Graduate Spirit: An Erasmus+ project dedicated to PhD students

A project that fosters collaboration between graduate schools, Graduate Spirit is also an excellent illustration of the kind of contribution made by European cooperation projects financed by Erasmus+. Engaged in this project, Jacques Pothier, an Emeritus Professor at the Centre of Cultural History of Contemporary Societies of the Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, presents the results.

For the past two and a half years, Graduate School no.578 (SHS - Sciences de l'Homme et de la Société or Humanities and Social Sciences) joined forces with eight other European graduate schools in the field from seven different countries. Together, they set up a strategical partnership, the “Graduate Spirit”, which aims at exchanging best practices in PhD training from the international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral perspectives.

Having examined the literature related to the subject and compiling an inventory of organisations and varied practices established by graduate schools and colleges, the consortium launched a website – The first aim was to establish and publish online a toolbox of “tips and tricks”, and identify the best ideas from among them.

Now is the time to innovate:

  • By consensus, training towards the supervision of research emerged as the most promising avenue for improvement. This is in line with the work carried out by the graduate school in this area. In fact, a new training session will be offered in cooperation with the Bernard Gregory Association on 21st, 22nd, and 23rd April
  • In February and March, a transnational dialogue among alumni in the form of webinars, with the interview of two dozen PhD students, offered a better vision of a variety of career opportunities available for PhD students in humanities and social sciences. They were able to exchange with the Graduate Spirit network and among themselves on the subjects of networks, skills acquired through research, and useful graduate education in their careers.

As such, innovation in education, international cooperation, skills promotion, and scientific requirements are the key words of this project that enables European graduate schools to enrich their practices and thus improve the quality of their education.  

For more information, check the Strategical Partnership {hyperlink -

Graduate spirit website

Erasmus+ projects at Université Paris-Saclay