Publication date : 18/07/2022
International cooperation
Life at ParisTech

IDEAL – a success story about a European partnership that innovates the training of doctoral candidates

The final transnational meeting of the project IDEAL – European Soft Skills for PhD: enhancing transversal skills through innovative doctoral courses – took place on July 11 2022. The meeting focused on the final evaluation of the project and on how PhD students can continue to benefit from the innovative courses implemented to improve their soft skills after the end of the project.

It goes without saying: The IDEAL project has been strongly impacted by the pandemic: Students were not able to travel, collaboration between the partners has been extremely hampered by working only online, and everyone had generally to adapt to the new situation, students as well as administrative staff and researchers. Considering these circumstances, the achievements of the project are all the more impressive:

  • Publication of online course catalogue, listing the courses of the IDEAL partners in which their PhD students can participate: click here to see the course catalogue
  • Survey about the needs of doctoral candidates for the development of soft skills with more than 1000 replies
  • Creation of the training session “Creative thinking – Tools and Techniques of Success”
  • Creation of the training session “Mediating International and Scientific Communication”
  • Creation of the MOOC “Creative and Design Thinking: Process and Tools for Innovation”: register here for free access to the MOOC
  • Pilot course in a face-to-face setting at Polimi with 50 participants in September 2022
  • Participation of PhD students in the course “Co-Orientation”, developed by Mines Paris PSL, in order to give a concrete and proven response to the problem of professional choice
  • Participation in the research-based learning symposium of the European University EELISA, dissemination of the IDEAL project
  • Exchanges about the content of the project, the training sessions and the MOOC with the Advisory Employability Council, which consists of external experts in the training and integration of PhD students in the labor market

The aim of the IDEAL partners is to make sure that even though the project comes to an end, PhD students can still benefit from the training sessions and the MOOC. Therefore, the MOOC stays available on the online platform of Polimi, so that doctoral candidates of all universities around the world can follow the course. When it comes to the two training sessions “Creative thinking – Tools and Techniques of Success” and “Mediating International and Scientific Communication”, the consortium agreed to integrate these courses in the offer of the ATHENS network. All IDEAL partners are as well members of the ATHENS network, whose aim it is to offer two annual sessions of high quality courses to students from excellent engineering universities from all over Europe. As most of these courses address master students, the IDEAL courses allow widening the scope of the offer to PhD candidates, too.

In conclusion, despite of the challenges of the last two years, the IDEAL partners made a success of the project, thanks to their determination and professionalism. Even though the duration of the project is over now, they will keep in touch to ensure that PhD students can benefit from the training sessions and the MOOC. The feedback of the participating students has been heard: Soft skills are highly important for the training of doctoral students, and the IDEAL partners stay determined to propose high quality education for their young researchers.

European partners: UPM (Spain), POLIMI (Italy), University of Lisbon/IST (Portugal), ITU (Turkey),

ParisTech partners: AgroParisTech, Arts et Métiers, Chimie ParisTech, Mines Paris PSL and ENSTA Paris, Télécom Paris

Project period: 1st September of 2019 to 31st of August 2022

For more information on the IDEAL project please visit our website.

For more information on the ATHENS network please visit our website.



Back to news list