Very often it is believed that a master's degree is sufficient to take up a job and doing a doctorate involves taking up a scientific career. Meanwhile, it's not like that at all. More and more often universities cooperate with reputable companies, which allows doctoral students to work and study at the same time. This trend is strengthening throughout Europe and is also more visible in Poland. It is a fantastic change because it helps science to understand the world of business and thus it is more effective through the prism of the economy. There are more and more innovative companies on the market whose existence is based on technology, so science is an integral part of their activity.
The blurring of borders
Present aspiring doctors are required to have more than theoretical knowledge in a given field. Ingenuity, entrepreneurship and determination are also considered crucial. Individual approach to the problem and ambitions are valued. Their research work should be focused on profitability in the business area and be easy to implement in practice. That is why close cooperation with the professional world is so important. Currently, doctors are the most sought-after employees on the labour market.
Any changes to the doctoral program in our country are consulted with the academic community. Employers also contribute to the programme. Universities will be able to implement their projects thanks to subsidies from the Knowledge Education Development programme (Measure 3.2 Doctoral Studies). Furthermore, the report of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education clearly indicates the need to link the work of industry and other sectors with universities. Particular emphasis shall be placed on interdisciplinary research.
A big problem is to make doctoral studies more international. The dream of many lecturers and professors is to create a single model of a doctorate, the so-called European PhD. However, the current situation of doctoral students is not the worst at all. They have many opportunities and offers for international work. Like undergraduate and graduate students, they are included in the Erasmus Plus programme. This allows them to study abroad for a semester or a few months. What is more, they can get involved in projects implemented with the support of European Funds by the Foundation for Polish Science. There are currently four programs to choose from:
International Research Agencies - funding is provided to universities or colleges that carry out many research projects in cooperation with other entities from other countries that have a good reputation and are generally internationally active.
TEAM - this is an opportunity to join a number of team projects carried out under the guidance of the best scientists from around the world or in private companies.
TEAM TECH - this is an opportunity for students, doctoral students or young doctors to take part in a group project, which is carried out under the guidance of engineers, people who have many years of experience in working with the economy.
HOMING - is a grant for young enthusiasts of science from Poland, who are currently living and working abroad, as well as people who are currently on a break from scientific work. Thanks to the funds, the programme enables peaceful development without fear of an uncertain financial situation. Support is divided into three types:
- HOMING - a one-time allowance for the purpose of implementing a two-year project. It amounts to PLN 800,000 for scientists who decided to return from abroad.
- RETURN, i.e. also a one-off amount granted up to a maximum of PLN 800 thousand for conducting scientific works which at the initial stage interrupted this R&D work due to a change of job or personal reasons.
- FIRST TEAM - a grant of up to 2 million zlotys for the creation and management of the first scientific team. The grant can last up to 3 years with an option to extend it by 1 year.