Develop your transversal skills

In our current complex and evolving world, transversal skills are essential to help young scientists to successfully navigate a professional career whether in academia, the industry or the public sector.

The Summer in the Lab program aims to provide a unique experience that allows participants to develop both their scientific and transversal skills. With two dynamic workshops in leadership and scientific communication, participants will learn and practice key competences such as self-awareness, communication, creativity, and leadership to improve personal and professional efficiency and effectiveness. 

Designed specifically for EPFL students, these first-rate classes will be taught by experts in their field.

Leadership Lab

Leadership is not only about leading people; it is about developing yourself as well as better interact with others and help them thrive.

Through this two-day leadership lab, you will start by building your self-awareness through activities, reflection and academic material on personality, values and emotional intelligence. You will examine your personal attributes against key leadership competencies.

You will then practice your leadership skills in concrete situations. You will get insights and feedback to develop your authentic style of leadership in order to drive dynamic and performing teams.

By the end of the workshop, you will have acquired a full set of techniques that will allow you to identify personality differences, adapt your communication in context, understand how to provide constructive feedback and improve your personal performance through trust and accountability.

Summer 2023 dates (tbc)

  • SAT July 8th, 2023
  • SAT July 15th, 2023

Participants who enrolled for the leadership lab commit to both dates.



Silke Mischke is a Cognitive Psychologist and is the co-program director of the IMD IECC program. She works as a leadership lecturer and senior executive coach. She holds a doctorate in business administration and a master’s degree in Cognitive Psychology.

Silke is licensed to administer and interpret several instruments to illuminate individual and group preferences and growth potential. These include the Hogan, Myers Briggs Type Indicator, NEO, IDI and FIRO-B. She is also trained and certified by the Tavistock Institute in facilitating groups and decoding group dynamics. 

Her coaching and teaching activities cover work with teams and individuals from international organizations. She works globally with customers from various industry sectors and governments.

Further to her role as Senior Executive Coach, she teaches emotional intelligence, negotiation skills, stress management, time management, and personal development.

In her role, she contributes to the program design of a series of Leadership programs at IMD. She also teaches in the E4S, REGARD and FLP programs at EPFL.

Silke wrote her doctoral research on the impact of emotional intelligence on trust and leadership development in a coaching context. She also acts as a conference speaker for specific events at IMD such as Leading High Impact Learning and IMD community sessions and international conferences to speak about the latest findings on how “executives learn and grow”.

Scientific Communication Workshop

Communication is an essential skill in a scientific career: you need to articulate your arguments, present your work, pitch your ideas and motivate your team on the relevancy of your work.

This two-day workshop will help you develop your scientific communication aptitudes. You will learn the fundamentals of storytelling and science communication before practicing your presentation and speaking skills through extensive exercises and challenges.

During this training, you will learn how to speak about your scientific research to the general public or a specific audience. You will put into practice tools for creating impactful messages and generating interest. You will understand how to engage with people to make a successful presentation.

Our instructor will train the full group throughout the workshop. You will get all the tools to prepare your presentation for the program closing symposium in September. In addition, you will have the opportunity to benefit from an individual feedback session after the symposium to get improvement recommendations from an expert on your work.

Summer 2023 dates (tbc)

  • SAT September 2nd , 2023
  • SAT September 9th, 2023

Participants who enrolled for the communication workshop commit to both dates.



Mirko Bischofberger, PhD, moves at the boundaries of science, communication, and storytelling. He studied Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics at the ETH Zurich and holds a Ph.D. from the EPFL. He worked as a science journalist for the Neue Zürcher Zeitung and published in international peer-reviewed magazines.

After working for the Swiss Parliament, he continued at the Swiss National Science Foundation and the EPFL. Mirko is a leading force behind innovative projects such as the first Swiss crowdfunding channel for science, the introduction of social media classes for academics, as well as the usage of Wikipedians and AI/ML for science communication.