Doctoral Studies as part of an Innovative Training Network (ITN): Early Stage Researcher (ESR) experiences [version 2; peer review: 2 approved]

Roshni Biswas*, Axel Schiller*, Chiara Casolani, Elza Daoud, Albi Dode, Eleni Genitsaridi, Laure Jacquemin, Nuwan Liyanage, Matheus Lourenco, Punitkumar Makani, Vinay Parameshwarappa, Constanze Riha, Jose Lopez Santacruz, Maryam Shabbir, Jorge Simoes, Natalia Trpchevska, Stefan Schoisswohl*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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    Abstract

    Background: The Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Actions’ (MSCA) Innovative Training Network (ITN) is a doctoral training programme jointly implemented by academic institutions and industries from countries across Europe and beyond. To our knowledge no study has examined the experience of students participating in MSCA-ITNs. This study aims to evaluate and report MSCA-ITN Early Stage Researcher (ESR) experiences.

    Methods: The Innovative Training Network - Evaluation Questionnaire (ITN-EQ) was developed to assess supervision, training, collaborations and experiences of ESRs and forwarded to two tinnitus-related ITNs and seven ITNs of other disciplines.

    Results: Key advantages identified included better career prospects, multidisciplinary research opportunities/collaborations, international exposure, personal/professional development, plus generous salaries and research budgets. However, lack of a common EU framework resulted in the experience being largely dependent on the host institution, country and supervisor. Moreover, managing the dual requirements of ITNs and host institutions while completing a three-year PhD seemed challenging for most ESRs. ESR involvement in workshop and training school planning was desirable. More than 80% of ESRs rated the overall ITN experience favourably and 98.3% would recommend the same to prospective PhD students.

    Conclusions: This report could provide valuable insights in planning and management of future ITNs and could assist prospective students in their decision of joining an ITN for their PhD.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number34
    Number of pages24
    JournalOpen Research Europe
    Volume1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 6-Sep-2021

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