DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A UNIVERSITY-INDUSTRY TRAINING PROGRAMME FOR EARLY-STAGE RESEARCHERS OF MARIE CURIE ACTIONS–ITN PROJECTS: THE TRAINONSEC CASE STUDY
University of Valencia (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN15 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:Innovative Training Networks (ITN) projects are public funded research projects belonging to the Marie Curie Actions of the European Commission. These projects bring together universities, research centers and companies from different countries to train a new generation of researchers. The funding boosts scientific excellence and business innovation, and enhances researchers’ career prospects through developing their skills in entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation. Under the EU’s Seventh Framework Program for Research, the Research Group on Environmental Engineering GI2AM from the University of Valencia (UV) (Spain) and the private company PAS Solutions (The Netherlands) created a research training network awarded with the ITN project TrainonSEC, coordinated by the UV and lasted from September 2013 to August 2017. Likewise, two associated partners from the private sector, Altacel BV and Ekwadraat BV (The Netherlands), are involved in the project. In the implementation mode of European Industrial Doctorates (EID), TrainonSEC is a joint doctoral program between academia and industry that provides advanced training to four early-stage researchers (ESRs) in Solvent Emission Control by the development of a novel biotechnology that recycles waste gases into energy.
In this context, the aim of this paper is to present the implementation strategy of the training program of four ESRs in the TrainonSEC project. This specialized training is characterized by offering an outstanding training on industrial experience and applied research based on an intense University-Industry collaboration.
The training activities of TrainonSEC are divided in five categories:
1) Hands-on research training;
2) Network-wide training;
3) Locally structured training;
4) Training on transferable skills; and
5) Training through secondments.
The ESRs acquire research training through the development of their individual research projects of 3 years. Each ESR spends 50% of the time in the private sector, so at least two supervisors, one from UV and one from PAS, are assigned to each of them. The ESRs register their research projects as a PhD project in the Doctoral Program in Chemical Engineering of the UV. Regarding the network-wide training, 3 annual workshops at PAS and UV facilities, 2 thematic courses taught by Ekwadraat and Ghent University personnel, and an open final conference are organized. A set of 12 courses are developed to offer specialized training on hands-on approach of the research, both at industrial and lab-scale, such as Process scale-up/prototyping course and Molecular biological tools course. In order to improve their employability, 10 training courses on transferable skills are implemented. In addition, broad training in terms of personal and organizational development is completed by the collaboration of the ESR in the management of the project and IT tools. Moreover, all the ESR are receiving specialized training through a secondment of 2 or 3 months in one of the industrial associated partners, mentored by personnel of the host institution. Monitoring and assessment of the research and training is carried out in different ways: meetings with recruited institution supervisors, meetings with UV and PAS supervisors, seminars with researchers and personnel of the recruited institution, report presentation after the secondment, and annual revision of the Personal Career Development Plan of each ESRs and approval by the Supervisory Board.
Keywords: Advanced PhD training, European Industrial Doctorate, Initial Training Network project, University-Industry cooperation.