Date(s): 13/10/2017 - 16/10/2017
Sumforest Summer School for Young Researchers
“Networking and communication skills in research in the area of sustainable forest management”
13-16 October 2017, Barcelona, Spain
Mapping of forest research capacities in North Africa Mediterranean, Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries and Russia implemented as a part of Foresterra and Sumforest projects has demonstrated a set of similar problems their forest research sectors are currently facing. For example, a number of scientific institutions were closed down or diminished, financing was reduced, the number of research staff severely reduced and currently the average age of the staff is high. Many organizations almost completely lost connections to participate in international calls for proposals and research projects. They also lost the experience how to publish in international journals and they rarely participate in international scientific events, etc.
Consequently there is now an urgent need to stimulate and enhance the international cooperation and to provide networking and coordination opportunities for North Africa Mediterranean, Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries and Russia in the area of forest research. To ensure the continuity, the focus has to be on younger generation of researchers.
Taking into account the circumstances mentioned above, the Sumforest project organized on June 27-29, 2017 in Minsk, Belarus, a Summer School for Young Researchers on the topic “Networking and communication skills in research in the area of sustainable forest management”. Specific knowledge and skills needed for the integration into international research community, e.g. how to get information on international calls for proposals, how to build consortia, requirements for writing international collaborative research proposals and basics of international evaluation procedures have been provided.
This event put together 25 participants selected on a competitive basis. 12 of them came from the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, 7 participants were from Russia (from Siberia as well as from the European part: north-west and centre) and 6 of them originated from North Africa Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Tunisia, Turkey). They represent a wide scope of organizations: academia, research, education, supporting development agencies, etc. Gender balance was well taken into consideration (10 male and 15 female participants).
The course represented a combined approach and mixture of lectures by highly experienced key speakers and interactive group work on developing cases of project proposals. The overall assessment of this course by the participants based on their feedback was very high. The organisers and key speakers would like to highlight the big enthusiasm the participants showed.
The evaluation of the Summer School for Young Researchers (both from the participants as well as from the key speakers) revealed that in an increasingly competitive and global market, researchers and the institutions they represent need to communicate their research much more effectively to an international audience. Researchers need the communication skills to enable them to publish in international journals and present at conferences in English; communicate with the wider public as well as policy-makers; and build international collaborations to further their research. Therefore, those topics should be considered in the course of the proposed 2nd stage of the Summer School.
Aim and objectives
The aim and objectives of the 2nd stage of the Sumforest Summer School for Young Researchers is the again: capacity building, better integration of young forestry researchers from EaP countries, Russia and North African Mediterranean countries into the transnational research community, share practical experiences; develop skills that translate knowledge into effective actions.
Additionally the 2nd stage is going to be focused on the development of excellent networking and communication skills in an international, multi-cultural context. It will enable participants to communicate their research skills and results effectively to a wide range of audiences in an appropriate academic and professional style.
The overall aim of the 2nd stage of the Sumforest Summer School for Young Researchers is the increased active participation of researchers from the selected regions in the future European Research Framework Programme in accordance with the Commissions “Open to the world” goal.
Tentative Programme Topics
- Introduction to the overall topic of developing professional skills for researchers required to better communicate their work and develop networking skills
- Know Your Audience
- Networking in Research (research networks and networking: definition and tools, social networking sites and their role, etc.)
- Better Presentations (awareness and reflective skills, as well as techniques for the use of voice, body language and presentation structure, through the creation and delivery of their own oral presentations; participants then go on to create posters on the presentation theme)
- Writing for Publications: basics (approach to critically analyse the essentials of academic writing, and identify, criticise and develop the participants’ own writing style through acquisition of tactics, tools and relevant language techniques)
- Abstracts ( enables participants to become critical readers and writers of abstracts through review and practice, using techniques and styles introduced throughout the course)
- Effective Emails (overview of the various functions of emails, tone, formality, structure and standard, phrases to create emails that work)
Note: Each day work will be arranged as combination of lectures and an individual/group work sessions of 2-3 hours related to the day’s topic and at the same time to the development of participants poster that will be presented at the following Sumforest Conference (17/18 October). The aim is to increase interaction and own thinking.
Communication and networking experts that have additional knowledge of the forest research community.
The Summer School is designed for early stage researchers from North Africa Mediterranean, EaP countries and Russia (Master degree or PhD not more than 5 years ago) working on the forest thematic or a related area (e.g. natural resources management, environmental policy, climate change, bioeconomy). The age range is approximately 25-35 years.
It is proposed that the same 25 participants selected for the 1st stage of the Sumforest Summer School for Young Researchers will take part in the 2nd stage. All of them will be invited also to attend the Sumforest Final conference on 17/18th October 2017 and present a scientific poster.
The scholarship covers: summer school fee, travel costs, accommodation and meals.
Barcelona and the suburban areas around Barcelona, Spain.
Four full days, from Friday 13th to Monday 16th October 2017, each day starting with theoretical guidance and instructions followed by practical exercises, individual/group work sessions and lessons learnt.
Working language: English