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WP0: Management & Training

WP Lead Partner: Lancaster University

Research Skills

The PROMIS network will train a total of 15 early stage researchers (ESRs). The training programme will consist of high level training of photonics researchers in the full range of fields required, including growth & fabrication, material & device characterisation, theory & design, and industrial applications. These skills will be taught in the context of developing novel techniques in cutting-edge materials and nanostructures in four complementary areas of: Semiconductor metamaterials & plasmonics, dilute nitride semiconductors and nanostructures, hydrogenated semiconductors and metamorphic structures, to enable new photonics applications in diverse areas: Communications, Security Energy, and Environment. There will be a balanced distribution of these core skills among the projects, ensuring each area of expertise sees graduates educated to the highest standard emerging from the network. Each of these graduates will also have the necessary knowledge of the other areas to enable them to perform effectively within a multi-disciplinary working environment.

In addition to these scientific research skills, the fellows will also be trained in the equally important complementary skills.

These include:

  • Personal skills – assertiveness, teamwork, time management, career management
  • Presentation skills – oral, journal paper writing, grant writing, interviews
  • IT skills – office applications, web, control of experiments, data handling
  • Management skills – project management, people management
  • Ethics – acceptable scientific practice, legal and moral implications
  • IP rights – protection of IP, patent filing, traceability of work

While teaching modules specifically addressing many of these skills will constitute a large part of the network workshops (see below), the fellows will also be expected to continuously develop them throughout the course of their research activities.

Network Events

A crucial element of the network for ensuring a balanced and structured education throughout PROMIS will be the network-wide training events, consisting of 4 workshops, a summer school and a conference. A total of four 3-day workshops will be held throughout the lifetime of the network; these workshops will be an opportunity for each ESR to present his/her work to the other members of the network, serving the dual purpose of training the fellow in presentation skills and updating all PROMIS members on the scientific progress of the network. Each workshop will invite young researchers not funded by the network, but with an interest in the topics. The workshops will also have lectures, usually presented by staff members of the partner institutes or external speakers, on the scientific topics covered by the network, with each workshop dedicated to a particular theme.

Provisional themes for the 4 workshops are:

  • Growth and Processing of Photonic Materials
  • Modelling and Design for Photonics
  • Industry Applications of Photonics
  • Characterisation of Photonic Materials and Devices

The summer school will be held in Montpellier, and will be open to external participants in addition to the network fellows. The backbone of the 10 day event will be a series of lectures and discussion sessions led by eminent visiting scientists, who are well-established and well-respected experts in their fields. The PROMIS network will culminate in a four-day conference hosted by Lancaster University. This will accommodate ~100 participants, including internal and external researchers. The event will involve high-profile invited speakers from throughout the international photonics community, presenting talks on the state-of-the-art in several facets of the discipline. Concurrently, the network fellows will make oral or poster presentations of their work, together with submitted talks and posters from external participants. In this way, the conference will act as a showcase for the success of the network, promoting the results of PROMIS on an international stage.


The mobility of researchers within the network is seen as an important facet of the PROMIS training, with a particular emphasis on gaining experience in an industry environment. It has been ensured that each Fellow in PROMIS spends time at an industry partner, as well as visiting academic partners. Immersion in a commercial industry environment is a crucial part of the career development of the fellow, to obtain an understanding of how the industry aspect of the photonics community works, and having this industry experience will greatly increase the career options of the fellow. The secondments, both at industry and academic partners, provide skills complementary to the skills of the host institution, thus providing the researcher with expertise in a broader range of skills than are available at his/her principal host. These secondments are greatly facilitated by the strong industry involvement in PROMIS, with two full industry partners and significant contributions from six industry associate partners.