Increasing understanding and establishing better links between African and European doctoral candidates (DocLinks)

Status: Completed project

Duration: 2011-2013

Project lead: The Association of Commonwealth Universities

Project partners: The European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers (Eurodoc), Belgium; French Speaking University Agency, Belgium; Irish African Partnership for Research Capacity Building, Ireland; Finnish University Partnership for International Development (UniPID), University of Jyväskylä, Finland; University of Botswana; African Academy of Sciences, Kenya

Funder: European Commission Erasmus Mundus Programme

Project award: EUR 317,390

Summary: The DocLinks project, coordinated by the ACU, worked on enhancing mutual understanding through the creation of a unique network bringing together African and European research students. Two residential schools were organised in both Europe and Africa and allowed for face-to-face collaboration and networking, while the newly established dedicated virtual network allowed to continue this cooperation and communication after the residential schools.

Outcomes: The project resulted in the creation of a virtual network of PhD students from Africa and Europe which currently has more than 1,800 members and is managed by Eurodoc. Through this resource, PhD students and junior researchers have access to a comprehensive list of career and research development opportunities.

Outputs: The ACU published Doctoral education in Africaa review of doctoral student needs and existing initiatives to support doctoral training and research development. This review was informed by a preliminary survey of doctoral students in Africa and Europe, carried out by the ACU.