Interdisciplinary skills, for example in the areas of project management, entrepreneurial thinking, management, communication or technology transfer, are among the standard requirements sought by employers, both within the academic world and beyond. Doctoral candidates are, however, often not sufficiently equipped with these skills at the outset of their careers.
In many countries of Europe the past decades have seen a reform of doctoral training from the individual "apprenticeship model" to the structured "graduate school". This institutionalized change is accompanied by the development of trainings in "transferable skills" and the setting up of curricula in this field, yet many universities still experiment with the right quantities and qualities of these trainings, answering to unclear needs of early stage researchers and varying employment markets. This is especially true in the Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) fields. The discussion on an ‘Europeanization’ of doctoral training has until now, however, missed any disciplinary specifications.
The “Training the mindSET – Improving and Internationalizing Skills Trainings for Doctoral Candidates” (mindSET) project has received funding from the Erasmus+ program and will be working over the coming three years on developing a curriculum for these transferable skills with its strategic partners – the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Politecnico di Milano and Warsaw University of Technology. The aim is to better prepare doctoral candidates within the Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) disciplines for different labor markets.