With the start of the new year, it is also time to look back at 2022. The FINDER project has successfully concluded the past year with progression. This progression mirrors in the organized FINDER events (see here and here), conference attendance (see here and here), the completion of whitepapers (see here and here), and the first FINDER publications (see here and here). From these successful experiences, our ESRs have learned lessons that further facilitate their work along their trajectories. FINDER further joined in on the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) European industrial doctorates (EID) Cluster Event to learn from external experience as well. Conducted by the European Research Agency, the event took place in 10. November 2022 focusing on one of European Industrial Doctorate’s strong points: the interconnection of academic and non-academic practice.
This cluster event kicked off with an overview session detailing the landscape: 1,035 projects involving 12,000 ESRS are currently funded with around €3.42 billion to foster international collaboration in MSCA in Horizon Europe. The core of the event was formed by six parallel workshops where current researchers and project managers discussed and exchanged information on (i) achieving excellence in research and innovation, as well as (ii) increasing career opportunities for early-stage researchers. The six topics covered all the aspects of EID projects, specifically: Joint procedures; Administration; Mobility – Secondments – Training; Policy Workshops; Industry and business participation; Project practicalities. Hence, not only a researchers’ core activity was discussed but also valorization, international and business experience, and how to facilitate these through administration. This holistic approach allowed tracking if the Horizon projects succeeded in their aim: to enhance doctoral candidates with better career opportunities by providing them with skills formed through their experience from both academia and industry business.
In total, this event was a fitting occasion to share experiences, hurdles, and best practices across project participants of active MSCA as well as policy officers of European institutions. As such, it allowed sharing FINDER experience as well as learning from others’ experiences. Ultimately, we expect that all these learnings will feed into the ESRs pipeline leading to further FINDER successes.