What’s the project about?

The development of relevant and high-quality skills and competences as a horizontal priority and the development of the mindSET European Core Curriculum in Transferable Skills relevant to the labour market and societal needs is the main objective of the Erasmus+ project “Training the mindSET”. mindSET develops a European Core Curriculum in Transferable Skills and comprehensive train-the-trainer material for the competence development of PhD candidates from Science, Engineering and Techology (SET) Disciplines across Europe.


  • focuses on the development of particularly relevant competences, e.g. communication and presentation, project acquisition and funding, self- and project management, research and dissemination, teaching, leadership and entrepreneurial thinking
  • considers different competence profiles for potential career paths in- and outside academia
  • breaks new ground by supporting the education of doctoral candidates through coaching and competence assessment
  • provides European SET PhD candidates with the opportunity to educate themselves in an international environment through workshops and shared experience and
  • integrates relevant actors to promote doctoral studies.


The five major project results are…

  • mindSET´s European Core Curriculum in Transferable Skills for Science Engineering and Technology (SET) Disciplines
  • a training manual, based on the competence areas of the curriculum
  • webinars for the trainers delivering the courses from the manual
  • a tool for the competence assessment of transferable skills for SET PhD candidates an
  • a coaching manual for transferable skills for future coaches of SET PhD candidates.

The European Core Curriculum in Transferable Skills will be implemented and tested in two cycles of joint workshops with participants from each university, delivered by pairs of trainers, rotating among all partner universities. The feedback from conducting these pilot workshops will be fed back into the curriculum and into the training manual.

During the last nine months of the project, the partnership will disseminate the project results in multiplier events in all partner countries and at European level, using conferences and events attended by the communities of practice in the field.O


The main target groups are supervisors, graduate schools and training centres, which will benefit from the development of the curriculum and the pilot test trainings. Doctoral candidates will be involved in the pilot test trainings and in the discussion and development of the manuals. Special attention will be paid to women as a minority in the SET disciplines and to international doctoral candidates studying at the partner universities. On a higher level, national and international stakeholders (professional organisations and umbrella institutions of science and research) are addressed. This will contribute to developing and promoting results that are transferable to other universities, particularly in the EU, but also beyond.


The project partners are some of the most renowned Universities of Technology in Europe: the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Politecnico di Milano, Technische Universität Berlin and Warsaw University of Technology. They are dedicated to the exchange of trainers, supervisors and early stage researchers, particularly during the pilot test trainings.

By the development of the European Core Curriculum in Transferable Skills for SET Discipline, the training manual, the webinars, the self assessment tool for SET PhD candidates and the coaching manual for trainers, mindSET contributes to the internationalisation of skills trainings, including common standards.

The implementation of five multiplier events aims at fostering mobility and recognition across borders. To conduct eight rounds of learning teaching training activities, contributes to close the divide between member states and regions in research and innovation and transferable skills trainings.

Further dissemination activities, among others, help to ensure that Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) contribute to innovation, make SET disciplines more attractive for students and raise the number of graduates in this field. In addition, they lead to a better matching of the qualification schemes on the doctoral level and the needs of diverse employment markets including those outside academia. In this way, dissemination activities contribute to
the employability of PhD holders in the SET disciplines and to a high quality of courses and of teaching at partner universities and beyond. Overall, its main impact is the implementation of long-term transferable skills training / competence assessment and coaching services at all partner universities.

Considering the already existing good practice examples of skills trainings at several Technical Universities (TUs) within Europe, the value added provided by this project lies precisely in the development of the European Core Curriculum in Transferable Skills for SET Disciplines that will not only be shared by the partners directly involved, but which will be disseminated and discussed in networks of Universities (of Technology) in Europe and potentially beyond.

Enhancing the competences of doctoral candidates from SET disciplines promotes internationalisation, recognition and mobility in a field of doctoral education, which has been far more difficult to adjust to Bologna principles and tools than the preceding qualification cycles. In this way, the project results will strengthen the position of European doctoral candidates who are pursuing academic and non-academic careers in diverse, international employment markets.