admission
This course requires general knowledge on environmental microbiology and biotechnology. Indeed, part of the course's program will be performed as classroom exercise (e.g. Journal Club, lecture on scientific project writing) on topics related to environmental microbiology and biotechnology, circular economy, bioeconomy.
Teaching methods
This course aims at empowering the students' abilities in terms of teamwork, communication and development of scientific project proposal. This aim will be achieved by proposing to the students a combination of different activities and teaching approaches, offering them the possibility to directly experience the 'soft skills' capacities. During the course, the students will meet experts working in the biotechnology field (e.g. academia, industry, communication). Interacting with them, the students will understand which are and how to develop the crucial 'soft skills' for a successful professional.
The course includes lectures (3 CFU) and classroom exercise (1 CFU). The course also foresees a visit at the "Museo Nazionale Scienza e Tecnologia" for activity in its Tinkering Zone (this activity is included as classroom exercise in the program). Given the specificities of this course and the importance of interplays between teacher, experts and students, the course attendance is considered compulsory. Exceptions must be motivated and authorized by the lecturer.
Teaching Resources
Educational material (e.g. scientific publications) will be provided to the students during the course.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Course examination foresees a written and an oral part, and the overall student evaluation will be the results of both tests. Concerning the written examination, this will consist in the preparation of a project proposal on topics such as environmental microbiology and biotechnology, circular economy, bioeconomy. The student will prepare a proposal autonomously and he/she will consign the project proposal to the professor meeting the established deadline. After the project revision, the professor will meet the student for an interview on the proposed project.
The performance of the student during the classroom exercise (i.e. Journal Club) will also contribute to his/her final evaluation.
AGR/16 - AGRICULTURAL MICROBIOLOGY - University credits: 4
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 24 hours
Professor: Mapelli Francesca
every day by appointment
DeFENS, via Mangiagalli 25, Milano - room 3023