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women's studies

Final Activity Report Summary - GENDERGRADUATES (women's studies)

The aim of the Marie Curie early stage training programme GENDERGRADUATES was to create a high-level European scientific environment intersecting nationality, race, gender and viewpoints in which to jointly train and exchange international PhD students. This aim was not only successfully met but also surpassed thanks to the following elements:
1. the proven and established record of high-level European cooperation among the consortium partners in other ongoing European projects, most notably the European Union Socrates thematic network ATHENA, the European Union life-long learning project NOISE, the Erasmus Mundus research Master GEMMA, the Marie Curie ITN proposals and, finally, the InterGender PhD network.
2. the excellent choice of the seven institutional partners which had a high expertise in gender research and education, with the required proficiency to successfully guide and train young, starting researchers in their first experience with doing gender research.

The combination of these two factors led to the creation of an international environment in which the Early stage researchers (ESRs) benefited from a core curriculum of jointly taught courses, intensive training sessions, research seminars with emphasis on issues of interdisciplinary methodology, targeted tutorials and individual supervision sessions, some with their own local supervisors, some with experts from within the consortium.

The success of this four-year project was established and confirmed. The following highlights of this achievement could be indicated:
1. managing a consortium according to the high standards indicated in the application. This included a twofold level of organisation. On the one hand, we succeeded in attracting high-level, ambitious young people from all over Europe. On the other hand, the consortium managed to set up and implement a very efficient management structure which facilitated decision making processes while ensuring effective monitoring of progress and quality-controls.
2. creation of an actual European network where not only a continued and close cooperation among the partners was enabled, but also a research environment of outstanding intellectual and social quality was made available to facilitate the mobility of the fellows. The positive effects of such academic connections and community-building were likely to be long-lasting.
3. teaching the core curriculum. The compulsory courses were successfully taught and positively evaluated.
4. ongoing development of a joint research training programme. The parts of the research training programme that turned out to be highly successful were the tutorials given at the host universities, the GENDERGRADUATES seminars held in conjunction with the NOISE Summer school and the individual coaching sessions with experts from the partner universities.
5. formalisation of individual training programmes and personal career development plans for all ESRs. All partners did their utmost to fulfil this goal; even in countries were no tradition of personalised training programmes existed. In addition, all ESRs had an extensive supervision team.
6. the fellows did extremely well. Therefore, there were definitive advantages for both the fellows and the local students. The majority of the one year researchers completed their project according to plan. All ESRs willing to do so, successfully applied to other PhD programmes. They were granted new research contracts and awarded scholarships to finish their research. Six ESRs completed their PhD degree and twelve were expected to receive their doctoral degree within the 20 months following the project completion. Furthermore, one fellow received an MPhil and two a RMA. Finally, every indicator pointed to the fact that this EST was likely to have long-lasting effects in the careers of the students involved.