Corrensstr. 24 48149 Münster, Germany
Tel.: +49 251 83-33464
Fax: +49 251 83-38397


Research Training in DELTA-MIN

Training will be provided for 12 Early Stage Researchers (432 person-months), 2 Experienced Researchers (48 person-months), and will also involve 2 visiting Scientists (2 person months).
Students from outside the Network will also be able to apply to the Advisory Board to participate in the Summer/Winter schools and the Final Network Conference.

All Marie Curie Fellows will be given personalised programmes of training within Δ-MIN. A suite of inter-related projects has been designed within the general context of mineral replacement reactions, each taking advantage of the multi-disciplinary capacities of the Δ-MIN teams. The underlying scientific concept underpins and unifies a diverse range of phenomena and applications so that each individual project can take advantage of the insights gained in the other projects, even when at first sight the connections may not be obvious. Each project involves at least 2 Δ-MIN hosts, providing both for inter-host collaboration and multi-site training of the fellows. Each fellow will be associated with a primary host, and will spend up to 6 months at one or several other Δ-MIN partners to learn complementary skills and perform additional research using techniques not available at their own institution. The close connection and interactions between research projects and exchange of ITN fellows will encourage development of synergy, of mutual benefit to fellows, the senior researcher and the overall goals of the Network.

The Δ-MIN structured training program will be carried out through several major mechanisms: (a) Training specific for the individual research project, (b) Supplementary training (b) Participation in University lecture/laboratory and training courses, (c) Exchange visits where each fellow will spend time with another participating team to acquire skills not available in the host institution, (e) Industrial collaboration and secondments, (f) Network Workshops, (g) Summer Schools, (h) Conference participation. In particular:

1. The research training will target the following issues:

  • The basic ingredients of a research project – from posing the problem, formulating a hypothesis, experiment and observation, interpretation and conclusions.
  • Experimental data handling, error analysis and propagation. Extrapolating experimental data. Data-base searching techniques.
  • Oral and poster presentation of results. Special emphasis will be placed on practice in scientific communication in English. The ability to give effective presentations at conferences and job interviews will be a very important aspect of the training program, and group discussion of videos made of presentations at Network Workshops will be encouraged.
  • How to write a scientific paper or research report. Examples of scientific publications and research reports will be selected and disected in a systematic way and trainees will prepare an extended abstract of their early results which will then be discussed in small group seminars.
  • Writing a popular article on the wider societal implications of a research project.

2.  Complementary skills and Career planning

  • Project and research management.
  • How to write a research proposal.
  • Industrial R&D. The competing financial/scientific issues in industrial research.
  • Application and exploitation, intellectual property.
  • Job interview skills and careers guidance.

These aspects of training will be on-going throughout the research project and will take place in both the host institution, during Network Workshops, during the second Summer School but also integrated into the other Summer Schools. Externally provided complementary skills courses at regional or national level will also be considered. The Associated Partners will be called upon to provide parts of the training in the areas specifically related to industry.

3.   Laboratory training in the host Institution will be integrated with existing training and safety programs on the in-house analytical equipment required for the project. Exchange visits will be designed to enhance these technical skills. To integrate the projects of all students/post-docs in Δ-MIN, one of the Summer/Winter Schools will also be focussed on analytical techniques.

4.   Participation in lecture courses at the host Institution.  Marie Curie Fellows will be able to join existing undergraduate and post-graduate teaching courses and seminars in the host Institution. The researchers will be given guidance regarding appropriate courses to attend and also the possibility of timing exchange visits to other host Institutes to coincide with courses provided.  

5.   Exchange Visits. Visits and internships among the other research groups are essential for the successful completion of the Δ-MIN research program.  Each Δ-MIN fellow will be expected to spend 3-6 months working at the laboratory of another network team.  Such exchanges will provide access to, and training in, experimental and analytical techniques not available in the host institution and will reflect the scientific dynamics of the project. The exact distribution of these exchange visits will be optimized to take best advantage of the collaborative research projects among the Δ-MIN teams.

