The Marie Curie Training Site Multipartner Organisation was comprised of a network of 8 University research groups in 6 EU countries (Cambridge, London School of Economics: UK, ‘La Sapienza’, Rome: Italy; E.E.H.S.S., Paris, Aix-en-Provence: France, Helsinki: Finland; I.S.C.T.E., Lisbon: Portugal; Basque Country: Spain;) chosen from 13 Universities delivering the European Ph.D. on Social Representations & Communication, co-ordinated by University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’ (www.europhd.psi.uniroma1.it) .
Through the organisation of the network, fellows followed MCTS training activities, individual and collective supervision within an international doctoral programme which since 1996 has been operating through a formal agreement (JOINT DOCTORAL DEGREE), being recognised by all training sites within the network Universities via shared Regulations and several programmes approved by the DG-Research, by the DR-Education and Culture, by Ministries (in particular by the Italian Ministry under the Internationalisation of the Higher Education System programme), by the French-Italian Ministries under the Vinci Programme and by the European University Association.
It supplied advanced research training in the area of Social Representations and Communication to 47 fellows (66% female and 34% male) of a range of 16 nationalities (from Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and U.K.) selected from applicants enrolled in the European Ph.D. in Social Representations and Communication (34%), as well as from doctoral research trainees enrolled in other doctoral programmes (66%).
The research training provided by the multipartner Training site in Social Representations and Communication was open to a multi-methodological approach (experimental and field work) and a variety of topics related to social construction of a particular object and issues relevant to EC policies (e.g. politics, national and supra-national identities, economics, un-employment, new media, science, environment, health-illness, gender studies, family relationships, human rights, multiculturalism, minority groups…) and related scientific theory transformed into everyday knowledge.
This highly innovative didactic structure guaranteed individual and group tutoring, co-tutoring and interactive learning. It consisted of an integrated system of structured individual physical mobility at host training sites (fellow’s individual stages abroad at the host University) and the collective mobility of both doctoral research trainees and Professors from inside and outside of the European Ph.D. on S.R. & Com. network in the form of the annual International Summer Schools and International Lab meeting (3 times a year) organised by the European Ph.D. on S.R. & Com. at the coordinating University (University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’). In addition the open distance learning system (virtual mobility), guaranteed quality, long-term tutoring by supervisors and considerable flexibility in accordance with Fellows’ needs.
Fellow’s training abroad: The participation of the fellows in the training activities organised by the European Ph.D. on S.R. & Com. M.C.T.S., along with the annual reports presented by the fellows at these events, the numbers of presentations given at International Conferences, the development of their individual Ph.D. studies, the publications produced as a result of the fellowships are all demonstrative of the success of the programme.
This benefit is also apparent in the fellows’ career progression within and outside the academic setting, both during and since their fellowship, the completion of their doctoral studies and the number of fellows that have at this stage made the transition from research trainee to experienced researcher or to academic status, mainly within and in a few cases also outside Europe. In fact a good number of the fellows that benefited from the Marie Curie Training Site Partnership Programme have now become full-time or part-time researchers or teaching assistants in prominent Universities.
The successful five year experience of the Marie Curie Multipartner Training Organisation also increased the visibility of the European Ph.D. on S.R. & C. programme outside European borders. Individual mobility within the network of 47 Marie Curie fellows, integrated with collective mobility of both a larger number of junior doctoral research trainees and senior experts from inside and outside the European network brought together for the annual European Ph.D. on S.R. & C. International Summer Schools allowed for the dissemination of the Marie Curie Action Programme, improving the European Research Area, to a wider scientific community in other continents, particularly South-American countries, but also North-America (Canada) and Australia.