Network-wide training course in transferable skills will be specially developed and delivered by the Think Ahead (Sheffield), an award winning programme supporting Early Career Researchers (award by the Times Higher Education, 2014).

Importantly, at the Kick-off meeting, Think Ahead will deliver training on gender issues to the group leaders, which would inform the recruitment strategies and practices.

Research training

The highly reputable academic and industrial groups in this network possess vast expertise in delivering the highest level of training in research and technology, underpinning the excellent training programme offered by the network. The multidisciplinarity of this training programme is underpinned by the special system of secondments. These are designed in such a way that each ESR will be exposed to various research environments (through 2 or 3 secondments to academic partners), as well as various industrial environments/sectors (through 1 to 3 secondments to industrial partners). 

The involvement of the industrial partners is crucially important for implementation of the research programme of the consortium and will also be fully used for the ESR training. Three different industrial sectors are represented further emphasizing the inter-sectorial character of the network and training: manufacture of low-temperature equipment (Attocube, JPE, LCryo); advanced materials manufacture [industrial scale isotope enrichment (Urenco) and high purity diamond production (E6), and research scale TMDC production (HQG)]; fabrication of thin film coatings (HPL). 

The research training provisions are fully aligned with the research programme of the consortium, and great care will be taken in arrangements for the secondments that the new skills acquired by an individual ESR maximize the research output from his/her project. Accordingly, the exact duration of the secondments will be decided during the implementation of the network. However we will target the minimum total length of 3 months per ESR for all secondments planned. 
Training in complementary skills

Special attention will be paid to structured network-wide training in complementary skills including leadership, entrepreneurship, management, IPR issues, public engagement etc, which will be provided by a programme specially designed by the award-winning Think Ahead at USFD (prestigious national award by the Times Higher Education for Outstanding Support for Early Career Researchers). 

All ESRs will become part of the postgraduate communities at their Universities and will enroll for many local courses in complementary skills.  HPL and Attocube ESRs will register for PhD at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, and TUM, respectively). 

The programme to be developed by Think Ahead will be complementary to the locally delivered training. Think Ahead will use the first 6-12 months to network with local career and researcher development services at beneficiaries, in order to develop appropriate network-wide training programme for ESRs, and take steps to certify this training according to European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). 

This development will be mainly steered by the Training Needs Analysis (TNA) to be undertaken by each ESR at the point of entry into the network. Each ESR’s Career Development Plan (CDP) will describe complementary skills training (both local and network-wide) to be advised by Think Ahead. 

Think Ahead will deliver 3 network-wide training events in months 13-40 when all 15 ESRs have been employed.