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DOC-CAREERS II - Promoting collaborative doctoral education for enhanced career opportunities (2009-2012)

Promoting collaborative doctoral education for enhanced career opportunities

The project “Promoting Collaborative Doctoral Education for Enhanced Career Opportunities” (DOC-CAREERS II) was conceived as an exploratory action to test the feasibility of Regional Workshops as an instrument to foster university-business/enterprise collaboration. DOC-CAREERS I project had confirmed that many views on opportunities, challenges and barriers hindering university-industry cooperation were shared by both partners. In this sense, the “diagnosis” of the situation was sound and the common barriers in Europe well identified. DOC-CAREERS I Case Studies had also confirmed that not only were there  no “one-size-fits-all solutions” but also that they tended to be specific to every case including local or regional cultural differences, that is, “the way we do things/business here”. In order to capture this diversity, DOC-CAREERS II looked uniquely at how universities work with their regional partners in doctoral education across Europe.

The regional focus of the action allowed us to identify examples of university collaboration with local SME, large R&D enterprises, RTD performers, NGO’s and other industries (health care, cultural, etc.). Building on DOC-CAREERS I outcomes, a series of five Regional Workshops was held in selected locations, geographically spread throughout Europe (Eastern, Southern, Central-North), with the intention to bring together interested partners in cooperation through doctoral education.

DOC-CAREERS II was a project funded by the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) through a Support Action within the 2008 People Work Programme.

Project Objectives

The general aim of the Regional Workshops was to identify specific tools and incentives that might have wider application across Europe. The specific objectives were:

  • To disseminate the outcomes of DOC-CAREERS I in the framework of the “open innovation” model: strategies and good practices on university-industry relations; models and the degree of structure of university-industry doctoral schemes; employability of doctorate holders and its relation with transferable skills; good practices in the tracking of doctorate holders.
  • To broaden evidence of good practices validating DOC-CAREERS I outcomes and identifying new models of university-industry collaboration.
  • To identify strategies and good practices used by SMEs and other local partners to approach universities and address how their access to university research could be enhanced.
  • To bring into the dialogue SMEs who might not be “convinced” of the added value and benefits of university-industry cooperation to identify specific issues to be addressed at local level.
  • To explore the perspectives of employability of doctorate holders in the region, mobility opportunities and its relation to regional efforts to reinforce doctoral employability considering the benefits of employing creative workers and their professional expectations.

Final Conference


Promoting Collaborative Doctoral Education for Enhanced Career Opportunities
The Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts (KVAB)
Brussels, Belgium
30-31 January 2012

Regional Workshops 

Workshop 1
Dublin Institute of Technology
Dublin, Ireland
21 September 2010

Workshop 2
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
Lausanne, Switzerland
10 December 2010

Workshop 3
Kaunas University of Technology
Kaunas, Lithuania
5 April 2011

Workshop 4
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Trondheim, Norway
7 June 2011

Workshop 5
University of Camerino
Camerino, Italy
11 October 2011

General Outcomes

The project achieved  greater awareness of skill developments and mobility strategies in doctoral training in Europe with a view of career development and employability; promoted the benefits of tracking doctorate holders´ careers; gained empirical insights for reforming doctoral programmes; improved  regional cooperation and networking in a dialogue with different potential employers; widened the dialogue with potential employers; assisted the building of lasting partnerships, networks and joint initiatives aimed at improving collaboration between private and public sectors.

Steering Committee

Prof. Rymantas Kažys, Director of Ultrasound Institute, Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania
Prof. Eckhard Steffen, Director of Graduate Studies, Universität Paderborn, Germany
Dr Leopold Demiddeleer, Future Businesses Director, Solvay S.A. Research & Technology, Belgium and President of the European Industrial Research Management Association (EIRMA)
Dr David Joyner, Director of Business Partnership and Engagement, Research and Innovation Office, Bangor University, United Kingdom
Peter van der Hijden, European Commission
Dr John Smith, Deputy Secretary General, EUA
Dr Lidia Borrell-Damian, Head of Unit, Research Partnerhships, EUA 


Dr Lidia Borrell-Damian, Head of Unit, Research Partnerhships, 

DOC-CAREERS II was a project funded by the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) through a Support Action within the 2008 People Work Programme.


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