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DOCENT – DOCtors in ENTerprise

Programme: Eramus – Lifelong Learning Programme (2007-2013)

Typology: Multilateral projects/Cooperation between Universities and Business.

Duration: 2011 – 2012

Coordinator/Beneficiary: Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia 

Co-Beneficiaries: University of Malta,…

Academic Coordinator: …

Key Staff: 



The project is a response to Europe’s acknowledgement that doctoral graduates have the potential to be key actors in the creation of innovation and promoting knowledge-based economic growth in any economy at National, European and Global level. They possess the skills and competences and the training required to contribute to the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and technologies. Doctorate graduates are that innovation injection which can help industry in any economy to be more competitive in a knowledge base society. PhD graduates should not consider academia as their main or only path of employment but should

explore opportunities in industry, not only because the number of positions in Universities are saturated, but also because they can make a huge contribution to industry.

DOCENT, thus, aims to contribute to enhancing the employability of technical and scientific doctoral candidates in industry through the development and testing of:

  • a model for the provision of careers services specific to doctoral candidates and graduates capable of innovation and effective knowledge transfer, whether as an employee or as an entrepreneur. It also includes guidelines for integration/coordination between University functions; and
  • training modules to be offered within this careers services framework to support the professional development of doctoral candidates and graduates, in particular opening up opportunities beyond academia, and underpinning the development of transferable skills.

The Project Docent thus aims to enhance employability of technical and scientific PhD candidates through promoting the development of transferable skills among doctorate candidates, not only for the purpose of a career in industry, but to change the mindset of PhD graduates from the traditional academic one to a more entrepreneurial approach.