1. Mapping the opportunities and analysing the skills gap

The objective here is to create a solid evidence base for the further project activities and based on it outline the framework for the training programme to be developed in the project. Activities should result in a detailed knowledge about the labour market situation and career opportunities in life science sector in the region of Bratislava-Vienna and provide a detailed understanding of what are the perceived skills gaps both in terms of potential future employers in the analysed sector and the doctoral candidates themselves. Besides, they should help identify and engage key actors and employers from the life science sector in the region of Bratislava-Vienna in the project. Analysis carried out in the WP will start with the desktop research exploring and summarising existing sources of information and continue with qualitative research reaching out to employers, PhD candidates and other stakeholders.

2. Building capacities for inter-sectoral career training

Main goal is to develop the content of the comprehensive inter-sectoral career training programme addressing the requirements of life science sector and identified skill gaps. Besides, the activities  should result in building the capacities for the provision of intersectoral trainings at all participating institutions. Participating staff should gain the experience and training enabling them to develop and deliver similar trainings addressing other fields and disciplines. They should also get an opportunity to establish the network of contacts and links to the employers in the life-science sector. To facilitate the learning process, activities will be based on the principles of the collaboration and co-creation enabling for mutual exchange and knowledge sharing. Activities will mostly take place in four working groups consisting of staff from all participating institutions and external experts representing employers. Each group will focus on one of the four main skills areas (career skills and strategies, skills for transferring knowledge into practice, transferable skills, skills for entrepreneurship) and develop the content of training units addressing the skills gap identified in the previous phase.

3. Pilot implementation of training programme

The main objective of this project phase is a pilot implementation of the developed training programme and its extension through activities creating opportunities for networking between PhD students and employers. The pilot testing will take place in two steps. First, the joint winter school will be organised for PhD students from all participating institutions. Second, each of the participating universities and research institutions will implement one cycle of training programme for their PhD students. Training activities will be accompanied by the joint matchmaking event for PhD students and employers in life science sector. Feedback from all activities will be collected and evaluated and suggestions for further updates will be formulated.

4. Scaling up the capacities 

Main goal of this work package is to disseminate the project outcomes and create tools and mechanisms enabling the long-term sustainability of the project outcomes and their extension towards other sectors and disciplines. On the one hand, we will invest in strengthening the collaborations created within project with regard to both community of professionals supporting career development of researchers and collaborations with employers and external experts. On the other hand, the focus will be on reaching towards wider professional community at the participating institutions as well as towards other research institutions in the region and encouraging them in adopting the programme according to needs of their specific discipline or sector. Self-sustaining online community of employers and researchers in the life science sector will be established for this purpose. Know-how developed in the projects as well as lessons learnt in the pilot implementation process will be summarised in the online Resource guide on intersectoral career training for PhD students. The guide will be published on the websites of EURAXESS Slovakia and University of Vienna and available under open access license to professionals interested in the topic. All project partners will organise dissemination workshops at their institutions to share the project outcomes with their colleagues. Final conference will be organised to present the outcomes of the project to wider professional community across different sectors.