Project Workpackages

The project is organized in 6 workpackages:

  1. Preparation - aimed at developing common vision among partners of the required framework for PhD training based on EU best practices (Codes of Practice & gov't regulations). This WP also involves sharing EU best practice (study visits to EU partners) for course content in three dimensions: a) transferrable skills, b) academic writing, c) subject-area speciality courses.
  2. Development of course curricula for transferrable skills, academic writing, and subject-specific PhD training. As part of this WP, regulatory documents enabling inter-HEI cooperation - including transfer of state funds and academic credits between Ukrainian HEIs - will be drafted and submitted for approval to MinEdu and other gov't agencies. 
  3. Development of teaching staff capacity, and preparation of program design documents required for licensing of new inter-HEI PhD programs. This WP involves piloting of curricula (transferrable skills and academic writing) developed in WP2, co-teaching of courses in each DocHub by PC and EU instructors, and publication of validated course curricula. Instructors from inter-HEI subject-area groups will pilot speciality courses developed in WP2 (EU-PC co-teaching); validated curricula will form the basis for design of new inter-HEI joint PhD programs to be submitted for licensing to MinEdu and EU partner peer review.
  4. Quality Plan - DocHub sustainability depends on their reputation. QA reports incl. student feedback, instructor notes, and training manuals will be published on the project website, together with a formal QA report on transferrable skills, academic writing, and speciality course pilots. Students engaged in speciality course pilots will write the traditional aspirantura speciality exam; academic writing students will be tested at enrollment (B2 level required) and at course completion using CAE benchmark tests. 
  5. Dissemination and Exploitation activities aimed at national popularization of inter-HEI cooperation in PhD training, and to generate demand for domestic mobility among PhD students. As part of this WP, a series of “road show” presentations in each Ukrainian region will be held targeting HEI administrators and academic staff. Regulatory framework changes will be explained, and DocHubs’ offerings in transferrable skills and academic writing presented as models for inter-HEI cooperation in teaching and research. In yr 3, co-supervisors from the 5 newly launched inter-HEI PhD programs will select students for international mobility to their EU partner colleagues.
  6. Management of the project by the applicant's PM (from P1 - VU) and the Local coordinator (from P2 - NaUKMA); regular reporting to the Project Management Board (one member from each partner) re outputs, budget, personnel, QA, and deadlines

Expected results:

  1. To draft, agree, and adopt HEI-level Codes of Practice and state-level regulatory frameworks (MinEdu, Cabinet of Ministers, NAQAHE) for the functioning of inter-institutional cooperation in PhD training. Specifically, regulations enabling inter-HEI transfers of state funds (payments for courses, co-supervision of students from non-host HEIs), recognition of transfer credits (both domestic and international), licensing and accreditation of inter-HEI joint PhD programs are to be drafted, agreed, and adopted.
  2. To establish 5 regional DocHubs as national centers of excellence in PhD training; to agree their Codes of Practice; to  install infrastructure for tracking enrolment, student progress, supervision, mobility, coursework, research results and publications, and to enable blended learning; to popularize these DocHubs as centers for aggregation of critical mass for teaching and research.
  3. To establish 5 inter-HEI subject-specific research networks (political sciences, education policy, finance, informatics, and biochemistry) that are integrated through regular seminars and co-supervision of PhD students, including using distance learning and videoconferencing. Each of the research networks is to include supervisors and PhD students from at least two Ukrainian universities and teaching/research staff from at least one EU partner and one AS institute. Within the lifetime of the project, each of these networks is expected to launch one inter-HEI joint PhD program.
  4. To establish infrastructure and systems for training in advanced academic writing (customized to thematic area) in each of the DocHubs, including developed and validated curricula for blended learning (online content, learning management system, in-class equipment), and instructors trained in relevant teaching methods. Course curricula to be validated with Cambridge Advanced English testing tools, and scaled to a broad audience of researchers seeking to upgrade their writing skills (enabling international publication). The courses will be aimed at improving students' proficiency from B2 to C1 level - a niche that is not currently served by language schools in Ukraine, so given demand, the DocHub course offerings will survive the project lifetime.
  5. To design and pilot transferrable skills (e.g. research management, presentation, teaching skills, etc.), and speciality courses (3 for each inter-HEI subject-area group) according to EC “Principles for Innovative Doctoral Training” quality standards.