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Opening Doors: Project Description

About the project:

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the implementation of virtual learning environments in university education. The EU-funded OPENING DOORS project aims to provide interdisciplinary, intersectoral and international training to post-graduate researchers delivered via a challenge-based open online educational programme on open science. The project, supported by connectivism as a pedagogical method, will identify the graduate skills in open innovation systems through interviews with PhD graduates, educators and employers. Moreover, it will co-design the programme with stakeholders from industry, government institutions and community structures, aiming to render post-graduates capable of managing connectivity through an open online learning system, thus increasing their intercultural sensitivity, digital skills and career prospects.


The purpose of OPENING DOORS is to co-develop an interdisciplinary, intersectoral, & international educational offering for post-graduate researchers. Our goal is to shape more innovative, socially aware, integrative and employable research graduates, ready to meet the challenges of the future. This will be accomplished through a challenge-based, open online educational course on open science. The focus of the course is on cultivating valued skills that can contribute meaningfully to the quadruple-helix model of open innovation. This model recognises four major actors in the innovation system: the scientific enterprise, policy, industry, and society. The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed technology-enabled university teaching overnight. An adaptation process that often takes years has been greatly accelerated, disrupting many cultural barriers to using digital learning environments. The OPENING DOORS virtual learning environment will be underpinned by connectivism as the pedagogical approach. Connectivism reflects the networked innovation environments of the future. The specific objectives of OPENING DOORS are to: 1) identify the graduate skills that are valued in open innovation systems through interviews with employers, PhD graduates and educators in those systems 2) co-design an educational course for PhD and postdoctoral researchers in collaboration with industry, government, community, university stakeholders including PhD students, that uses real-world challenges as the basis of collaborative learning opportunities 3) enable students to manage interdisciplinary, intersectoral and international connectivity through an open, online learning environment; reflexivity, interdisciplinary team communication processes, intercultural sensitivity, digital skills and career development will underpin the learning process This work is vital in an era where open science practices are becoming the currency in many intersectoral innovation networks

Participants and funding

The project period is from February 2021 to December 2024. The project is funded by HORIZON 2020. Read more about funding and participants here: