After two weeks, the first edition of SHARP is completed. SHARP is a multi-annual programme for training ICIQ PhD students. This is a programme designed by the ICIQ Academic Committee to cover scientific aspects in the broad area of Chemistry in the 21st Century and the main soft skills needed for the development of a successful PhD.
Last friday marked the end of two intense weeks for ICIQ PhD students as the first edition of SHARP (as for Severo-ocHoA PhD tRaining Programme) was concluded. SHARP is a multi-annual programme to cover scientific aspects that are not part of the traditional BSc or MSc curricula, including activities in diverse areas ranging from Open Science to Time Management and Effective Communication. The programme is divided as follows:
- First Year – Introduction to research and Technical skills: The inaugural week covers foundational aspects of successful PhD development, including scientific and technical modules, team building, programming, and open science.
- Second Year – Communication skills: Those sessions focus on refining soft skills crucial for effective communication, encompassing technical written and oral communication, audience segmentation, outreach considerations, and ethical aspects.
- Third Year – Innovation: The emphasis goes on Knowledge and Technology Transfer (KTT) activities, expanding into research on industries and technology transfer.
- Fourth Year – Careers: This session centers on career development, featuring a course on CV adaptation.
The faculty are experts in their field, like in the case of Dr. Javier Heras-Domingo (Postdoctoral Researcher at Prof. Núria López’s group). Dr. Heras-Domingo together with Dr. Diego Garay-Ruiz (from Prof. Carles Bo’s group) have implemented a Python training oriented to chemistry and data analysis for first year PhD students.
“SHARP is a transformative initiative, shaping the future of ICIQ’s PhD students into well-rounded researchers on both the national and international levels. Reflecting on my own PhD journey, I see its unparalleled value in offering essential tools for academic and professional excellence,” declares Dr. Heras-Domingo.
External lecturers have also participated in the programme, like Guillermo Marin from the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS), Nessa Carson from AstraZeneca, and Dr. Alicia Monleón from the Universitat de València, among others. Dr. Monleón conducted the last session, Adapt your CV for a Successful Career, and as she says, “Most of the PhD students have never worked in an environment different from academia and this is the only career option they are aware of. The career development programmes are useful to help them raise awareness of their skills, interests, and values and to link this information to the process of making a new career move.”
Around 75 PhD students have participated in the very first edition of SHARP –and most of them are hesitating for the next edition to focus on a different aspect of the training.
“The most valuable experience during the programme, aside from the new scientific knowledge, was getting to know the fellow first-year PhD students. We used to just pass each other in the corridors, but it feels like during the training programme, we have formed a support network for the upcoming ups and downs of the PhD journey,” as shares Alisa Denisiuk, first-year PhD student at Prof. Antoni Llobet’s group.
Prof. Núria López, present chair of the Academic Committee, express her gratitude for the effort done by different teams at ICIQ in making this exhaustive project possible. “The generosity of everybody at ICIQ providing support, contacts and defining the most pressing needs have been crucial to define the project. The help of all the units, including but not limited to People’s office and Communication has allowed us to set this programme which is pioneering at the National level”.
The programme is subsidized via the Severo-Ochoa grant awarded to ICIQ (MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033, CEX2019-000925-S, 2020-2024).