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The challenges of ageing

Get a rigorous and interdisciplinary view of the ageing process from molecular and cell biology to societal and ethical challenges, passing through the functional decline and interventions for achieving healthier and safer ageing.

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CIVIS focus area
Open to
  • PhD
Field of studies
  • Medicine and Health
  • CIVIS Hub 3
Course dates
11 - 15 July 2022

The CIVIS course is organised jointly by Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) and Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and will take place at ULB Erasmus campus. The World Health Organisation has named the 2021-2030 period as the decade of healthy ageing. Using different approaches such as lectures, interactive sessions, research-based activities, practical activities, simulations and round tables, the students will be exposed to the challenges of ageing in an ageing society. Different topics related to the molecular and cellular mechanisms of ageing in health and disease, functional decline and autonomy, or the newest trends in healthy ageing will be addressed. Social, epidemiological and ethical aspects will also be considered. Moreover, the students will introduce to their peers and the academic staff their ongoing research through formal presentations.

Main topics addressed

  • Challenges of an ageing society
  • Mechanisms of ageing in health & disease
  • Functional decline and autonomy
  • Healthy ageing

Learning outcomes

  • To acquire multidisciplinary state-of-the-art knowledge on the phenomenon of ageing
  • To gain awareness of the necessity of an interdisciplinary approach for a complex field that necessitates integrating concepts from the biological and medical sciences, the social sciences and the humanities
  • To get familiar with up-to-date research in the evolving field of ageing
  • To develop transversal skills, such as scientific and non-scientific communication skills, critical thinking and interpersonal skills
  • To participate in networking activities and provide a bond between the CIVIS universities to build future collaborative activities
Location: Brussels, Belgium ECTS: 5* 
Language: English (B2) Format: Physical
Contact point: - Concha Peiró (UAM), Stéphane Baudry (ULB)

Students accepted: 25

Contact hours: 38 hours Student workload: 87 hours

*The recognition of ECTS depends on your home university. 

This CIVIS course will be running for 5 days (3 full days and 2 half days).

A maximum of 20 international CIVIS students will be accepted in the course in a total of 25 students.


This CIVIS course is open to PhD students from CIVIS Universities and from any field related to ageing and health, including molecular and cell biology, physiopathology, geriatrics, nursing, psychology or epidemiology, among others. A thesis research project related to any aspect of ageing will be valued.

A B2 level of English is required. 

Application process

Interested students must fill out this online form by 31 March 2022. 

Various students with different backgrounds from every CIVIS university will be chosen. Selected students will be notified by 8 April 2022.


The students will be required to prepare several activities in advance to be presented and discussed during the course. Each student will present and defend with all the participants their ongoing thesis research. Moreover, the students will need to complete multiple questionnaires related to the contents of the course.

GDPR Consent

The CIVIS alliance and its member universities will treat the information you provide with respect. Please refer to our privacy policy for more information on our privacy practices. By applying to this course you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

The instructors involved in the course are experienced academics and researchers from different backgrounds dedicated to either basic or clinical research. All of them share a common interest in understanding how we age and how healthier ageing can be achieved. The instructors belong to 7 universities of the CIVIS Alliance:

  • Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • Université libre de Bruxelles
  • National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • Aix-Marseille Université
  • University of Bucharest
  • Universität Tübingen
  • University of Glasgow

There will also be some invited speakers from external institutions.