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Overview and content structure of the doctoral (PhD) training programme

NIC has accepted its strategy 2019-2023 and within 9 long-term strategic goals are also to devoted to whole and holistic support to PhD students at NIC. In period 2014- 2020 178 doctoral students were trained at NIC, each year around 30 new PhD students start their career at NIC.


The PhD degree of NIC PhD students is awarded by University of Ljubljana, with which NIC has a Memorandund of co-education from year 2006. Because PhD students are very important part of NIC, we have developed the Supervising PhD students strategy. Supervising strategy will be also respected withing Scientists4Future programme. It includes high ethical stardards of NIC, legal aspects between NIC and doctoral candidates and tranferrable skills training.However Scientists4Future Programme will go beyond existing practices of NIC by including international secondments and intersectoral training in the programme. Scientists4Future programme is designed based on the most recent Report[1] of McKinsey Global Institute on defining the skills scientists will need in the future world regarding competencies and thus knowledge, skills and attitudes important for future leaders. Scientists4Future’s key educational principles are to employ a training programme aligned with the 8 EC principles on Doctoral Networks (attractive institutional environments in an international consortium enabling networking, research excellence with interdisciplinary research options, exposure to industry and other relevant employment sectors like large infrastructures, complementary transferable skills training, among others) all covered by suitable quality assurance monitoring tasks.


Individual practical research work in host laboratories is carried out through the implementation of a forefront research and technology programme, completed by shared training through international, intersectorial and interdisciplinary secondments. In addition, local/ national training modules will be offered to the doctoral candidates as well as network-wide joint training events constructed specifically such as hands-on and Summer/Winter schools, workshops, and transferable skills events all along the doctoral candidates’ path. Some of these are open also to external experts, students and companies – which further supports the doctoral candidates of Scientists4Future in terms of creating their own extended networks.


Innovative Scientists4Future Slovenia training programme, is divided in two domains:


A. Scientific and Technical Knowledge and Skills implemented through 4 overall study tracks to match to the doctoral candidates’ own research project and a common set of

B. Transferable skills with 4 sub-domains The programme includes an innovative and extensive training offer with 50 hours ofmandatory transferable skills training.


  1. Transferable skills

Research innovation and entrepreneurship

Business creation course, Proposal writing training, Financial management training, Intellectual Property training

Public engagement and citizen science

Knowledge and skills to work with different target groups; Effective Communication: Writing, Design, and Presentation

Career development

Team work skills development, Work load and stress management, Creativity in research

Open Science practices

Training on Managing and Sharing Research data, Data protection and Ethics, OA Publishing, Open Science and Innovation , Scientific publications writing

Researchers will actively participate in international events organised by NIC (e.g. Pregl lectures) and international conferences relevant to the topic of research.


The secondments, the network-wide joint training modules and events are core part of the training programme. Each doctoral candidate will register in the Doctoral School of the implementing partner – University of Ljubljana, and attend modules and events implemented locally/ nationally.


Notably, specific training on health and safety procedures will be given by NIC to each doctoral candidate at the early beginning of their PhD including specific information on risks associated to experiments, practical training in case of emergency and is complementary on network-wide e-learning course.


Secondments: Mobility is a key asset and feature of the Scientists4Future doctoral programme with exchanges and visits planned for all doctoral candidates at partner laboratories and industrial premises. The secondments will last up to 3 months with a minimum of one international/intersectoral secondment per doctoral candidate.

The secondment(s) will be clearly outlined in the research project summary made in the Career Development Plan.




Main Training Events & Conferences

Action Month (estimated)


Welcome ceremony and welcome pack for each doctoral candidate  




Network meeting 1: Scientific training: Health pressing research topics – where are we now?



Transferrable Skills Training 1: Research innovation and entrepreneurship, Business creation course, Proposal writing training, Financial management training, IPR training, MSCA Green Charter



Network meeting 2: Greening the energy, policy strategies and response of science.

M 32


Transferrable Skills Training 2: Public engagement and citizen science. Knowledge and skills to work with different target groups (Effective Communication: Writing, Design, and Presentation, Dissemination strategies)



Network meeting 3: Advanced products- variety of new possibilities.

M 36


Transferrable Skills Training 3: Career development. Team work skills, Conflict management, Creative thinking techniques, Work load and stress management



Network meeting 4: Responsible chemical processes and their role in digital age.



Transferrable Skills Training 4: Open Science practices. Training on Managing and Sharing Research data, Data protection and Ethics, OA Publishing, Open Science and Innovation, Scientific publications writing



Network meeting 5: Computer modelling and supercomputing capacities in Slovenia.



International Symposium/Final Conference

M 60


Informal gathering of all recruited PhDs – Coffee time

Every week



Defining the skills citizens will need in the future world of work, McKinsey&Company, 2021


The Scientists4Future Slovenia has received funding from Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation. The project is co-executed by University of Ljubljana. 



Seal of Excellence HORIZON-MSCA-2021-COFUND

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