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Graduate SPIRIT Newsletter Issue 02 (Q2 2019)


The Graduate SPIRIT partners have been quite busy this quarter:
Graduate SPIRIT joined forces with EURODOC (European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers). EURODOC is an international federation of 28 national associations of doctoral candidates and early career researchers. Its mission is to represent and consolidate the community of doctoral candidates and junior researchers in Europe in their pursuit of a decent professional life.
At the annual EURODOC Conference in April titled: Employability of PhD’s: Valorise your skills and Reach your Full Potential! We presented the nine best practices of the Graduate Schools regarding intersectorality, internationalisation and interdisciplinarity as well as organised a play and discussion about #metoo in Academia. Around 220 PhD candidates and 21 partners attended the Conference in Brussels.
Graduate SPIRIT invited the attendees of the Conference to their best practices stands in order to present e.g. how to organise interdisciplinary community building
activities among researchers and how to enhance the academic and general employability of researchers with rich and diverse backgrounds.  Through the face to face discussions with the candidates GRADUATE SPIRIT received valuable feedback and praise for the presentation of the best practices.

Graduate SPIRIT has invited The Actor Society (Het Acteursgenootschap) to re-enact cases of harassment in academia, all based on real life experiences at universities. Harassment in academia is of all times, but it has been made urgent by the #MeToo and Time’s Up movement. Many of us think academia will provide a safe, sensible and intellectual environment in which #metoo behaviour is absent. Fortunately, it often is but evidently it sometimes isn’t. Through the play, the SPIRIT partners seek to create awareness of harassment in academia — which tends to impact young researchers or support staff in particular — while also exploring individual and institutional ways to address these issues and create a safe working environment.

After the play, different academic stakeholders and the audience discussed what you can do if you find yourself, your colleagues or members of your team in such situations. The play and discussion proved to be very relevant and insightful for all who attended.



On 6 and 7 June the Graduate SPIRIT partners had their sixth transnational project meeting. All partners attended and the meeting was hosted by the University of Helsinki. The partners from Loughborough and Budapest presented the last modifications of the IO2 report and the EUR presented the first draft of the online interactive guide (of best practices).

This interactive guide will represent a full range of best practices under the Triple-I and divided into four categories PhD candidates, Staff, Curriculum and Organisation from which other graduate schools can pick and combine according to their needs. This guide will become available online in late July.

The upcoming phase of the project will prove to be a very intense phase: innovations will be tested/implemented, evaluated in working groups, reports will be written and an online Innovation Menu will be produced. Also, the engagement of external stakeholders will be intensified as the Graduate SPIRIT partners will attend at least six events this year in order to promote the project outcomes and ensuring the participation/engagement of external stakeholders in the sustainability of the project. All of which will be posted on the project website or presented in the next newsletters.


SPIRIT @ events

MODEST Meeting

Graduate SPIRIT representatives visited MODEST project meeting at the University of Helsinki on June 17, 2019. MODEST (Modernisation of Doctoral Education in Science and Improvement of Teaching Methodologies) is a capacity-building Erasmus+ project with partnering universities from the European Union, Russian federation, Armenia and Belarus. MODEST project has started with site visits to get an overview about doctoral training in some of it partner universities.

We presented some of the best practices from the upcoming Best Practice Catalogue of international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral doctoral education. Graduate SPIRIT was well-received and after the presentation we briefly discussed related topics such as how to organise the triple-I in for example transferable skills courses efficiently. The short presentation and discussion seemed to spark an interest and we hope to have engaged new audiences for our project. We thank the local delegation of MODEST for inviting us to present the Graduate SPIRIT project!

For more information about the MODEST project see:


Named after one the most iconic rivers in the world, the Erasmus+ project TIGRIS aims to become evenly iconic in the development of the internationalisation strategies of the Higher Education Institutes in Kurdistan, Iraq. After several decades of despondency due to the wretched security, economic and social situation in the area, these universities are dusting off their heritage and are looking to the world to improve their situation. TIGRIS aims to bring them up to speed by introducing them to the institutional strategies that are used within Europe to make contact with peer partners.

Jef Schrooten, who is active in both SPIRIT and TIGRIS made the connection and got them up to speed with the developments in Europe (the EU Commission principles of innovative training, the LERU-texts about doctoral training and the Salzburg-principles) and gave a hands-on training where the Kurdish partners could discuss the best practices from the SPIRIT Catalogue. In autumn, a follow-up will be organised to see what the Kurdish partners can implement in their institution.

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