The ITN (Innovative Training Network) PERFORCE3 (PER and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs) towards the Future Of Research and its Communication in Europe 3) is a Europe-wide multi-partner doctoral research training programme in the field of PFASs contaminants coordinated by Stockholm University and funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under its Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. PFASs comprise more than 4’700 substances and are of high global concern due to poorly defined risks to the environment and human health. PERFORCE3 will greatly improve the understanding of these globally pervasive contaminants, find solutions for PFAS contamination problems and improve environmental and human health risk assessment frameworks and policies.

The ITN PERFORCE3 brings together world leaders in a range of disciplines (physical, synthetic, environmental and analytical chemistry, pharmacokinetics, epidemiology, toxicology, remediation science and chemical policy) with state-of-the-art technologies, providing high quality doctoral training and research environments to 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs). The training includes independent research work in individual yet interlinked research projects and a well-structured training programme including technical and professional transferable skills courses, network meetings and workshops as well as lab visits and secondments. Participation in PERFORCE3 will equip young scientists with research and transferable skills and competences, while fostering their creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship and boosting their career perspectives through international, interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral mobility opportunities.

Research Objectives

// R01

Develop and apply novel analytical techniques that can be used to detect and quantify a wide range of PFASs as well as total organofluorine in human matrices and relevant exposure media

// R02

Improve the understanding of human exposure pathways (including dermal uptake and drinking water) for both legacy, replacement and previously unidentified PFASs.

// R03

Assess the toxicological properties of replacement compared to legacy PFASs, while furthering the understanding of their mechanisms of action and developing sensitive and specific effect biomarkers.

// R04

Assess the nature and extent of human exposure to legacy and alternative PFASs and associated health effects under a variety of exposure scenarios.

// R05

Develop new solutions to PFAS contamination problems, including (i) alternative biodegradable fluorinated surfactants, (ii) new technologies to remove PFASs from contaminated soil, water, infrastructure and waste, and (iii) more effective PFAS policy recommendations.

// R06

Communicate the PERFORCE3 research results to the scientific community, policy-makers, stakeholders, and the general public.

Training Objectives

// T01

To provide an optimum learning environment in a supra-disciplinary joint research training programme that focuses on the multifaceted aspects of human exposure to PFASs and their implications for public health.

// T02

To foster ESRs’ individual careers by training to meet the goals set in their Career Development Plans (CDPs) and by training across the broad scope of exposure and toxicological sciences.

// T03

To expose ESRs to supra-disciplinary, inter-sectoral, and cross-cultural experiences by multi-partner collaboration and targeted visits and secondments to PERFORCE3 partners and collaborators.

// T04

To provide complementary training in transferable skills (e.g., project management, teamwork, presentation techniques, scientific publishing, intellectual property rights and patenting, research ethics, leadership, innovation and entrepreneurial skills).

// T05

To provide the ESRs with lifetime skills and optimum opportunities to extend their personal international collaborative network, which will be valuable to them throughout their careers.

// T06

Communicate the PERFORCE3 research results to the scientific community, policy-makers, stakeholders, and the general public.