Doctoral trainees soft-skills: the transatlantic perspective

Yesterday there was a terrific conference put on by the Polish Presidency of the European Union at the headquarters of the American Association for Advancement of Science here in Washington.

I had the honor of speaking about a real concern of mine: namely the doctoral students are only trained in the soft-skills (e.g. grantsmanship) of the place where they are receiving their training. So, for example, a doctoral student in neuroscience being trained here in the US, typically doesn’t learn anything about the European Research Council’s “starter grants”–even if that student is European and actually planning to return to Europe post-PhD.
The reverse is also true. What I am advocating for is a plan to create a transatlantic soft-skills curriculum, whereby all doctoral trainees learn something about each system: Europe and the US.

And of course, this could be expanded usefully elsewhere around the world.