Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - EDITH (European doctorate on information technology)

The European Doctorate in Information Technology (EDITH) was devised to respond to the pressing demand of human resources required by the IT Society, and to grant our Ph.D. students the education and training requested to let them successfully compete in this information age. The program focused on: i) broaden the spectrum and the breath of competence of young researchers in the field of IT; ii) spur the research skills necessary to work within qualified environments and to deploy IT pertinent specialist knowledge; iii) provide them the ability to use logical and lateral thinking needed to achieve creative and innovative solutions to engineering problems; iv) let them access the unique teaching and research facilities of highly qualified European Universities and Research Centres with complementary expertise; v) create a link between academic and industrial bodies in Europe.

At the end of the program our targets can be considered to be fully reached. A first indicator of success is the number of visiting positions filled by the partners and, above all, the uniform distribution of these positions among them, both from the point of view of the number of ESRs hosted by each partner and from that of full-time equivalent months covered by the recruitment at every Institution. As a matter of fact, one partner hosted 4 ESRs, three partners hosted 5 ESRs, two partners hosted 7 ESRs and one hosted 8 ESRs, while the range of months covered is between 60 and 66 for five partners out of seven, with just one participant slightly below (47) and another above (89) that level.

For what concerns the mix of ESRs, the programme involved young researchers regardless of their gender and nationality. Talented students from less favourite regions were offered the opportunity to taste the European research environment. Interestingly, among the many EDITH visiting positions, some were assigned to ESRs coming from European Institutions outside the consortium. This shows the high level of appreciation towards the EDITH training capabilities. Most important, it boosted external awareness with regard to the EDITH experience and stimulated other institutions to pursue more internationalised Ph.D offerings by agreements with EDITH partners, such as for joint title recognition that are at the very core of the EDITH goals.

About joint titles, one of the most important indicators of success of the project is certainly the achievement of mutual agreements between the partners concerning a final joint or double degree to ESRs. More specifically, our main target has been that an ESR working in the framework of the EDITH project could receive at the end of his/her studies a Ph.D. title both from the hosting (i.e. original) Institute and from the associate Institute (i.e. where a visit or secondment take place), if he/she fulfils a minimum requirement in terms of work carried out in each Institution. These agreements involved not only EDITH partners, but also Institutions outside the EDITH consortium, as it happened in the case of bilateral agreement between three different consortium partners and two Italian Universities whose students had entered the EDITH program. The fact that some agreements have been signed immediately after the start of the project is of great significance, since it allowed 5 ESRs to take advantage of them during EDITH lifetime.

The main results of the project can be summarised as follows: 39 ESRs have been trained by the EDITH partners with great emphasis to fundamentals. Several training courses addressing have been offered to them with a final verification of their progress and satisfaction their activity has resulted in 24 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals and 53 peer-reviewed articles in conference proceedings. The ESRs are main authors in 13, out of 24, journal papers and in 34, out of 53, proceedings articles. Finally, some very successful activities have been recognised by two best student-paper awards granted to our ESRs.

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