TRANS-DOC stands for the TRANS-Atlantic aspect of the project as well as the TRANSferability aspects of DOCtoral training. The TRANS-DOC project has grown from the earlier BALANCE Project funded by the European Union programme Erasmus Mundus Action 4 in 2006-2009. The doctoral level was the area identified by all participating university representatives at the seminars and conferences of the BALANCE Project as the most important field to explore and in which to establish closer co-operation.
Doctoral programmes are undertaken in many and various ways throughout Europe and North America, from the individual pursuit of a doctoral candidate with a supervisor, often called the ‘traditional doctoral training’, to the highly organised doctoral schools appearing with increasing frequency, often called ‘graduate schools’ or ‘research schools’. The ‘mushrooming’ of doctoral schools at research universities reflects a growing awareness of the importance of research training and the increased focus on development, innovation and entrepreneurship.
The doctoral level perhaps best illustrates the diversity in research-based training at universities on both sides of the North Atlantic, and it has been identified as the crucial level at which to intensify research collaboration towards innovation and entrepreneurship. There are several aspects to the intensified focus on the doctoral level, among them the importance of creating mobility for young researchers to enable them to establish networks, but also to ensure the dissemination and transferability of research and innovation.
- A survey of the organisation of doctoral training in Europe and in North America, the aim of which is to map the existing provision of doctoral training models and methods, identify existing exchange and mobility programmes, as well as the main research disciplines covered by graduate and doctoral schools. It will also enable university leaders to identify potential partners with whom to develop exchange programmes and organise future mobility projects
- The development of a course template for doctoral candidates on transferability skills, to ensure that doctoral candidates are informed about soft skills such as communication, team building, project leader and entrepreneurial skills, etc. This pilot initiative aims to provide a leading example of an innovative way of providing doctoral students with the knowledge and tools to enhance their employability and develop the skills needed to respond to a society in constant change. The template will be available to higher education institutions within and beyond the project and will also be accompanied by recommendations on ways in which to train the trainers.
Alongside the development of the transferable skills course template the project aims at training trainers to undertake multidisciplinary skills courses, and some of the project activities will be dedicated to the training courses.
For further information, see the Train-the-Trainers section.
The project results will be presented at an event on Transatlantic Doctoral Mobility to take place in Brussels in October 2012.