Toolbox for research mobility and international joint PhDs created by Essex and partners

  • Date

    Wed 16 Feb 22

Two students walking up stairs

Imagine completing a PhD across multiple universities based in many different countries. The University of Essex has developed and designed a new online toolbox with European partners to help doctoral candidates to do just that and get the most from research mobility opportunities and international joint PhDs.

The toolbox was created as part of the LINK EDURES (Linking Education and Research in International Joint Doctorates) project, funded by the European Commission, and led by a group of YERUN (Young European Research Universities Network) universities. The University of Essex is one of the founding members of YERUN, a network of 22 highly-ranked young universities.

The Doctoral Candidates Toolbox will help doctoral candidates in their decision making and early navigation of a truly international doctoral education and is being unveiled at an event hosted at the YERUN headquarters in Brussels on Thursday 17 February, due to be attended by international higher education stakeholders and education policymakers.

The LINK EDURES project is thought to be the first of its kind by laying the groundwork for the creation of international joint programmes at doctoral level within a European network of research universities. Part of its mission is making it easier for doctoral students to benefit from undertaking a joint doctoral programme at multiple universities and countries. Creating a toolbox for prospective (and current) doctoral candidates aiming to engage in research mobility is the key step in the trajectory towards this goal.

The development of the Doctoral Candidates Toolbox was led by Professor Sanja Bahun, Dean of Postgraduate Research and Education at Essex, project managed by Melissa Brisley, with expertise provided by Laura Ruddick, Senior Postgraduate Research Education Manager. They were supported by contributions from a range of experienced professionals, supervisors, and leaders in doctoral study from the University of Essex plus support from YERUN colleagues.

Professor Bahun said: “The toolbox design reflects the lived experiences, needs, and concerns of those engaged in doctoral research education across the borders. It was created and developed using feedback obtained from students at various YERUN universities who have engaged in doctoral research mobility as well as staff members who have supported them.”

“The toolbox contributes towards a positive student experience and good graduate outcomes by giving future and current doctoral candidates an overview of the benefits, considerations, and tips for a joint doctoral education to ensure they are well informed and provided with links and contacts for further detailed information specific to each institution. We are proud of our contribution and of our close partnership with YERUN in support of the future of research."

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