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At SEERC, knowledge is only one output of the Doctoral Programme; SEERC recognises that today it is vital for the PhD candidate to graduate having acquired skills and competences sufficient for integration to professional life, therefore it has added value to the programme by introducing innovative elements that elevate doctoral study to a multi-faceted experience: one that combines scientific knowledge with networking capacities and skills.

The features of the SEERC Doctoral Programme constitute a unique opportunity to undertake doctoral study in Thessaloniki, Greece, enjoying the benefits of an international community and academic environment:

  • A tradition of excellence in research and teaching: The University of Sheffield is at the forefront of world research and consequently teaching is informed by the latest developments in each discipline. In the 1990s two Sheffield graduates won Nobel Prizes; Dr Richard Roberts for Medicine/Physiology in 1993, and Professor Sir Harry Kroto for Chemistry in 1996. Three other Nobel Laureates are associated with the University: Lord Florey (Medicine/Physiology, 1945), Professor Sir Hans Krebs (Medicine/Physiology, 1953) and Lord Porter (Chemistry, 1967). Since 1998 the University has won three Queen's Anniversary Prizes, academic equivalents to the Queen's Award for Enterprise. The awards recognise outstanding contributions by universities and colleges to the intellectual, economic, cultural and social life of the nation. Sheffield's 73 academic departments and 68 research centres enjoy an international reputation. It is this level of achievement and dedication that the University of Sheffield brings to SEERC.

  • A wide range of research areas: SEERC supports multi-disciplinarity and connects doctoral topics to a range of issues of importance to the South East European region. In this sense, needs of the region are identified and scientific knowledge is built at SEERC to be channelled later on to key professionals in the South East European countries

  • Research Training: During the first two years of their studies, students complete a Research Training Program, an intensive series of theoretical, methodological and subject-specific courses with specific credit value. Research techniques and methodology, presentation and communication skills, computer skills and scientific writing skills are among the units that cover the gaps between skills for theoretical study and field work. SEERC places high value to the development of skills and competences necessary for conducting research and also for entering academic professional life.

  • Joint Supervision: Students who conduct their doctoral research at SEERC are jointly supervised by a supervisor from the University of Sheffield and a supervisor from City College, a scheme with inherent multiplier effects with regard to the benefits for the students. SEERC exposes students to a diverse set of knowledge and contacts that originates in the expertise and work of the two supervisors based in different regions. In this sense, SEERC students avoid acquiring arid knowledge devoid of intellectual multi-disciplinary viewpoints and benefit from the variety in the different paths of thought.

  • Research Student Seminars: By European standards it is important to place new knowledge in the perspective of everyday life and to validate it by checking its impact on society. SEERC encourages this way of thinking by urging students to participate in European and international conferences and also to be active within the SEERC community. Students are encouraged to present the progress in their own research in small scale events attended by fellow students and staff and to benefit from exposure to an audience of diverse composition. During these events they have the chance to utilise important feedback from the students and staff as well as to sharpen their communication and presentation skills.

  • Open Seminar Series: Alternatively, experts are invited from related sectors to hold seminars on topics at the forefront of European developments and to raise questions suited to the intellectual background of the students. The Open Seminar Series are planned with maximum student involvement so that students simultaneously develop and apply their organisational skills.

  • The Annual South East European Doctoral Student Conference: Each year SEERC organises the Annual South East European Doctoral Conference giving young researchers the opportunity to present their work in a doctoral forum. Having identified academic isolation as a problem that many doctoral students face today, SEERC aims to bring researchers together for establishing collaborative links between disciplines, for testing the ground for innovative ideas and for engaging the wider academic community. As of 2007, the conference is open to participants from all countries of South East Europe.

  • A multi-cultural environment: SEERC, supporting student diversity offers the environment of a multi-cultural community in order to promote intellectual exchange and challenges. SEERC students come from a range of countries namely Greece, Turkey, Albania, FYROM, Bosnia, Serbia and Germany. Moreover, Thessaloniki is a city with a lively atmosphere and affordable living costs.

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