The eldel consortium was established to provide a state of the art training environment for early-stage researchers interested in the scientific study of literacy development. The project ran for four years from 2008 to 2012 as an Initial Training Network (ITN), funded by Marie Curie. Through participation in a multidisciplinary research programme, under the supervision of internationally recognized senior scientists in five EU countries, the programme enabled young researchers at Post Graduate and Post Doctoral levels to acquire the broad range of skills necessary to become the next generation of leaders in this field.