European Ph.D on Social Representations and Communication
Background

The European/International Joint Ph.D. in Social Representations and Communication provides advanced research training in key areas of social psychology that focus on the social construction of knowledge and its relation to socially situated practices and to traditional as well as new means of human interaction and communication.
It represents a progressive educational curriculum for training early stage researchers through research in a cross-disciplinary paradigmatic field inspired by the Social Representations Theory and Communication studies (from the main optic of the social psychology, open to contributions from sociology, communication sciences, anthropology, socio-economic and political sciences, education, environmental studies, and other new trans-disciplinary thematic fields of studies focussed on “social issues”).

The track record of the European/International Joint PhD in terms of networking and cooperation activities dates back to 1993, when the program was established under the Erasmus Inter-Universities Co-operation Programme. Co-operation was established at the top institutional level on the basis of the shared Regulations of the European/International Joint Ph.D. in Social Representations and Communication (Inter-Institutional Agreement), signed by representatives of universities who deliver the joint diploma in accordance with the new Regulations on Doctorate approved by the Academic Senate of the co-ordinating university, the University of Rome Sapienza (24-10-2006).

The European/International Joint Doctorate on Social Representations and Communication has been approved since 1993 by:

  • the DG-Research (selected as a Marie Curie Training Site Multipartner Organisation, T.M.R., High Level Scientific Conferences, International Lab Meetings project within the Marie Curie Actions Series of Scientific Events)
  • the DG-Education and Culture (Erasmus Socrates Advanced Curriculum Development, as being among the best practices in Europe as CDAD within the IC 2000-2001 and within the Joiman EC project – Task Force 4 “Development and administration of Joint Programmes at Doctoral Level” 2010, Intensive Programs, Teaching Staff Mobility, So.Re.Com. THEmatic NETwork)
  • the Italian Ministry for Universities and Research under the Internationalisation of the Higher Education System programme
  • the French and Italian ministries responsible for higher education under the Vinci Programme
  • the European University Association, as main co-ordinator of the action “Network of the Networks” (Doctoral Program)
  • the Fulbright Commission for Educational Exchange between the United States of America, Belgium and Luxembourg (the European PhD coordinator has been awarded a Fulbright Schuman Grant for the research project on “The Joint International Doctorate: a strategic tool for enhancing EU-US institutional collaboration on research training in a worldwide network-based knowledge society” (Host University: University of California, Irvine; Period: August 2011 – January 2012)

The original network of 13 European universities has since grown to 24 universities in 15 countries around the world: 17 universities in 10 European countries (AT, CZ, FR, IT, PT, RO, ES, SK, CH, UK) and 7 universities from North America (Canada, USA), Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Mexico) and China; to 1 national research institute (IFSTTAR) in France; 1 social sciences foundation (Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme) and 3 SME partners in Ireland, Italy and Sweden.

The European/International Joint Ph.D. in Social Representations and Communication awards a joint doctoral degree by seven Universities in five European countries:

  • ITALY: Sapienza University - Rome, coordinator
  • CZECH REPUBLIC: Masaryk University - Brno
  • FRANCE: Universities of Aix-Marseille, and Montpellier III
  • ROMANIA: University Alexandru Ioan Cuza, Iasi
  • SPAIN: Universities of Basque Country and Valencia

in cooperation with a wider institutional network of European Universities located in:

  • AUSTRIA: Universities of Linz and of Wien
  • FRANCE: École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and Paris V – Descartes
  • GREAT BRITAIN: Universities of Cambridge and London School of Economics
  • PORTUGAL: Universidade Lusófona
  • SLOVAKIA: Matej Bel University
  • SWITZERLAND: Universities of Geneva and Lausanne.

These Universities have been partners in an Erasmus network since 1992 and since 1996 in a Socrates CDA selected by DG-Education and Culture as being among the best practices in Europe as CDAD within the IC 2000-2001.
The European/International Joint Doctorate in Social Representations and Communication is also formally linked with non-European Universities located in North America, Latin America and Asia within the Erasmus Mundus and PEOPLE-ITN Programmes:

  • Argentina: Universidad de Buenos Aires
  • Brazil: Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina
  • Canada: University of Ottawa
  • China: Beijing Normal University and Nankai University
  • Mexico: Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana
  • USA: City University of New York

and with other universities around the world via the EU-approved So.Re.Com.THEmatic NETwork of excellence (www.europhd.eu/SoReComTHEmaticNETwork) and via the Erasmus+ Bi-lateral Agreements with the coordinating University Sapienza, supporting the international mobility of doctoral trainees and of professors belonging to the enlarged Teaching Board as invited members.

Since 2008, in order to strengthen the collaboration between universities and enterprises, four non-academic partners have joined the European/International Joint PhD in S.R. & C. institutional network. They are located in:

  • FRANCE: IFSTTAR
  • ITALY: ContattoLavoro Srl
  • NETHERLANDS: Elsevier BV
  • SWEDEN: CONERI

The non-academic partners have special responsibility for training in transferable career skills that researchers need at all stages in their careers. These include effective use of interactive e-learning technologies, research and statistical software, web design, software programming, marketing, sales, management and entrepreneurship.

The European/International Joint Ph.D. in Social Representations and Communication also collaborates with other trans-disciplinary European networks specialised in e-learning (EuroPACE) that actively participate in European projects to create a European Virtual University (VIRTUE, c-EVU, e-Competencies), with the institutional Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe (UNICA), and with the global University-Community partnership for Social Action Research Network (UCP-SARnet).

This European/International Joint Doctorate is co-ordinated by the University of Rome Sapienza, site of the advanced High Tech European/International Joint Ph.D. Research Centre and Multimedia Lab, which integrates the three research pillars:

  • documentation services (specialised intelligent eLibrary, full bibliographic inventory, meta-analysis inventory)
  • networking (interactive web-videoconference, on-line virtual community)
  • research training (European PhD “Virtual Campus”: video-courses in streaming, European Ph.D. Web-Auditorium, distant tutoring and co-tutoring, on-line evaluation on the personalised research trainee's web spaces, etc.).

The European/International Joint Ph.D. in Social Representations and Communication has been selected by DG Education and Culture as an example of "best practices" for dissemination in higher education and is the core of the EU approved So.Re.Com. THEmatic NETwork. Developed by the European/International Joint PhD in S.R. & C., it is a worldwide ”network of networks” of academic, professional research and commercial institutions interested in this area of social psychology that has opened the door to cooperation between scholars and professionals worldwide.