6.   Industrial collaboration and secondments. These will be arranged in a similar way to exchange visits but for shorter periods, except where the ESR is directly involved in collaborative work with an industrial partner. AMPHOS XXI Consulting, S.L and Associated partners Reykjavik Energy, IFE Norway and SKB Sweden will also serve as industrial secondment hosts.

7.   Network Workshops. Five network-level workshops will be held during the period of the project, hosted by different network participants. They will act as sounding boards for discussing (a) changes/problems/solutions in research priorities, (b) experimental or technological issues, (c) coordination and management issues, (d) future career planning. The first workshop will serve as a forum for defining the responsibilities in research and training for each Δ-MIN team, while subsequent workshops will consist of (1) presentations by the young scientists, (2) round table discussions with the industrial partners and board members, and (3) Network management/business.

8.  Summer/Winter Schools. Four summer/winter schools of 5 days duration each will be organized.  Each will be taught by Δ-MIN members, a senior visiting scientist, and invited international speakers.  Scientists and students from outside Δ-MIN will be invited to participate in these schools.

9.   Conference participation, short courses and workshops. All Δ-MIN members will be encouraged to participate in and to present their work at relevant international events. Pre-conference meetings of Δ-MIN at the Goldschmidt Conference, Davos in 2009 and the European Geosciences Union meeting in Vienna in April 2010 and 2011 will also be used for the ESRs to discuss their latest research results, and to rehearse their presentations in a stress-free environment.

10.   Final Network Conference. The final Network 3-day conference will be both a training exercise, largely organised by the ESRs and ERs, and an opportunity for outreach to the public, to industry and to other members of the international academic community. Emphasis will be on showcasing the achievements of Δ-MIN and exposing the young researchers to potential employers.

An intranet facility will facilitate communication and discussion among Δ-MIN members and will serve as a training resource in which a restricted area will contain all the teaching materials from the summer schools, student presentations as well as other resources and interactions. Each Marie Curie fellow will be allocated space on the site and will be expected to provide updates for their part of the web page on a monthly basis. We also plan to set up an e-mail discussion forum where research and training issues can be discussed among Δ-MIN members.

Contribution of participants to the training programme

All Δ-MIN Network participants will contribute to the training program at all levels. In addition to the training provided for the “in-house” ESRs and ERs, participants and their research teams will provide the appropriate training for exchange visit students for specific aspects of their research which requires instrumentation not available at their host Institution.

The main roles of the associated partners will be

  • to provide an industrial perspective to the individual workpackages through interaction and guidance with students and supervisors at Network meetings
  • to provide opportunities for industrial secondments for the relevant projects
  • to participate in the summer/winter schools by presenting case studies of how university research and industrial research can be complementary
  • to contribute directly in the summer school “Industrial applications of water-mineral interactions and complementary skills course” which focuses on complementary skills related to career guidance and job interviews.

Associated partners will be invited to all Network meetings and be fully integrated into the project with access to all the communication mechanisms in the Network. The associated partners will also all be invited to join the summer/winter schools either as course lecturers or as advisors, offering a shorter lecture giving a practical perspective on the subject matter covered in the course. 

SKB, IFE and REY will all offer secondments for short-term visits to the relevant industrial sites and laboratories.

Scientists from SKB, IFE, REY and GEM will participate in Summer School 2: Industrial applications of water-mineral interactions and complementary skills course, and/or Summer School 4 : Mineral replacement in natural rocks.

Supervision and mentoring

Each young researcher will have a personalised training programme and a supervisor in the Host Institution and a second supervisor from one of the other Institutes participating in Δ-MIN. The role of the second supervisor will be to keep in contact with the student and to provide a second opinion on the most appropriate research direction as well as advising on exchange visits. Mentoring will be continuous through the project as the scientists in charge at each participating Institution are all actively involved researchers. The Network Workshops will enable the Supervisory Board to ensure that all ESRs receive the same high level of supervision.

Imprint | © 2008 DELTA-MIN
Corrensstr. 24 · 48149 Münster, Germany
Tel.: +49 251 83-33464 · Fax: +49 251 83-38397