On 9th November 2022, Eurodoc’s Board (President Oleksandr Berezko, Vice-President Sebastian Dahle, General Board Members Nicola Dengo and Joanna Rutkowska), Advisory Board (Iryna Degtyarova, Giulia Malaguarnera, Eva Hnatkova, and Mathias Schroijen) and Secretariat members (Secretariat Coordinator, WG Doctoral Training Co-coordinator, and WG Internal Management Co-coordinator Pil Maria Saugmann, External Communication Coordinator Anna Pavelieva and Newsletter Officer Kateryna Hodik) met at Eurodoc's in-person Board meeting, where eight further members and delegates of Eurodoc also had a chance to attend in person. They held an open discussion with a focus on AGM 2022 Annual Goals and doctoral training (in preparation for KRECon 2022).
The Board meeting was attended by the representatives of Italian, Polish, Norwegian, Hungarian, Ukrainian, French, Czech, Slovenian, Swedish, and Dutch National Associations, who took part in the discussions, and further focus-session on ORE and KRECon 2022 conference.
Amongst Eurodoc’s most important general goals for 2022/2023, we can mention developing awareness, policies, and outputs for crucial topics for ECRs such as a focus on doctoral training, employment, and welfare; preparation for future projects and finalizing the current ones (“Doctoral Supervision Survey” and Partnership with ORE: “Perspectives on Open Science and Scholarly Publishing: a Survey Study Focusing on Early Career Researchers in Europe”) and etc.
During the discussion on Eurodoc Annual Goals implementation, Nicola Dengo, spoke about the problem of the definition of a “doctoral candidate” and a “PhD” and the problem of duality, as the right definition helps to outline the skillset of a doctoral graduate and shape their experience, how specific skills training should be introduced in doctoral programs (especially digital, environmental sustainability, Open Science) through different training approaches. Nicola Dengo emphasized that the purpose of skills training should be made understandable to doctoral candidates - otherwise, there is a risk of a bad perception – “Skills training is not seasoning, courses should not be sprinkled on top of existing doctoral programs, but programs need to have skills training integrated into their structure”, - says Nicola. Amongst other problems common for doctoral candidates in Europe, the speaker also noted poor representation of doctoral candidates across institutions (depending on the country) and other bodies (e.g. BFUG), as well as poor feedback on doctoral training.
Nicola Dengo, General Board Member: “What's the definition of a doctoral candidate? By defining what the target is, it is likely easier to identify the right strategy to hit it. Doctoral training becomes the strategy that is used to carry a candidate successfully from enrollment to graduation”.
Oleksandr Berezko, Eurodoc President: “Eurodoc can also give some sustainability to National Associations. While some National Associations are more active, others might be less and even struggling. So Eurodoc can help pursue the organisational memory for them and help ensure the knowledge transfer”.
Sebastian Dahle, Vice-President of Eurodoc, on the importance of National Associations’ cooperation with Eurodoc: “National Associations should be aware that Eurodoc is a valuable resource they can use”.