The main goal of GreenCarbon is to empower the ESRs through the provision of a comprehensive and coherent training package that will allow them to take the academic research into industry and to solve societal and industrial problems. The individual training packages for each of the ESRs will have a portfolio of cross-disciplinary and intersectoral scientific, technical and complementary skills. Hence, each ESR will have a Personalised Training Programme (PTP) related to their Career Development Plan (CDP).
The PTPs will be based on the following elements: 1) primary “on the job” training; 2) secondments to other partners of the network; 3) training in complementary skills; and 4) network-wide training events and meetings.
- Primary “on the job” training. The essential part of the training will naturally include delivery of scientific and technical skills at the highest level. These skills will be clearly identified and included in the PTP of each ESR. The PhD research projects will be co-supervised by at least two senior researchers from different partners directly involved in the specific research activities. The host-based doctoral programmes offer specialised courses closely related to the research activity assigned to a given host academic partner (or linked industrial one) within the network.
- Secondments. GreenCarbon aims at providing a well-balanced training programme that cannot be conducted by the single partners alone, thereby promoting knowledge transfer in different working environments, multidisciplinary and intersectoral exchange and workplace mobility. Every ESR will be seconded to at least one partner group for a total duration of at least 6 months. Moreover, the ESRs will be encouraged to partake in short-term scientific visits (2 weeks) to partner groups of GreenCarbon. These visits will serve as an instrument for knowledge and skills transfer among the groups and will be used when appropriate according to the respective PTP.
- Training in complementary skills. A series of complementary skills will be taught locally and network-wide through dedicated training events. These will include personal skills (commitment to research, health and safety, project and time management, technical and scientific writing, ability to deliver oral presentations, and team working), outreach skills (communication media and methods, scientific publication, and public engagement) as well as transferable skills (intellectual property rights, exploitation of research results, leadership, job-application strategies, and creation of new spin-off ventures).
- Network-wide training events. GreenCarbon has a number of training events planned (see Table below). These will enable training of all the ESRs in their required scientific knowledge and cover the needs for additional training in complementary skills (not taught at the local nodes). These training events will be structured as tutorial lectures and practical exercises from experts from within and outside the network.
The CDPs will also include a strategy for the future career development of the ESRs after the termination of GreenCarbon. Employment opportunities in the private and public sectors will be carefully analysed in view of the scientific, technical and complementary skills and professional contacts acquired through the training in the network.
Main network-wide training events and meetings
At the three research schools (duration: 2 days) an overview of the state of knowledge in the main fields of research involved in the network will be covered. This will result in the ESRs obtaining a diverse research knowledge baseline. Example courses to be presented at the schools are:
- Research School 1 (Thermochemical Biomass Conversion): Risks and benefits related to the sourcing of biomass for BC production. Fundamentals of biomass pyrolysis and hydrothermal carbonisation.
- Research School 2 (Refining of BCs): Textural, morphological and chemical characterisation of carbon materials. Fundamentals of adsorption onto activated carbons (ACs). Potential of BCs as a precursor for ACs and catalyst supports.
- Research School 3 (Applications of BC-derived materials): CO2-capture in post-combustion. Biomorphic catalysts for bioenergy applications. Magnetic catalysts for biochemistry applications. Stability of biochar in soil environment.
In parallel to the summer schools and meetings, GreenCarbon will organise three workshops (duration: 1 day) during the course of which ESRs will improve their personal, outreach and transferable skills. The dates for these training events coincide with research schools or meetings to decrease the required travel time and expense.
At the annual meetings (duration: 2 days) the ESRs will present their progress reports. An added value of the meetings will be the chance to acquire valuable professional contacts and to address questions to the industrial partners and the members of the Advisory Board. In parallel to the Final Meeting, the consortium will organise the GreenCarbon Conference (duration of both events: 4 days) to broaden the dissemination of results from the network and highlight its achievements. The conference will be open for the wider research community and high-profile researchers will be featured as invited speakers. The best scientific contributions will be invited to submit their manuscripts to a special issue of a JCR-indexed journal. A discussion session will be organised to lay the foundations for future developments and collaborations. All the ESRs will attend and present the findings from their projects to a wider public.