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Graduate SPIRIT Newsletter Issue 03 (Q3/Q4 2019)

Dear reader,

It has been a while since we shared an update with you on the project. Nevertheless, our teams have been quite busy. Right before summer, all partners have started with the activities for the Innovation Menu (IO3). The Innovation menu is an online interactive menu for interdisciplinary graduate schools to pick, choose and combine innovations that fit their needs. For the past few months we have been working on testing and developing four innovations regarding PhD candidates, Curriculum, Organisation and Staff. These activities will continue over the next few months. Additionally, we have been presenting all of the outcomes in various settings in order to share knowledge with our audience. Naturally, we would like to share this with you, so please read on!

SPIRIT @ events

Seminar The Netherlands Centre of Expertise for Doctoral Education

On September 20th The Netherlands Centre of Expertise for Doctoral Education (the PhD Centre) hosted a seminar at Tilburg University, with the professionalisation of promotion guidance as the main topic. Around 30 researchers, policy makers, PhD candidates and directors of Dutch graduate schools attended the seminar.

Maastricht University presented the outcomes of two pilots. One project was related to an online assessment tool of selecting PhD candidates, amongst others, resulting in a practical manual for interviews.


The second pilot included the development of a course for PhD guiding professors. Based on a competence profile the project group selected a range of course topics, such as how to effectively monitor progress and success, communication and leadership styles, feedback and conflict management, how to stimulate network & career activities and the PhD candidate well-being. Participants highly evaluated the four-day course, especially the practical exercises and the inter-peer exchange of experiences.

SPIRIT was offered the opportunity to present the typology of graduate schools and tips and tricks in order to foster internationalisation, interdisciplinarity and intersectoral cooperation of doctoral education.

In the upcoming months the SPIRIT partners will share the recent outcomes of the project with audiences in different European settings. An overview of the events can be found here. The calendar will be updated regularly. Would you like to participate in one of these events or want to stay updated on the project dissemination and engagement events? Please send us a message.

Transnational meeting, Warsaw

On 14 and 15 November, all SPIRIT project partners gathered in Warsaw for the seventh transnational project meeting. In this meeting we discussed the progress and outcomes of the project activities.
Our Intellectual Output 2 (IO2) team – consisting of the University of Loughborough and the Central European University – has finished its IO2 activities right before the summer. The outcome is a publication with an in-depth description of nine best practices of graduate schools in the field of Social Sciences and the Humanities. These best practices were chosen by the project’s participants based on their relevance for starting and existing graduate schools as well as the impact in fostering Triple-I doctoral education. The report also seeks to provide the readers with answers on what is needed for implementing the selected best practices, the benefits and expected impact, and how such practices should be evaluated.

Additionally, the report is made available to other graduate schools through the dissemination and engagement channels and meetings of the Graduate SPIRIT project. The publication “Tips and Tricks for Triple-I Doctoral Training” can be found in our Library or you can use this link.

Also, the collected tips and tricks have been transformed into an interactive toolbox which is available online.

Furthermore, the GRADUATE SPIRIT partners have identified a number of innovative activities they plan to implement as part of the project’s next and final stage. In the lead of this part of the project are the University of Heidelberg and the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences. These include (i) intersectoral training and employability activities, particularly by utilising the graduate school’s existing alumni network; (ii) training the trainers, which will strengthen a common approach to supervision in the Triple-I context; (iii) curriculum innovations, whereby employability, online learning, and interdisciplinary content would be the key areas to assess and improve. These activities will be carried out in the subsequent stage of the project and form the basis of an innovation menu (IO3), which will also be made available in Spring 2020.

Altogether, the past months have been very eventful and productive for our SPIRIT project and the activities will continue after the Christmas Holidays. We will keep you informed in our next newsletter.SPIRIT-Team


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