2023 Sep/27

Research for Society News

Equipping researchers with a broader set of skills, Transversal Skills pilot training programme

On September 20th, 21st, and 22nd, EU-CONEXUS Research for Society (RFS) concluded its pilot training program on Transversal Skills for researchers with a final session. This session focused on the Impact and Dissemination of research results and was led by Eimear Fitzpatrick, an expert in HR Business Partner for Research at South East Technological University.

The final session brought together 18 researchers in Valencia, Spain, hosted by the Catholic University of Valencia. During this last session, participants had the unique opportunity to visit the largest aquarium in Europe, “Oceanogràfic,” and its associated Foundation. Here, researchers gained insights into the foundation’s strategies for disseminating information and measuring the impact of their initiatives among various target groups. The ultimate goal is to raise awareness across society, with the aim of enhancing the conservation of species and their natural habitats.

In the evolving research landscape, what sets researchers apart is not only the depth of their knowledge in a specific field but also their capacity to adapt, communicate, and collaborate across different disciplines and cultures. The primary objective of this program, developed by EU-CONEXUS RFS, a Horizon 2020 funded project, is to recognize the significance of these ‘transversal skills’ and equip researchers with a broader skill set.

This pilot program on Transversal Skills has brought numerous benefits and has made a significant impact on the European research community by:

  1. Enhancing research quality: Transversal Skills have positively influenced the quality of research.
  2. Promoting collaboration: Interdisciplinary collaboration has led to a broader perspective on research questions.
  3. Boosting competitiveness on the global stage: This has attracted international partnerships and funding opportunities.
  4. Global impact: The program enables the tracking of research impact along the pathway and the dissemination of results in society, aligning with the goals of the European Research Area.
  5. Facilitating knowledge exchange across borders and disciplines: This fosters a more interconnected European research community.

The researchers involved strongly advocate for the continuation of the program, with the inclusion of various types of training, ranging from very short sessions on specific topics to several days of training, aligning with the European Competence Framework. The Transversal Skills Training Programme serves as a testament to the commitment to nurturing well-rounded researchers. These individuals are not only experts in their respective fields but also possess the vital skills necessary to navigate the complexities of the modern research landscape.

As the program continues to evolve, it will undoubtedly contribute to Europe’s position as a hub for cutting-edge research and innovation, empowering researchers to address the challenges and opportunities of the future. However, for this vision to become a reality, European policies and financial support from the European Union must play a dual role: enabling researchers to acquire these skills and reducing the current workload associated with proposal preparation and research project management. Eimear Fitzpatrick emphasized this crucial point.

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