Each PhD student (ESR) receives supervision and support by a comprehensive team of supervisors and other supporting functions (see Figure 2). At the home university, at which the ESR is employed, the Main supervisor has the major responsibility for the daily work, with additional support from the Co-supervisor. Each ESR is assigned a Local mentor, and has the opportunity to refer to her/him whenever necessary. The mentor, who is not associated with other SOCRATES activities, is a source of information regarding research and responsibilities and rights, and also exposes the mentee to the local campus and city cultural life. The mentor also assists establishing contacts with relevant administrative personnel and PhD “buddies” groups. The local International office provides additional support regarding housing and related matters.
An Assistant supervisor is appointed at the university at which the ESR spends his/her main academic secondment. This ensures full continuity and integration of research project activities while on secondment. The Industrial supervisor plays the same role during the ESR’s industrial secondment. The responsibilities of the supervisors are: continuous scientific and training supervision, approval of research results and manuscripts. The main supervisor has major responsibility for the overall achievements and progress towards a PhD degree.
Each ESR has a personal Career Development Plan (CDP) to help them developing their own career path. The main/co-supervisors are main responsible for the CDP and the Supervisory Board will ensure that the plan fits each individual’s special needs, skills, and requests, and to new situations that may arise during the course of the training period. This plan is updated at least every 6 months.