The Key Aspects of the SoReComJoint-IDP didactic formula and training structure include:
- Tutoring and co-tutoring triadic system (multiple supervision): all the 13 ESR will work closely with the project leader and inserted in a group of already trained early stage researchers and post-docs working on an ongoing research project built up over two decades with an enormous effort of work team coordination and assessment by the project leader with the aim to take stock of the scientific field developed in more than 50 years. The research trainees will be in contact with other tutors at the main host institution and with scientists at the institutions chosen for their secondment located in different European and extra EU countries. Taking into account the thematic affinity and areas of expertise, we will also include as much as possible co-tutor from private sector or other socioeconomic actor, so that most of the enrolled researchers receive supervision and didactic feedbacks from a non-academic specialist, thus ensuring a high involvement of the extra-academic sector into training activities.
- Structured international mobility of both research trainees and teaching staff at the individual and collective levels, by taking into account that international mobility is only a tool, not a goal in itself. It is just one of the requirements for a European doctorate, and in and of itself is not sufficient.
- Individual research trainees are required to relocate abroad and work at host institutions for their secondments (individual mobility).
- Collective mobility involves all tutors and a restricted number of other research trainees (enrolled or in the European/International Joint PhD in Social Representations and Communication or in other doctoral programs at the partner Universities or even outside the network) selected for some of the training activities and is achieved during the intensive International Summer Schools and Lab meetings (winter, spring and summer sessions).
- Infrastructure and dedicated facilities at the coordinating university and network universities, including a common web site, allow for flexibility between face-to-face and open distance learning interactive contexts (access to a dedicated Portal, including the mediated access to the specialised SoReCom “A.S. de Rosa” @-Library, and web-auditorium interactive system) and innovative practices adopted for teaching, tutoring and co-tutoring, network management, etc.,
- Learning by doing: Research trainees engage in scientific activities either individually or in small and medium teams and in different contexts to acquire transferable general skills (such as presenting their research progress during International Lab Meetings and International Summer Schools, use of the web-auditorium, organising small seminars, participating in international conferences, advanced training courses for different statistical software packages, writing joint papers, participating in international networking, cooperating in meta-theoretical analysis of the specialised literature on Social Representations and Communication, managing data derived from the large bibliographic inventories, contributing to the development of the specialised SoReCom “A.S. de Rosa” @-Library created by the SoReCom Joint IDP program director, etc.). The need for developing both core and wider employment related skills is driven by the goal of making research training of greater relevance for a wider variety of careers both in and outside academia, and internationally and globally more attractive.
- Vocational Training Modules supplied by the private sector to provide the research trainees with specific professional skills they wouldn’t have experienced in a classical academic context
- Each early researcher and experienced researcher recruited has a personal career development plan, which includes a research training contract, time management work plan, IPR agreement, etc., in line with the principles set out in the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct. Such career development plans will also be reviewed by experts from the private sector, in order to monitor the progresses made from an extra-academic point of view, and to evaluate the level of employability of the young researcher.
Research at network sites employs a wide range of both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, including experimental, observational and non-verbal work, survey research and interviews, focus groups, image-based and textual tools, and specific techniques to obtain data from the various asynchronous and interactive Internet and web environments.
Outstanding scholars inspired by the Social Representation Theory working in various research fields and experts from the public and private sectors interested in the applied value of such societal knowledge and the role of communication systems are directly involved in the training process. Based on expertise and experience matured in running the European Joint Doctorate since its implementation in 1996 and on management skills proven in previous Marie Curie Multi-Partner organisation sites, they will jointly set the recruitment parameters for early-stage researchers, and participate in the training and monitoring activities.
Private sector will be an integral part of the didactic structure, as they will contribute to the programme by
- providing specific training modules,
- participating to the co-tutoring of the enrolled young researcher working in a thematic area (like environment) appropriate from the multidisciplinary perspective based on the combination of multiple expertise available in our extra-academic associated partners,
- stimulating research training projects with the academic partners to which the enrolled young researchers will participate and
- hosting early stage fellows for secondment periods. Industry/university cooperation has been in operation in the hard sciences for some time. However, collaboration within a research training network anchored in a European joint doctoral programme is an innovation for the social sciences and represents a path forward and a “win-win” situation for all involved.
At the network level as well as at the level of individual universities, enterprises, and research centres partner of this Marie Curie Initial Training Network, this programme guarantees:
- world-wide access to common web platform, as tool for information, documentation, networking and training;
- an on-line application process via a web registration system;
- selection of internationally recruited applicants by the European PhD Recruitment board;
- structured research training in an international environment (including training in transferable skills);
- intensive didactic stages in multicultural settings;
- multiple supervision via tutoring and co-tutoring by at least three tutors in three different countries;
- integration of structured individual and collective international physical and virtual mobility;
- personalised web-space for each research trainee with access restricted to the three tutors for evaluation including the thesis (full report and final article);
- a language policy and format for PhD dissertation;
- high tech infrastructure and Lab facilities;
- training process assessment and quality evaluation system;
- officialisation of the degree;
- active integration in the world-wide SoReCom THEmatic NETwork;
- enhancement of career prospects both in and outside academia thanks to strong partnerships with private enterprises and public research centres.