Life Sciences Masters

AIRE Life Sciences Master Program

The AIRE Life Sciences Master (AIRE-LiSc) is an interdisciplinary two-year program tackling quantitative approaches of different interfaces in Life Sciences. It aims at training creative and talented students to develop their curriculum and research in an enriching environment that fares up to the best graduate programs in the world.

The AIRE-LiSc program employs a learning-through-research pedagogy approach, and comprises several research internships and collaborative projects.

What you will learn

At AIRE-LiSc, you will study Life Sciences through an innovative, interdisciplinary approach based on the convergence of Biology, Physics, Computer Sciences, and many other disciplines. You will be able to build your own unique course portfolio, and to gain substantial, meaningful research experience thanks to our internship-rich program. You will be trained by prominent researchers from different backgrounds, who experience innovative teaching methods. You will also work in an international environment that promotes teamwork and collaborations, and thus build long-lasting ties with researchers and fellow students from all over the world.

Do you want to be trained in Quantitative, Systems and Synthetic Biology? Do you want to build the skills !needed to start a PhD? Do you want to help build an open and collaborative scientific community? If the answer to any of these questions is "Yes!", then apply now!


As part of the Master program, students attend monthly Masterclasses, which are special lessons given by invited speakers. The goal is to have our students interact with high-level scientists from all over the world, who come to share not only their science, but also an overview of their career, with positive and negative moments. It is a moment of open interaction and inspiration.

The talk is in the form of an interactive discussion about the interdisciplinary nature of the invited speaker’s research, with a perspective on their career.

Masterclasses are held on Friday mornings once a month and attendance is mandatory.


Throughout the year, AIRE-LiSc M1 students undertake one internship, while M2 students undertake at least two internships.

Students are encouraged to contact and visit as many research labs as needed, in order to choose the project and lab environment that fits with their personal interests. At the end of the internship, students present their work in a 30-minute seminar format.

iGEM Competition

As an alternative to undertaking an internship, students can apply to the iGEM Paris Bettencourt Team to participate in the iGEM Synthetic Biology competition.

Every year, a small group of students from AIRE and other Masters programs around Paris gather their strengths and are hosted by the CRI to setup an iGEM project. This usually starts with brainstorming sessions and project building, and does not require a full-time involvement before May or June.

Meanwhile, we expect that participants find an internship of typically 3 to 4 months before joining the iGEM Team. Note that since the iGEM competition finale takes place in late October or November, the participants will have to organize themselves to stay in the team up to that date. For students continuing with us in the second year of the Master, this means that the first lab rotation of M2 will be dedicated to finishing the iGEM project.

  • ~35 students per year
  • 500 alumni
  • 66% international students
  • 38 teachers
First year planning

The first year (M1) is designed to let you build your own learning portfolio. Student training focuses on the interface between Life Sciences and Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science. The AIRE-LiSc M1 course catalogue is designed to teach you primarily Systems, Synthetic and Computational Biology, with an emphasis on programming, statistics, experimental methods, biophysics, and more generally on quantitative approaches in Life Sciences. Besides taking Life Sciences courses, students are encouraged to choose extra courses from the Learning and Digital curriculum, or to follow external modules, in order to acquire or strengthen specific complementary knowledge. During this first year, students also undertake a 5-month long internship in a research lab in the Parisian area. Students can also choose to participate in the iGEM competition, an international competition in Synthetic Biology.

First semester

The first semester starts with a 3-week long Bootcamp that gives a condensed overview of the Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics prerequisites that are needed for the first semester classes.

After this Bootcamp, several core courses take place on a weekly basis. Students learn the theoretical and practical concepts that are required to perform scientific research at the frontiers between biology, mathematics and physics. Besides Systems, Synthetic and Computational Biology, students also receive training in the areas of mathematical modeling, statistical analysis, as well as in state-of-the-art technologies used to quantify the properties of living systems (e.g., fluorescence microscopy, nano-fabrication, molecular forces measurements, etc...).

  • Bootcamp : 6 ECTS
  • Systems Biology : 4 ECTS
  • Synthetic Biology : 4 ECTS
  • Computational Biology : 4 ECTS
  • Physics of the Cell : 4 ECTS
  • Statistics : 4 ECTS
  • Neuroscience : 4 ECTS
  • Experimental Methods in Biology : 4 ECTS
  • Open Science: 4 ECTS
Second semester

During the second semester, students start their 5-month internship in a lab of their choice in the Parisian area. Students are nonetheless required to come back to the CRI for several mandatory events: a Masterclass talk once a month, as well as the following weekly courses:

  • Science & Medicine : 4 ECTS
  • Scientific Communication : 4 ECTS
  • Rule-Based Modeling : 4 ECTS
What happens next?

At the end of the first year, and provided that they have passed all exams, students are presented with the opportunity to pursue the second year of the AIRE-LiSc program.

Usually, all students who want to stay with us can do so. However, if for some reason they prefer to switch to another track of the AIRE Master or to another Master program that is more specialized and focused on their favorite research topic, we help them make the transition.

  • Intensive courses
  • One 5-month long internship in a Parisian research lab
  • iGEM competition
Second year planning

During the second year (M2), students deepen their knowledge in Life Sciences and develop their abilities to critically analyze scientific works and to elaborate an interdisciplinary research project. This second year is designed to help students find their way into the research realm.

Throughout the year, students perform at least two internships, for a total of nine months. At least one internship has to be experimental, and at least one has to be theoretical. These internships give students the opportunity to learn research by doing research in labs, to meet with researchers, and to discuss recent interdisciplinary research articles and reviews. We allow students to look for internships abroad from April onwards.

At the end of the year, most of our students apply to a PhD program, in France or abroad. Our role is to make sure that all of the students know by the end of the M2 what scientific questions they wish to work on during the 3-4 years of their PhD, and that they have acquired the necessary background to tackle them. The courses of the second year are designed to fulfill this goal.

M2 Courses
  • Creating Interdisciplinary Research Project Workshop (CIRP workshop) : 4 ECTS

  • Critical Analysis of a Research Article (CARA) : 4 ECTS

  • Bibliographic synthesis (BibSyn) : 4 ECTS

  • “Zoom in-Zoom out” (ZIZO) : 4 ECTS
  • At least 2 research internships, for a total of 9 months
  • 3 classes designed to prepare a PhD project
  • Students entering directly into M2 can follow all or part of the M1 courses.