Significant Scientific Contribution and Benefits to Fellows, Tutors and the European Ph.D. on S.R. & C. Programme as Whole
The elements of this Marie Curie Training Site which we consider to be outstanding are indicated below from the internal perspective of the benefits for the fellows, the tutors and the network as a whole, and also from the external perspective of the scientific contribution, and career prospects of the young research fellows.
A. From the internal perspective of the benefits for the fellows, the tutors and the network as a whole:
A1. BENEFITS TO FELLOWS
- Access to a great expertise: Marie Curie Fellows were offered a broader range of international expertise for their research than would be possible at a national level. The Marie Curie Multi-partner Training Sites programme provided an invaluable opportunity of 47 fellowships for a total of 384 months dispersed among doctoral research trainees of 16 nationalities (from Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and U.K.). It enabled the Marie Curie Fellows to spend a period of time in one or two host Universities of the European Ph.D. on S.R. & C. programme, which is comprised of the most prestigious European research centres led by scientists working in the field of Social Representations and Communication, including also the founder of the theory. The role of such an eminent academic as Serge Moscovici as programme director is of particular benefit to both European PhD and senior researchers on the training network.
- Training facilities and opportunities: In terms of infrastructure, they had the possibility of accessing immense databases, extensive libraries and state of the art technology and equipment. Many used the period of fellowship as an opportunity to do research in a foreign setting by performing comparative analyses, between their home and a culturally different background. Others used the time to compile the already collected data and to write up their doctoral thesis (many of which have now been published). In each of these cases, the students benefited greatly from the input of their tutors, along with also the different perspectives they were exposed to in the feedback they received from doctoral research trainees at the host University during the Seminars/Courses they participated in.
- Unique tutoring system: Individual and group tutoring and co-tutoring guaranteed close monitoring of Marie Curie Fellows’ progress.
- Benefits of a variety of methodological and multidisciplinary approaches: · Marie Curie Fellows were exposed to a variety of methodological and multidisciplinary approaches
- An extra Ph.D.: The European PhD is not a substitute for a national PhD, but can be followed in addition to a national PhD.
- Cultural/linguistic benefits: Marie Curie Fellows clearly benefited from the cultural/linguistic advantages of living and studying alongside doctoral research trainees from other countries.
- Significant financial improvement: The Marie Curie Training Site scheme was a significant improvement - compared for example to the Socrates scheme - because it addressed the problem of financial support to Fellows for the compulsory training stages abroad required as part of the European Ph.D. on S.R. & C. programme.
A2. BENEFITS TO TUTORS
Benefits also applied for tutors as regards both tutoring and research:
- Improving Scientific relevance: A foreign tutor was chosen for his/her own specific area of expertise and therefore hosting at their own Institution as well as promoting Fellows to take fellowships abroad was in many cases an occasion to establish continuing cooperative research links not only with the Marie Curie fellows, but also with their academic referees.
- Benefits of mobility: As well as the obvious cultural/linguistic benefits of mobility, the virtual and physical mobility of tutors enabled them to reflect on and refine their own tutoring methods; it also has a beneficial effect on their research. Annual International Summer Schools and International Lab Meetings related to the European Ph.D. training were a great occasion for acquiring expertise in co-teaching and for monitoring the results of the co-tutoring.
A3. INSTITUTIONAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE BENEFIT OF THE EUROPEAN PH.D. PROGRAMME AS WHOLE
- The European dimension in the doctoral training of international fellows has produced a positive ‘parabola’ effect on the internationalisation of the higher education institutes and research centres.
- The successful fiveyear 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.
- The administrative staff involved in the management of the contract at the coordinating University benefited from the acquisition of skills related to the operation and management of EC contracts.
B. From the external perspective of the scientific contribution, and career prospects of the young research fellows:
- A good number of the fellows defended their final doctoral thesis and were awarded the title of Ph.D. at the end of their fellowship.
- The number of publications and international conference participation realised both during and since the periods of the 47 doctoral research trainees’ fellowships, is demonstrative of the extensive work performed by the fellows and of the benefit of the fellowships to them.
- Many of them progressed from doctoral Research Trainee to Academic Status, Many of the fellows have become full-time or part-time researchers or teaching assistants in prominent Universities (including the University of Lyon, the University of Marseille Aix-en-Provence, University of Vienna, I.S.C.T.E. Lisbon, Eötvös Loránd University Budapest, University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’, University of Salerno, University, Catholic University of Milan, University of Bologna, University of Trieste, University of Helsinki, University of Cambridge, etc.) in many countries within the European Union (Austria, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, U.K.), and also outside of Europe (e.g. University of Ottawa, Canada). Others have progressed in a different direction, moving towards enterprise, applying their research skills in social representations and communication and using their background in social and organisational psychology.
- The continued participation of the fellows in the events organised by the European Ph.D. on S.R. & Com. training structure since the end of their fellowship is demonstrative of the positive experience of the fellowship and their continued interest in research within the field of Social Representations and Communication.
- Some of the Fellows have now become members of the So.Re.Com. Thematic Network.
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