European / International Joint Ph.D. in
Social Representation and Communication

M.C.T.S. Training

M.C.T.S. Training

The needs of the candidate in relation to their doctoral training will be assessed in relation to their doctoral training and the development of their research programme and incorporated within an individual development plan. Assessment will take account of factors such as:

  • the topic of the project and the individual subject area (i.e. environmental issue; health; European citizens and national and supranational identities; media and communication, etc.);
  • the methodological plan (e.g. Does the research programme imply an experimental approach or a field approach? Does the research plan deal with textual data or with standardised measure?)
  • the status of the programme to be developed (e.g. Does the research programme plan to collect data abroad during the stay of the fellow, or not? Does the data only need to be analysed?)

The length of the stay will depend on scientific reasons related to the development plan of the research training of the fellow.

In principle no more than one fellow per year and per each training site is expected to receive financial support (preferably for a full year training stage).

Some flexibility regarding length of stay and chosen site will be allowed in accordance with the number and scientific profiles of successful applicants selected from among students already enrolled in the European PhD or new applicants outside the multi-partner organisation on the basis of scientific quality and a fair and competitive process.


Didactic structure

The didactic structure is highly innovative. M.C. fellows are involved in an interlocking system of virtual and physical mobility (although fellows remain based out the host site throughout their fellowship) which allows for considerable flexibility in catering for students research needs while at the same time guaranteeing individual tutoring and interactive learning.

The programme of work of the fellows includes:

  1. Intensive preliminary stage of bibliographic training (10 credits per year)
    This is provided by individual tutoring by tutors and by access to an on-line database on the Euro PhD web-site. M.C. Fellows will be also trained by the Scientific co-ordinator in meta-theoretical analysis of the bibliographic material in their own subject area. The contribution of each student will thus eventually enable a complete, fully-researched bibliography for social representations and communication to be mapped out.
  2. Intensive high level didactic stage (International Summer School (10 credits per year)
    M.C. Fellows will be invited to attend the yearly Euro PhD International Summer School on Social Representations and Communication. These EC-financed Summer Schools take place yearly and have been hosted in one of the countries of the university network on a rotational basis since 1995. For students enrolled in the Euro PhD programme, the participation in the yearly International Summer School is not an option.
  3. Seminars and advanced courses (5 credits per year)
    M.C. fellows may attend seminars and advanced courses held at network university sites. These are planned in accordance with a teacher exchange mobility programme and include invited international experts.
  4. Multi-media and open distance learning system (5 credits per year)
    Students are required to make use of the open distance learning system through email and Internet access, a CD-ROM multi-media system, forum discussion and multi-point videoconferences.
  5. Tutoring and co-tutoring (30 credits per year assigned to research)
    The tutoring and co-tutoring system is aimed at monitoring the development of the research programme at both national and foreign training sites over the full period of their stay at M.C.T.S. or up to the final thesis for those enrolled in the EuroPhD or for those M.C. fellows outside the multi-partners organisation who wish to maintain regular contacts with the tutors at M.C.T.S. also after the end of their stay abroad. All M.C. fellows will receive e-mail facilties in order to mantain regular contact with their home institutions and other scientific resources within and outside the network.


Personal supervision and support

Tutoring and co-tutoring according to shared criteria is aimed at monitoring the whole process of the development of the research programme and its final report. Standardised tools for assessment have been developed for improving the mutual knowledge of the three tutors, the programme director and the co-ordinator as regards to training and development of research projects.

Supervision of Marie Curie Fellows includes:

  • individual bibliographic training sessions
  • individual tutoring on the research project on demand
  • distance tutoring and co-tutoring
  • monthly group monitoring sessions
  • forum discussion and video-conferencing
  • individual and group training for research project presentation
  • yearly International Summer School with all Euro PhD students together with other young researchers coming from outside the European PhD network

The fellow will have a minimum of 30 minutes individual contact with his tutor.


Monitoring of fellows

In agreement with the above mentioned training scheme, fellows are closely and individually monitored through an integrated system of physical mobility at host training sites (stage abroad) and open distance learning (virtual mobility to be assured before and after their stage abroad), guaranteeing quality, long-term tutoring by supervisors and considerable flexibility in accordance with Fellows' needs.

In the course of their research, students will be continually in contact with their tutors. Under the open learning system, tutors have on-line access to students' work and are thus able to make didactic use of the web-site and monitor students progress speedily and directly. There will be a maximum of 2-3 students per tutor per year. This ensures individual tutoring at all times and close monitoring of students progress.


"Outputs" expected from fellows

The outputs depend upon the length of the stay of the fellow.

Students obligations include submitting an extended yearly report to be presented in the dedicated training session during the International Summer Schools - and a bibliography on the research undertaken and maintaining regular communication with their tutors. Active participation in telematic applications, such as multi-point video-conferences and forum discussions via web, will also be encouraged.

Presentation at international conferences and publication of their research will be expected depending on the development plan of the fellows training programme. All students will provide a report detailing their research and studies over the period of their fellowship.

Facilities available to fellows

The facilities (eg 1 Pentium PC with internet, desk, lab facilities) depend on the infrastructure of each site. The minimum facilities offered are:

  • Computing facilities, fully networked to the Internet and library catalogues, with word processing and data analysis programmes.
  • Libraries (of the Faculty of Psychology and of other Faculties)
  • Laboratories, which include a multi-media laboratory and open distance learning/teaching room (Rome), an observational laboratory with recording facilities (Cambridge)
  • Research support facilities (including use of fax, phone and photocopying)
  • A work space and desk

The Programme Director, the Scientific Co-ordinator and the tutors have on line access to students research. This communal access enables research training to be easily co-ordinated and supervised by the scientific committee.