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About the Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships (CDP) programme

The JRC is the science and knowledge service of the European Commission and supports EU policies with independent evidence.

Strategically placed between the scientific and policy spheres, the JRC has a specific mission in reinforcing evidence-based approaches in policymaking.

Education and training activities are an integral part of the JRC work that builds on the organisation's robust research capacity.

The importance of science-based evidence for policymaking is increasingly recognised by decision makers and finds resonance in academia.

In order to enhance the science-policy link, the JRC is offering the collaborative doctoral partnership programme (CDP) to higher education institutions (HEIs/universities) to benefit from a strategic, win-win collaboration with the JRC.

The programme allows the institutions to gain a better understanding of research needs throughout the policy cycle. At the same CDP provides the JRC with innovative research input and exchange of information with leading institutions in the field.


To establish strategic collaborations in selected thematic fields with higher education institutions (HEIs/universities) characterised by research excellence and international reputation in the field in order to:

  • Train a new generation of doctoral graduates in science and technology with a focus on the science-policy interface. Students under CDP will be able to understand the research needs at different stages of the policy cycle. They gain capacity to provide scientific support to policy and of using transferable skills in science communication and knowledge management.
  • Co-select, co-host and co-supervise doctoral students (PhD) between higher education institutions and the JRC.
  • Strengthen the collaboration between the JRC and HEIs/universities. CDP promotes mutual enhancement of related skills and competences, combines existing knowledge and capacities, and enhancing networking in key scientific areas.


The CDP Program will:

  • Raise excellence and extend traditional academic research by incorporating a science-policy interface dimension into doctoral studies. CDP provides young researchers with a balanced combination of research-related competencies transferable to the interface between policymaking and science.
  • Provide and support high quality research for the PhD project by sharing JRC competences, knowledge and facilities.
  • Lead to the award of a doctoral degree (PhD) by the HEI/university. The doctoral studies are co-designed, co-hosted and co-supervised by the JRC and the HEI/university.
  • Be specifically referenced as a collaborative scheme between the HEI/university and the JRC in the diploma or in a supplement to the diploma as well as in the PhD thesis itself.

The CDP - a collaborative scheme

  • The scientific collaboration between the JRC and the HEI/university will result in research, based on fresh ideas and new techniques resulting from PhD projects of common interest.
  • The CDP does not involve exchange of money between the JRC and the HEI/university. Each Institution covers the cost of the doctoral candidate according to his/her stay at the respective institution. While staying at the JRC premises, the JRC will cover the costs of the students including salary, necessary training and work-related travel costs (see contract and working conditions of grantholder category 20)
  • The stay of a doctoral candidate at the JRC will be covered with a single grantholder category 20 contract (minimum 1 to a maximum of 2 years). Each PhD project will be subjected to an individual work plan prepared and agreed jointly between the JRC and the HEI/university.