The three pillars of the EXCILIGHT programme include research training on-the-job (see illustration, Pillar 1), scientific and complementary skills courses through structured PhD programmes (Pillar 2) that will be augmented by additional transferable skills training such as science and business workshops and other events at the network level (Pillar 3), some of which build on previously organised events and others to be specifically developed for EXCILIGHT.
All training activities will be mandatory for all PhD students, and researchers hosted by CENTI, AIXTRON and Ossila will be enrolled in their local partner universities (UOA and RAU), both of which are partner organisations in the network and are entitled to award PhD degrees. A unique aspect of EXCILIGHT is the training of a critical mass of PhD students on a well-focused and targeted goal, namely the production and understanding of exciplex TADF OLEDs, giving them real experience of working in a large-scale academia-industry research project.
Training by Research (local/international)
The focus of the EXCILIGHT programme is to provide the 15 PhD students with the highest quality of research training through research in the lab of the recruiting organisation and both academic and industry secondments:
1. Lab-based research on a defined topic will be mainly conducted locally, embedded in intra-network collaborations and closely supervised by the principal investigators (PIs) and the International Supervisory Teams (IST), with one IST for each PhD student. These PhD projects will enable the fellows to "learn-by-doing", to work in teams and to undertake practical research activities. The multidisciplinarity of EXCILIGHT and the tight interactions between groups will ensure comprehensive training for each PhD student. The PI of each Beneficiary will act as the main supervisor and two additional experts from academia and/or industry from within or outside the EXCILIGHT consortium have been nominated as co-supervisors. An advanced research fellow and/or postdoc from the host´s institution will act as co-supervisors of the day-to-day lab work of the PhD students.
2. Research driven secondments both between the academic partners and to partner organisations will complement the research training of the researchers.
3. Details of the individual training requirements and activities will be mutually agreed on between the supervisors and the PhD student and laid down in a Personal Career Development Plan and include characterisation techniques required and synthetic protocols to be mastered.
Local Structured PhD Programmes
The structured PhD programmes are mandatory for all PhD candidates. Those PhD students recruited by a research institution (CENTI) or companies (Ossila, AIXTRON) will be required to either attend the programmes of their awarding university or participate in selected courses offered by other network partners. This will be decided by their ESR Boards and included in the respective Personal Career Development Plan.
Annual EXCILIGHT Days and Summer Schools
The key network-wide training events are the three Annual EXCILIGHT Days. The combination of different training activities is cost-effective and has a number of other benefits, such as the integration of external experts and industry representatives – ranging from in-depth knowledge in different scientific areas along the value chain, to presentation and other generic (business) skills to team building and work as part of the management.
International exposure of the fellows is important to expand the contacts and network beyond the EXCILIGHT consortium and will also be fostered to improve their intercultural and linguistic skills. All PhD students are therefore expected to attend at least one International Conference (academic) and one Tradeshow/Exhibition (industry).