Besides the supportive education actions engaged during VOLTAIRE, VOLTAIRE-2 promotes actions favouring the link between Master and PhD degrees, which suffer currently from a discontinuous character in the French system. Discontinuity is particularly clear at the Master level which is widely viewed as a two stage (ie two separate years) cursus in terms of research, with an average of 5 months allocated to research activities. VOLTAIRE-2 acts to favour the possibility of having Master research projects to spread over two years and lasting up to 1 year (2×6 months as permitted by the french law). VOLTAIRE-2 strongly encourages continuation of master projects into PhD, for the most qualified student and for appropriate topics. Access to PhD funded by VOLTAIRE-2 is possible for Master students having submitted a peer review paper. The key idea is to make students much more pro-active in the research field, by giving to the best individuals the means (by funding and advising) to build their own research track, within the scientific fields covered by the labex.
The current Master programs supported by OSUC offer various educational track paths in Solid Earth (G3), Environmental (G2) and Atmospheric Sciences (CPRE) with a strong focus on resources (mining, water, air) and environmental impacts. All three courses implement balanced learning-by-doing training in observation, experimentation and modeling activities. The enduring attractivity of the training schemes is demonstrated by the number of students, as shown in the table below for the upcoming year, a significant proportion of which comes from abroad. This continuous student flux, and the tight connection between training programs and Labex research topics, guarantee that maintaining and strengthening the research-education link will not be a problem.
VOLTAIRE-2 benefits from the network of collaborations already established with foreign Universities (ex: Italy (Florence, Palermo, Naples), Spain (Barcelona), Belgium (Liège), UK (Cambridge), Norway (Tromso), China (Nanjing, Beijing CAS), Brazil (Belem), Canada (UQAM), Portugal (Lisboa), Switzerland (Genève)), with which the University of Orléans has either Erasmus agreements or bilateral conventions. The exchange of students at either Master or PhD levels has already started and will be supported by VOLTAIRE-2.
VOLTAIRE-2 also contributes to the hiring of visiting or part-time professor/scientist in any field where progress is sought to reach the goals.