Intellectual outcomes

1. A knowledge base on joint programmes at doctorate level

Although there are portals for joint programmes in general (see e.g http://ecahe.eu/w/index.php/Portal:Joint_programmes) available, there are no dedicated portals for joint programmes at doctorate level. One of the objectives of this project is to create a Knowledge Base to both disseminate the intellectual outputs and activities of the project and provide information and documentation which is relevant for establishing joint programmes at the doctoral level.

The Knowledge Base will contain practical guidelines, forms and templates, checklists, key publications, information on quality assurance…

2. Guidelines for developing and running joint programmes at doctorate level, incl. Forms and tools for developing and running joint programmes at doctorate level

The goal is to produce a comprehensive manual describing in detail the different stages in the process of developing, managing and evaluating joint programmes at doctorate level, with the support of checklists, forms and tools. These guidelines will have a similar format to that of the “YERUN Guidelines for Good Practice for Developing and Running Joint Programmes at Bachelor and Master Level”, available on the YERUN website.

Central to the Guidelines is the acknowledgment that doctoral education is very different from the first two cycles of the Bologna process; it involves less structured education and training processes, it is intimately linked to research and there is more diversity within Europe as to the formal and content requirements of doctoral programmes.

In order to increase the usability of these guidelines, we will develop also supporting checklists, forms and tools.

3. Report of national and institutional doctorate regulations for successful cross-border collaboration in joint programmes at doctorate level

This report will focus on the main national and institutional regulations regarding doctoral education in the 12 countries that YERUN universities belong to (Belgium/Flanders, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom). In addition, solutions will be proposed to overcome the obstacles for establishing Joint PhD programmes in countries with great differences in regulations regarding doctoral education.

4. Report on analysis of experiences in international collaboration and doctoral training

International cooperation is a characteristic of doctoral training, sometimes developed under informal, ad hoc schemes, and other times under more formal frameworks. The situation of the different doctoral programmes in partner institutions in this project is very diverse and needs a first “field of study” to typify these activities/practices. In a next phase possible trajectories of institutional cooperation could be detected. In the first stage information coming from the partner organizations will be considered and, at a later stage, the information coming from the associated partners will be incorporated too.

It is essential to complete this diagnosis of experiences drawing on real data and first-hand information on the execution and assessment of these activities and gathering the opinion and assessment of doctoral candidates and early-career researchers.

5. Student toolbox for joint programmes at doctorate level

The purpose of this intellectual output is to create an open-source electronic student toolbox that will be a source of information and support, and will help doctoral students navigate through a joint programme at doctorate level. It is intended to contribute towards a positive student experience and to ensure that students are able to focus more of their time and efforts on their research without being unduly hampered or overwhelmed by complex administrative or organizational matters.

The tool-box will be an open-source, student-oriented, electronic resource to assist in identifying, developing and reflecting upon a range of needs and skills of doctoral students, and in particular those studying on an international joint programme. Engagement with the toolbox will equip students with practical knowledge and skills, as well as with a better understanding of their own place within the broader network of professional relationships, institutions and the macro-economic and societal context within which their careers as researchers will develop.

6. Academic paper on the added value of joint programmes at doctorate level

Towards the end of the project, we will write a comprehensive academic paper gathering all the work that has been done as part of the project and focusing on the added value of international collaboration in joint programmes at doctorate level, drawing mostly on the results of the two reports that will be produced as part of the project. The paper will describe some of the challenges we have encountered for the establishment of joint programmes at doctorate level and will emphasize the relevance of university networks for doctoral education. It will also elaborate on the role of doctoral education in the future European Education Area.