The International PhD Academy is an intensive training opportunity open to PhD students, post-docs, and junior researchers from the member institutions of VIU.

A PhD is the highest diploma awarded by universities in the world, and PhDs are naturally expected to take on major responsibilities in their professional life. Apart from the disciplinary scientific skills acquired during doctoral study and research, it is the ability to respond to the requirements of creativity, innovation and project management, and in addition the ability to step aside, that produce the significant added value of a doctoral degree.

Whether they will work within or outside academia, PhDs must be able to develop a forward-looking vision of the challenges they have to face. The interdisciplinary approach of all VIU activities is adopted here in the PhD Academy, where the participants have the opportunity to meet their peers from all over the world, and to tackle some transversal topics. In order to help PhD candidates develop a scientific vision of these global issues, VIU will bring together specialists on the issues from academia, the socio-economic world and local government to share different points of view, using science to address problems facing the world today, where transnational and global solutions will have a higher probability of success.

The Academies are organised over one week and provide PhD candidates with training in a range of skills that will be useful in developing their research and academic careers. 
At least 30% of the program is on the development of Transversal Skills. For each program, a tailored selection of sessions are provided, which may include: 

- Project Management and Financing
- The Value of Networking
- Science and Money
- Communicating your Science
- Ethics in Science; Job Search Skills

Global Challenges Initiatives
The Global Challenges Initiatives are a coordinated stream of VIU activities with a common purpose: the creation of knowledge, understanding, and skills, responding to current and future major societal challenges faced by humankind today. This is the focus given by the VIU Board of Directors and Academic Council as a mission for the development of the Intensive Graduate Activities at VIU.

Each PhD Academy that is included among the Global Challenges Initiatives will focus on a major societal challenge faced by humankind today, which will be addressed via multidisciplinary approaches, involving high-level speakers selected among the VIU member institutions but whose remarks will be adapted to a broad cohort of the VIU community.