details and prices

" A fantastic opportunity
to share ideas and
experiences with other
fieldwork leaders"

"Both extremely enjoyable
and very valuable career

"Fantastic group
interaction, enriching

"A very interesting,
instructive and
motivating course
led by welcoming
and knowledgeable staff.
Highly recommend"

" It was an opportunity
to meet and learn from
other academics but
not in a conference
room but outside in the
environment that you
have to teach in. That
made all the difference"

"The CERES workshop
helped me to feel more
confident and
enthusiastic about
organising field trips for
my students. Working
outside in the beautiful
natural surroundings
was inspirational"

"Invaluable learning,
both socially and

"I gained some
interesting insight into
creating interdisciplinary
field courses, and
benefited from sharing
ideas for field activities
with other academic staff"

"Excellent opportunity to
build skills, develop links
with colleagues and
critically look at how field
courses operate for the
maximum benefit of
students and academics

"Excellent and engaging
discussions about
fieldwork planning,
logistics and pedagogy"

"Working with an
international team was
wonderful and I would
love to find further
opportunities to do
"       SPW May 2019

"Different backgrounds
are very much enriching
and contribute so much
to a project"
              SPW May 2019

"It was by far the best part
of my BSc time. I have
never before learned so
much in such a short time,
and I would have never
believed that living in one
big house with 15
international students
would be that much fun.
We all have grown to be
a family, there will be
reunions and future
cooperations.  I wish
everybody could get a
chance to experience
what I did."
             SPW May 2019

"One of the best
experiences of my
life, 10/10
            SPW May 2019

"I am planning on
working in a field
that requires an
multinational team.
The course  has
made me realise
the importance of
having experts in
different fields and
necessity of a person 
that combines all that
knowledge into
something useful for

            SPW May 2019

CERES Project rocking coast Aljezur, Algarve, Southwest Portugal

IFiT project weeks



Student Project Weeks

"Teamwork divides the task and doubles the success"

Conservation is the preservation or efficient use of resources of the planet we live upon. The rapidly-changing scope and nature of the subject is reflected in the IFiT Student Project Weeks. IFiT invites students to develop new ideas for dealing with today’s global challenges and back them up with sound research. Participants work collaboratively in an international, multidisciplinary team with academic backgrounds in earth, life and social sciences actively engaging with local stakeholders.  This is an once-in-a-lifetime, CV boosting opportunity for students to discover what it means to be a working scientist engaged in real-life projects that help protect, conserve and make sense of the natural world. 


What is the format?

The SPWs are a vibrant mixture of interactive sessions, site visits, and hands-on project work in the unique setting of the Parque Natural do Costa Vicentina. Annually two Student Project Weeks take place in Aljezur, Portugal for 14 days. The students will work in international and multidisciplinary teams to follow one of the thematic blocks – (1) Sustainable forest management or (2) Science and management of freshwater resources (3) Coastal science, management and policy. Each team of four students engages in cooperative data collection and analysis. The research area and conservation context for each group has been identified by local stakeholders including public and private institutions / companies (download more information here). Students are encouraged to define their own research topic within this wider context according to their individual interest and expertise and use this opportunity to collect data for their BSc, MSc or PhD thesis.

Who can participate?

The SPWs are designed to give participants practical field research experience, to foster professional networking and provide CV boosting experience. The events are aimed at MSc, PhD and final year BSc students studying earth, life and social sciences. To benefit most from the transdisciplinary concept and stakeholder involvement applicants should have prior experience with individual project work in their own academic discipline and should be confident to carry out field experiments.

All 16 participants will be students or young experts. They live together in the CERES Centre creating an atmosphere in which students not only focus on their work, but also get a feel for the discoveries emerging from current research, cook and socialise together and have a memorable time.

What are the learning outcomes?

Students will be expected to have developed fundamental knowledge of scientific, social and economic aspects of the natural environment in the field area. They will also have developed proficiencies in international project management, in transdiziplinary research skills, in team work, in stakeholder interaction and dissemination to diverse and non-academic audiences. The skills gained from the SPW and networks forged will be essential for a career in academia and for employment in a wide variety of jobs.

What are the assessments?

By the end of the SPW, all the participants (individually or in small groups) will be expected to develop and present proposals for a practical solution for a real-life problem, or detailed paper proposals reflecting on their project experience and learning outcomes of the SPW. Participants and faculty are encouraged to re-develop the final reports into academic papers or project applications.

