The TRUSS training programme is structured in two ways:

  1. Supervised research towards a doctoral award and
  2. Network-wide and Local training activities.

A doctoral degree will be awarded by the academic beneficiary playing a main supervision or co-supervision role where the outcome of the research makes an original and substantial contribution to knowledge and where the candidate has demonstrated the capacity to pursue original research and scholarship.

In order to tick all boxes in the figure, the ESR experiences different environments:

The TRUSS network consists of 4 Universities, 11 Industry participants and 1 research institute. As part of the TRUSS network, apart from brief periods of training spread over the academic institutions, the ESRs have meaningful placements. The PhD topics have been selected to promote collaborations between participants and typically feature a researcher spending at least 70% of their time in their host institution, and a period between 3 and 6 months seconded to a network participant from another environment (namely, ESR’s primarily hosted by academia are seconded to industry, and vice versa) with an expertise that is considered important to their research.

The benefits of these secondments are numerous – the placement helps to define and illuminate the subject of the student’s academic research, and it provides practical experience of the application of the academic tools and transferable skills acquired in the taught modules. All PhD topics involve placements in both research-active industry and academic participants conducting work that will place the ESRs at the forefront of their field, exposing them directly to the commercial world and offering them the opportunity to prepare for a subsequent professional career.

By conducting the ITN at an international level, it becomes possible to involve significant industrial expertise and focus. The core business of each company is quite different, yet they possess the common chord of trying to grow their business across a united Europe. All 11 industry participants participate in the Supervisory Board, ensuring a diverse range of perspectives is introduced to the consortium on the activities necessary to do business in the structural safety sector.

In this context, their experiences are invaluable to the ESRs as they learn from these companies, not only during their industry placements, but also in the Core Research, Business Skills, Communication Skills and Innovation Workshop taught modules imparted by SMEs and Large Enterprises.

By combining 4 leading Universities, the TRUSS network has access to a significant wealth of expertise. The various Universities have independently developed their own research programmes. Acting individually, these graduate programmes will never exploit their full potential to engage with researchers at a European level. By combining through a mechanism such as TRUSS, a significant dynamic is added to each individual training program.
TRUSS participants are drawn from five European countries and impart a strong international flavour to the research group. There are numerous benefits to be achieved in extending the research training beyond the national arena.

The researchers working at a national level benefit from seeing the international dimension that the TRUSS researchers will bring to their work. Reciprocally, the TRUSS researchers benefit from interacting with high quality researchers working in each of the participating Universities in line with ERA objectives.