WP2 Training in scientific methods

Throughout the project, but especially at the beginning, each researcher will receive training in scientific methods by their research supervisor. The training will be individually tailored depending on previous experience. Experienced researchers (ERs) are assumed to possess most of the skills described in WP2. Where needed additional training will be given to ERs.

The supervisor will agree on a personal development plan (PDP), which will include basic training and decisions on which parts of other training modules (WP’s 3-5) would be appropriate for the researcher. A copy of the personal development plan and regular (annual) updates and reports will be sent to the project manager, who will compile all plans for the Training Supervisory Board (TSB). The board will ensure an equal level of training throughout partner institutions (dissemination of best practice).

The basic scientific methods that will be covered by in-house training are:

  • Definition of research goals that will lead to publications in high-impact journals. This will be achieved by defining clear targets and expectations. The student will also receive training in literature search methods,
  • Appropriate record-keeping of experimental data in notebooks (signed off by supervisors in regular intervals),
  • Risk assessment and safety training for laboratory and office work,
  • Critical evaluation of scientific data, design of control experiments,
  • Formal training courses offered in-house (writing in scientific English; scientific presentations; patenting and IPR, use of software packages such as Matlab, Labview, COMSOL, CFX or SolidWorks),
  • Understanding of the project as a whole and recognition of the relevance of their contribution to the project. This will be achieved through attending in-house and regular network meetings,
  • Daily contact with laboratory advisors and technicians to facilitate rapid familiarization with laboratory techniques relevant to the project,
  • Weekly meetings with academic supervisors to ensure trouble-free progress throughout the programme,
  • Regular seminars by internationally renowned scientists who will also be available for detailed discussions,
  • Regular research group meetings to discuss results and review current literature (‘journal club’),
  • Annual meetings of all network members to discuss and exchange results and ideas and review project progress,
  • Regular survey of the scientific literature (supervisor advises on scientific journals to read) to get a broad view of developments in the research area,
  • Training in independent thinking,
  • Preparation of 1st and 2nd year reports for early stage researcher (ESR),
  • Preparation of a CV and training in interview techniques.