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Attract, Retain and Develop New Nuclear Talents Beyond Academic Curricula

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ENENplus (Attract, Retain and Develop New Nuclear Talents Beyond Academic Curricula)

Reporting period: 2019-04-01 to 2020-09-30

The primary motivation of the ENEN+ project is to substantially contribute to the revival of the interest of young generations in the careers in nuclear sector.
This is to be achieved by pursuing the following main objectives:
• Attract new talents to careers in nuclear.
• Develop the attracted talents beyond academic curricula.
• Increase the retention of attracted talents in nuclear careers.
• Involve the nuclear stakeholders within EU and beyond.
• Sustain the revived interest for nuclear careers.
The ENEN+ consortium focuses on the learners and careers in the following nuclear disciplines:
• Nuclear reactor engineering and safety,
• Waste management and geological disposal,
• Radiation protection and
• Medical applications.
Integration of further nuclear disciplines (e.g. nuclear chemistry, decommissioning, fusion engineering) and sustainability of the ENEN+ accomplishments beyond the project life of is foreseen within the existing ENEN Association and its members and partnering of ENEN association with ongoing and proposed projects.
Although the COVID 19 had an important influence on the project (especially on the mobilities, starting with the second part of 2020) most of the activities could move forward even though some of them had to be postponed/delayed. Slowly, we are recovering the lost time and we have re-scheduled the actions and we consider the project to be on the right track.

WP1: Attract new nuclear talents in secondary schools
1.1 Attractive E-information for the secondary school pupils:
• 8 posters were made by different institutions in 11 languages
• Webpage updated to include details on attractive E-information and about both competitions, including a counting system.
• Several videos of young professionals’ career path
1.2 EU wide national nuclear competitions of the secondary school pupils:
• Organization of the competition for the 15 finalist teams (summer 2019). Contributions that were voted as finalists were uploaded on the ENEN’s YouTube channel . The 15 nominated videos have had more than 17000 views during the last 12 months.
1.3 Summer camp for finalists of the EU competition:
• Due to the outbreak of the COVID pandemic, only one Summer Camp could be celebrated in Budapest (Hungary).
1.4 Explore the possibility of secondary school and university networking for nuclear matters
• eTwinning tool was adopted, via ADi, in order to set up a seed for European networking between ENEN and Secondary Schools.

WP2: Increase attraction and retention of new talents among undergraduate students
2.1 Strategies for attracting students at bachelor level:
• Summer School for BSc: 70 BSc applied and 45 BSc students could attend (July 2019) from ten different European countries: Italy, Spain, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, Serbia, Russia and Romania.
• Due to the COVID pandemic, the second Summer School (Summer 2020) could not be implemented.
2.2 Strategies for retaining students in nuclear fields:
• Dedicated YouTube Channel named “Career in Nuclear”, where the following were produced and allocated:
17 videos on nuclear career opportunities
4 one-hour webinars on “What to do with my career” (featuring HR representatives and young professionals)
• Strengthening of the Mentorship Program (that was launched in the previous RP), including updating the dedicated section on Mentorship in the ENEN+ website and the list of Volunteers.
• Development of specific section on ENS website on career opportunities
• 1st annual “career planning and goal setting event” was organized together with OECD-NEA (August’20)
2.3 Consolidate the EMSNE scheme and evolve it to EU Master of Science in Nuclear Disciplines (EMSNE)
• Further organization and consolidation of the existing EMSNE
• Extension of the coverage of the Certificate, from Nuclear Engineering to a much wider range of nuclear topics related to nuclear sciences/disciplines (EMSND), namely: rad-waste, geological disposal, radiation protection and medical physics.

WP3: Attract and develop new talents through nuclearization
3.1 Develop projections of the workforce needs:
• EHRO-N survey conducted on the workforce needs. Most wanted profiles for ECVET system applications were also identified.
3.2 Develop the ECVET based curricula for the identified profiles:
• Advancements on the description of the identified job profiles
3.3 Identification of best applicants from non-nuclear sectors:
• Report on nuclearization of professionals holding MSc: needs and opportunities.

WP4: Develop new nuclear researchers beyond academic curricula
4.2 Facilitate access to infrastructures and EURATOM projects:
• Infrastructure/Facilities Database shared through social media
4.3 Consolidate and further develop the ENEN PhD event:
• Consolidation of the actions related to the ENEN PhD E&P
• Proposal of the ENEN PhD Events and Prizes By-laws
4.4 ENEN Doctoral School on Nuclear Innovation:
• Further collection of all the national regulatory criteria for the doctoral degree at the European level.

WP5: Consolidate and further develop European Fission Training Schemes and mobility (EFTS)
5.1 Consolidate vocational EFTS through voluntary accreditation:
• Voluntary accreditation procedure tested in a pilot
• Development of the By-laws and Operating Rules of the EVAENET.
5.2 Coordinate the development of EFTS in niche applications:
• Contacts approached to gather information on new organized courses or initiatives in the defined niche areas
5.3 Sustainable ENEN+ grant mobility system:
• Delayed due to COVID-19.

WP6: Involvement of Stakeholders in EU and beyond
6.1 Develop and implement communication strategy with industry and legislators:
• The communication strategy is now being in the implementation phase with ENEN.
6.2 Develop and propose the strategy for European nuclear ETKM:
• ENEN teamed up with EHRO-N to gather specific and more reliable data at least on the supply side
• The team developing the draft of the ETKM strategy has been strengthened to include the University of Stuttgart (third party to ENEN ). The strengthened team started to prepare the draft.
• Discussion on ETKM Strategy initiated by NESTet Program Committee on November 2020.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project suffered important deviations. At the beginning of the Pandemic, it was difficult to estimate how much time this will block our activities dedicated to people mobilities. We were forced to cancel all summer schools foreseen in the project with the hope that they can be re-scheduled for 2021. Even though the actions foreseen for the summer schools started we were unable to finalize them due to the pandemic. Most of the mobilities were cancelled during 2020. Most of the group actions were cancelled during 2021. Although we blocked the funds for supporting these mobilities/actions the great majority of money had to be returned with a few exceptions that involved force majeure (non-refundable tickets and accommodation, etc.)
The situation is expected to improve in 2021 and if not, we will be forced to re-assess the assumed actions and to replace them with similar ones. Several deliverables were delayed. The partners took a longer time than estimated to fulfil the tasks and even with delays the project continued. An extension of the project by one more year was approved and adopted.
The University of Pisa offered an in-kind contribution to the project, a set of weekly webinars consisting of various themes.
European geographical distribution of ENENplus financed individual activities
Status of approved individual applications at mid-term of ENENplus project
Geografical distribution of ENENplus financed individual activities