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Fellowship information

Non-academic mentoring

We invite you to participate in a new initiative linked to the MFP PLUS COFUND Doctoral Programme, a key project for URV awarded with 4 million euros by the European Commission. We are preparing a non-academic mentoring programme for COFUND fellows willing to explore professional alternatives with mentors working beyond academia.
Are you a STEM, social science or humanities professional? Do you have a science or technology related job outside academic research? The area you are working on is not determining. The more diverse the connections we achieve, the better!
Some background knowledge on research academic careers is not essential, but would be welcomed. Also, a good command of English (medium-high level) and a Master degree would be desirable. The participation in this initiative is on voluntary-basis. We aim at creating altruistic personal connections.

A certificate will be issued in your name for acting as a MENTOR in the MFP PLUS COFUND Doctoral Programme, co-financed by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 945413. If you are interested in participating in this initiative or want more information, just send us an email (mfp.cofund(ELIMINAR)@urv.cat) and we will get in touch with you. We hope you find our initiative interesting and future connections can stem from these meetings that we believe benefit both the mentor and the mentee!

Documents of the programme:

General information of the training programme

URV will confer the PhD award in one of the doctoral programmes related to the research projects. The PhD candidates will be provided with an extensive research training, complemented with a comprehensive transversal skills package, designed to improve their employability at the end of the stay at URV. All the training that is contemplated for each researcher will be defined in the individual Career Development Plan (CDP). The CDP will be prepared by the ESR, together with their supervisor(s) at the beginning of the programme, and will be updated yearly. the CDP will take into account individual research interests, medium and long term goals, and will try to offer exposure to intersectorial training, through the partnerships that URV has made for MFP.

A general training path for discipline skills would be the following:

  1. Specialised training on critical Information Search (through, for instance, on-line research engines or access to ancient library sources), to be able generate the state-of-the-art before starting with the project. Although general courses are taught by the Library Services, training is developed with the complicity of the supervisor and "learning by doing".
  2. Specific training on Methodologies, which is recommended to distinguish between to large knowledge
    • For Scientific and Technical Disciplines Methodologies, fellows need to acquire knowledge on how to get the best materials, methods and procedures, how to use technical equipment, how to design the experiments to be replicable and find the best technical solutions.
    • For Social Sciences and Humanities, fellows need to be able to identify the best methods to face the research questions, to choose the best way to collect and record data, to provide a rationale for choice of sources and to approach in several ways to interpretation.
  3. Courses on Statistics and Data Analysis are offered in a Doctoral Program base, although several faculties join efforts to prepare more centralised training for all fellows.
  4. Each research doctoral program organises (at least on a monthly bases) Scientific Seminars and Invited Talks to deepen on particular knowledge at the doctoral program discipline. Participation of fellows from other doctoral programs will be promoted by web and email communications in order to encourage multidisciplinarity.
  5. Attendance to Internationally recognised Conferences, EU Project meetings, and the training received during the secondments in the academic partner organisations will represent a boost on their discipline skills.

Transferable skills can enhance the career mobility and increase the chances of success in landing the job one wants, and they can help give a competitive edge when applying for a position. URV is perfectly aware of the importance of these skills in the career development of any of its doctoral fellows, and is offering an extended array of courses/workshops/seminars that helps the doctoral researchers to adquire these skills.

  1. People skills: personalities and needs of co-workers can vary enormously, and a good leader can manage the wide range of people's expectations with fairness, tact and understanding. These skills are very important to employers that typically look for employees who work well in teams, are diplomatic and resourceful, and are able to build trusted networks among their peers. Courses on leadership, transformative capacities, etc. are currently being offered to fellows.
  2. Communication skills: in the daily operation of any organization, these skills are incredibly important. The ability to pass on information in a clear and concise manner is vital for achieving goals set by the organization, and the tone and delivery of such information has an impact on the motivation level of fellow team members. Solid writing skills are a huge plus, as well as communication in various languages. In knowledge based industries or academia, the ability to make effective presentations is also very important, which means familiarity with word processing software and other communications media is a necessity. In addition, during the first semester of the PhD training, the fellows will have several courses focused on acquiring the necessary communications skills to be able to defend and present their research (writing a scientific article for a peerreviewed journal, making a presentation of their research work, etc.). This exercise will be refined through the duration of the course, and the article redone until it reaches the highest standard of writing that URV is demanding from all its researchers.
  3. Entrepreneurship skills: this is a very important aspect, especially in industry, and makes the candidate more employable. The ability to manage budgets, make financial projections, prepare proposals for funding or recognize business opportunities are highly valued skills. Courses on entrepreneurship, how to prepare proposals for H2020, etc. are currently being offered to all researchers and fellows.
  4. Creative and strategic thinking: thinking outside the box in order to come up with innovative solutions to difficult problems makes it highly desirable skills to have. Employers are always looking for employees who can quickly adapt to changing circumstances. Moreover, by participating in the department/research group meetings, fellows will be encouraged to be critical, to evaluate their co-workers' results and to propose innovative solutions to difficult problems and training on systematic inventive thinking, design, prototyping will help the fellows to future find innovative solution to any problem they will face.
  5. Time/Project management: the ability to juggle several responsibilities and priorities at once is a desirable skill, and employees who meet deadlines and deliver results on time are huge assets. Skills related to project management are very important in a research environment, and URV's doctoral fellows will have access to a comprehensive training package that will help them plan, write and manage a project.
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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 713679 and No. 945413.

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