Modernization of Doctoral Education in Science and Improvement Teaching Methodologies (MODEST)

The Erasmus+ MODEST project aims at modernization of doctoral education in Science in European countries and Armenia, Belarus, and Russia. A wider project objective is “To enhance cooperation capacities of Higher Educational Institutions (HEI) of Partner Countries in the field of Doctoral Studies within European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and European Research Area (ERA)”.

Project objectives:

  • To improve the structure and content of Doctoral Education and the internal capacities of services that manage doctoral studies by set up of Doctoral Training Centers (DTC) in partner universities in accordance with the modern European practices.
  • To facilitate a successful adherence with Bologna process reforms and its instruments by the academic and administrative staff involved in doctoral studies and research management through the organization of special training sessions in Armenia, Belarus and Russia
  • To improve/increase the quality of international and national mobility of doctoral students of Armenia, Belarus and Russia for training and research based on development of double degree programmes and joint supervision
  • To ensure sustainability of DTCs and their cooperation with European partners by establishing a sustainable professional network providing the use of participatory approaches and ICT-based methodologies.

To meet these objectives, MODEST will make use of the analysis of the EU best practices and of the needs of PC to develop training materials and organize intensive retraining of HEI’s staff. Structure and content of DTCs will be worked out, including set of regulatory documents, instructions for DTC creation, programs and materials for DTCs and interdisciplinary summer schools for doctoral students. To ensure sustainability, a web-platform and Virtual Network Environment (VNE) will be developed using participatory approaches and ICT methodologies. Synergy with other European initiatives will be sought via participation of the consortium members in EU networks and organizations (Coimbra Group, EURASHE, etc.).

Planned activities (Work Packages, WP):

  • WP1 (Preparation): Analysis of organization of doctoral studies and research management structures (on basis of the existing, state-of-the-art and emerging trends in EU and Armenia, Belarus, Russia);
  • WP2 (Development): HEIs staff development (training materials, study visits, training sessions, courses, etc.);
  • WP3 (Development): Establishing Doctoral Training Centres, DTCs (on basis of acquired experiences, setup of new training courses, improvement of internal services, pilot mobilities, summer schools, workshops, etc.);
  • WP4 (Development): Virtual Network Environment, VNE (modern web-based platform for network interactions, technical documentations, user guides, educational content, etc.);
  • WP5 (Dissemination & Exploitation): Development of action plans (open access to learning materials of trainings and courses, admission procedures; dissemination conferences – Minsk, Moscow, Yerevan; communication with stakeholders; etc.);
  • WP6 (Quality Assurance): Evaluation (requirements/ specifications for deliverables; meetings to elaborate quality evaluation reports, external evaluation reporting; etc.);
  • WP7 (Management): Coordinator activities (project web site, documentations, meeting on status/ progress and sumups of meetings, internal and external reporting, etc.).

Duration of the project: Nov 2018 – Nov 2021

Project Coordinator: Inga Skendere, University of Latvia (UL, Riga, Latvia)

PI University of Helsinki: Prof. Sergej Zilitinkevich (UH, Helsinki, Finland), National contact person: Alexander Mahura (e-mail:

Project partners (14 in total):

  • UL – University of Latvia (Riga, Latvia) – coordinator;
  • UH – University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science (Helsinki, Finland);
  • JUK – Jagiellonian University in Krakow (Krakow, Poland);
  • BUL – Brunel University London (London, UK);
  • MIPT – Moscow Institute of Physics and Technologies (Moscow, Russia);
  • MIIGAiK – Moscow State University of Geodesy and Cartography (Moscow, Russia);
  • RSVPU – Russian State Vocational Pedagogical University (Ekaterinburg, Russia);
  • KNRTU – Kazan National Research Technical University named after A. N. Tupolev (Kazan, Russia);
  • YSU – Yerevan State University (Yerevan, Armenia);
  • NPUA – National Polytechnic University of Armenia (Yerevan, Armenia);
  • ASPU – Armenian State Pedagogical University named after Kh. Abovyan (Yerevan, Armenia);
  • BNTU – Belarusian National Technical University (Minsk, Belarus);
  • PSU – Polotsk State University (Polotsk, Belarus);
  • YKSUG – Yanka Kupala State University of Grodno (Grodno, Belarus).

Funding: Program Erasmus+ Capacity Building in the Field of Higher Education

See more detailed Project’s Description of Work (DoW).

More information and results of the ERASMUS+ MODEST project are available at the official website.

MODEST virtual meeting (7 April 2020) on curriculum development and learning outcomes for doctoral training centers (agendasummarypresentations).

MODEST virtual training (27-28 May 2020) on organization and management of doctoral training and research methodology (agendasummarypresentations).