Post training

On successful completion of the course, participants will receive
+ a Certificate of Participation endorsed by University of Lisbon, University College Cork (National University of Ireland), University of Osnabrück and CERES International for their Continuous Professional Development portfolio.
+ a Digital Badge from University College Cork

The training provider will publish online resources to share ideas, experiences and materials from course participants to encourage peer networking, dissemination of results and career development.

 fast facts

  concept :
  Stakeholder engagement
  dates :
  28 September 2020
  - 11 October
  New dates to be announced
  shortly. We are flexible.
  Please contact us to
  discuss bookings for larger

  fees :
€820 includes 14d
  food, on-site transport
  (Erasmus+ grants

  number of participants :

  activity level :
  Moderate - high

  prerequisites :
  BSc final year or
  higher academic level

  Medium level of fitness.

  application procedure :
  Please contact us.
  To help you with your
   funding application
   please complete the
   short questionnaire.

Indicative Course Itinerary

 (for SPW held in Costa Vicentina Natural Park)  

Day 1 : Morning: arrival in Aljezur / Afternoon: introduction

Individual arrival in Aljezur, pick up from Aljezur bus station by CERES staff, transit to Arrifana,
check in at Field Study Centre, housekeeping
Introduction to IFiT and the Student Project Weeks: learning outcomes and assessment mode

Presentation of team members and participants: home institution, subject area, expectations of the participants,
materials to share with the group

Evening meal
Day 2 : Site visits
Breakfast buffet
Transit to field sites
Guided tour with local experts to visit project sites: Amoreira estuary, dune system, cliffs, rocky shore and beach,
Aljezur river and reservoirs, Vale de Maia cork oak and accacia forests and eucalyptus plantations
Discussion of individual field projects / practical demonstration of a range of field equipment and techniques   
Transit back to field study centre
Evening meal
Day 3 : Group allocation and pilot projects
Breakfast buffet

Team meeting, group allocation, equipment hand out

Transit to field sites

Groups carry out pilot projects
Transit back to field study centre
Evening meal
Dragons Den: teams pitch their project idea and receive feedback from a panel of experts
Day 4 : Field projects
Breakfast buffet
Introduction to project communication software (Slack) and data collection tools (EpiCollect), equipment hand out
Transit to field sites
Project work in multidisciplinary, international teams under initial guidance from local experts
Transit back to field study centre (optional stop for shopping)
Evening meal
Plenary session: initial feedback, suggestions and improvements
Day 5 -  12 : Field projects
Breakfast buffet
Team meetings: day planning, equipment check
Transit to field sites
Project work in multidisciplinary, international teams (with support from local experts if needed)
Transit back to field study centre (optional stop for shopping)
Evening meal
Group work: data analysis, literature research, dissemination
Bite size sessions (dates depend on group choice and work progress)
Peer review : project teams present interim results to the rest of the group to receive feedback and support
Speed dating : project teams present their field sites and experimental set up in the field to the rest of the group
Farmers market : meet the local stakeholders to intiate discussions
Day off optional activities : cetacean watching boat tour, surfing lessons, cycling, hiking, horse riding, fishing
Day 13 : Outreach presentation for local stakeholders
Breakfast buffet
Team meetings: day planning, equipment check
Presentations: optional display at local farmers market, video presentation, podcast
Big Meal Out
Day 14 : Departure day
Breakfast buffet
Debriefing, hand out of certificates
Transit to Aljezur bus station

The schedule will vary. Weather conditions and the preferences of the teams will shape the daily schedule.
Please try to be flexible and understand that working in nature cannot be 100% predictable.

details and prices

The IFiT (Innovating Field Trips) SPWs (Student Project Weeks) run for 14 days. Accommodation, on-site transport, field support, expert guidance and field equipment will be provided. The course is self-catered; a cooking rota will be organised by the participants (preferably with national dishes from the participating nations, vegetarian or vegan, organic and with locally sourced ingredients).

• Workshops     •  Accommodation included     •  Healthy food included   •  All transport included    •  Certificated       
•  All course materials included       •  Carbon offset contribution    

On successful completion of the course, participants will receive a Certificate of Participation endorsed by University of Lisbon, University College Cork (National University of Ireland), University of Osnabrück and CERES International, a Digital Badge from Univerisity College Cork  and 3 ECT.

14 day course :: €820
(EU Erasmus+ grants available)

 Contact us for details.

our partners for the IFiT Student Project Weeks


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