European/International Joint Ph.D. students are offered a broader range of international expertise for their research than would be possible at a national level. In this respect it is particularly beneficial that students are able to choose the foreign tutors by whom they wish to be supervised. The role of an eminent academics is of particular benefit to both European/International Joint Ph.D. students and senior researchers in the training network.
As each network university site has special expertise in a particular methodological approach to research in social representations, the students are exposed to a variety of complementary methodological approaches.
The multidisciplinary approaches and facilities to which students are exposed in host universities give them access to a far wider range of research disciplines than would be possible nationally.
In the course of their research, students are continually in contact with their tutors. Under the open learning system, tutors have on-line access to students’ work and are thus able to make didactic use of the web-site and monitor students’ progress quickly and directly. The European/International Joint Ph.D. guarantees a maximum of 2-3 students per tutor per year. This ensures individual tutoring at all times and close monitoring of students’ progress.
The system of open distance learning guarantees flexibility in meeting the needs of students. Within the confines of the didactic structure it enables students to organise their research in the way that they wish. Open distance learning can also be adapted to provide more temporary or more specific training if required by the trainee.
Under the open distance learning system, the Programme Director and Scientific Co-ordinator have access to students’ research. Administratively speaking, this communal access is advantageous because it enables research training to be easily co-ordinated and supervised by the scientific committee.
Adequate infrastructure and dedicated facilities at the founding university and network universities, including a common web site platform that enables linkage between international physical and virtual mobility (access to a dedicated Portal and web-auditorium interactive system) and innovative practices adopted for teaching, tutoring and co-tutoring, network management, etc. that allow flexibility in face-to-face and open distance interactive learning contexts. The system of open distance learning guarantees meeting trainees' needs, enabling them to organise their research in the way they wish within the confines of the didactic structure. Open distance learning as well as structured international mobility can also be adapted to provide temporary or more specific training where necessary.
Transmission of transferable general skills (such as modern presentation techniques, conference presentation, workshop organisation, design and organization of academic work, research team management, and management of statistical software, large bibliographies and international databases, etc.) via learning by doing. This involves research trainees in scientific activities either individually or in small to medium teams and in different contexts (presenting their research progress during International Lab Meetings and Summer Schools, use of the web-auditorium, organising small seminars, participating in international conferences, advanced training courses for different statistical software packages, writing joint papers, participating in European projects and international networking, cooperating in meta-theoretical analysis of the specialised literature on Social Representations and Communication, managing a large bibliographical repository, contributing to the construction of the specialised So.Re.Com. “A.S. de Rosa’s” @-Library, etc.). Within the framework of this fruitful inter-sectorial collaboration between academic and entrepreneurial network members, our enterprise partners have special responsibility for training in other transferable career skills, including: effective use of e-learning technologies, research software, web design, software programming, marketing, sales, management and entrepreneurship, etc.
The European/International Joint Ph.D. is not a substitute for a national Ph.D., but can be earned in addition to a national Ph.D.