11
OCT
2021

Liverpool experts help shape the training of the next generation of researchers

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) target the development of excellent researchers through international and cross-sector mobility. MSCA networks support joint doctoral programmes, implemented by European partnerships of universities, research institutions, industry (incl. SMEs) and other non-academic organisations.

Participants at the online MSCA workshop.

An expert workshop on ‘MSCA Networks – Training the next generation through collaborative programmes’ was held on 29 September 2021, hosted by the University of Liverpool’s QUASAR Group. The online event attracted staff at academic and non-academic organisations from across Europe, who are planning to participate in one of the next MSCA Doctoral Networks.

Since 2008, the QUASAR Group, founded by Prof Carsten P. Welsch, has led no less than five MSCA and has been in charge of the training of almost 100 Fellows. Fellows from several ITN’s worked at their research projects based at the Cockcroft Institute (CI).

The Group has extensive experience in the specific needs of large-scale collaborations and is responsible for the day-to-day management of research and training projects, partner contracts, science communication and outreach.

Theun van Veen (University of Liverpool) presented a talk about ‘Researcher training – benefits from a cohort approach’.

Formal project evaluations have commended the communication and outreach as “exemplary” and “outstanding in disseminating project results to the general public”, and have been highlighted by the European Commission as “success story”.

This places the Group in an ideal position to share best practice and provide participants at the workshop with a detailed understanding of the opportunities (and challenges) that the MSCA Doctoral Networks scheme offer.

The workshop programme included speakers from UK Research Office (UKRO), several experts from CERN and experts from the QUASAR Group.

Bruce Marsh (CERN) gave an overview about the ‘LISA ITN’ at CERN.

Prof Welsch, CI expert and Head of Liverpool’s Physics Department, said: “MSCA networks are ideal to enable cutting edge collaborative research. They are based on close collaboration between universities, research centres and industry. We have clearly seen that the innovative and extensive training, development and research opportunities our MSCA Fellows received could simply not be offered by a single university.” MSCA networks are intended to provide doctoral students with excellent research skills, coupled with experience outside of academia to develop their innovative capacities and boost their employability.

A call for applications is currently open and more information about MSCA doctoral networks can be found at:  https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/portal/screen/opportunities/topic-details/horizon-msca-2021-dn-01-01