New transferable skills for doctoral education

New transferable skills for doctoral education

DocEnhance Platform provides online resources and transferable courses

After three intensive years, the EU-funded DocEnhance project has come to an end, resulting in the development of a career-tracking survey and an online platform hosting a set of transferable skills courses available for Higher Education institutions to implement in their existing doctoral programmes.

The DocEnhance Platform

The EU-funded DocEnhance project has released the DocEnhance Platform, providing freely accessible online resources for doctoral education, including three transferable courses on data stewardship, career management and entrepreneurship, and supervision.

Three Transferable Skills Courses

Over the last two decades, as the employment landscape for doctoral graduates has shifted, the need for their training in transferable skills has become crucial for them to transfer their knowledge to non-academic settings. The DocEnhance project, running from 2020 to 2022 and aiming to broaden PhD expertise through transferable skills, has developed and piloted three courses for doctoral education:

  • Data Stewardship: presents the theory and concepts of data management and teaches how to collect, analyse, and manage research data.
  • Career Management & Entrepreneurship: helps graduates to reflect upon their personal strengths, weaknesses and life goals, develop critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication and self-management skills, and act upon entrepreneurial ideas and opportunities and transform them into value.
  • Supervision: provides supervisors with resources to identify and embed pedagogical, practical and up-to-date skills, and to gain knowledge of a variety of supervision practices from the non-academic sector.

Novel Course Concept

This career-oriented curriculum aims to address the future needs and competences of researchers. Aligned to the principles of open access and innovation, each of the DocEnhance courses is structured upon three interlinking learning modules:

  • The first open education module consists of online resources: lectures, tools and case studies. A set of short videos that can also be used for self-learning.
  • The second interdisciplinarity module consists of local group work, with exercises and discussion topics.
  • The third mobility module is a regional assignment with employers.

Resources for Doctoral Schools

The courses have been designed as open educational resources and easily be adapted and integrated into existing curricula and Moodle platforms. These training courses are completed with guidelines for higher education institutions to implement the courses.

Career-Tracking Survey

Another project legacy is the development of a career-tracking survey among doctoral graduates of nine European universities, resulting in a report on the main findings, as well as good practice recommendations for implementing a career-tracing survey of doctoral graduates in higher education institutions. As a result of this project, higher education institutions and policymakers have access to key findings on doctorate candidates’ career pathways and transferable skills training.

Final Event in Nova University, Lisbon

Representatives of higher education institutions, the non-academic sector, doctoral graduates, sister projects, and other stakeholders gathered at NOVA University, Lisbon, on 13 December for DocEnhance’s final event on “Transferable skills in doctoral education”. The DocEnhance Platform was presented as the project’s main legacy, providing three ready-to-use courses on transferable skills for doctoral education, piloted and evaluated by students and teachers. Check out the presentations here


To find out more

All project resources are available at https://docenhance and on the DocEnhance Community on Zenodo.

The DocEnhance project has received funding from the European Union`s Horizon 2020 Science with and for Society programme under grant agreement no. 872483