EUA Council for Doctoral Education

Giuseppe Silvestri
The EUA Council for Doctoral Education
Seminar on
Training on Quality Assurance in PhD
March 18 – 19, 2013
University of Palermo
• The European University Association and the Council for
Doctoral Education.
• Doctoral education as the third step of the Bologna
• After the Salzburg principles: the EUA Salzburg II
recommendations (2010).
• Charter & Code for European Researchers and Doctoral
• Collaboration with Enterprises.
• Accountable research environment: a European survey.
• Interdisciplinarity: time to clear the obstacles.
The European University Association (EUA)
34 national university associations across Europe
Over 870 individual university members in 47 countries
- Institutional development,
- Exchange of good practice through joint European projects and
- Common policies for the European Higher Education and Research
- Research Policy Working Group.
Independently managed à la carte member services:
- Institutional Evaluation Programme (EUA-IEP)
- Council for Doctoral Education (EUA-CDE)
EUA Council for Doctoral Education, 2008
• The first Europe-wide platform to develop and
advance doctoral education and to enhance its
visibility at international level
• Promoting cooperation and exchange of good
• Encouraging and supporting the development of
institutional policies
EUA Council for Doctoral Education, 2008
• Identifying and monitoring the trends in doctoral
• Improving the availability of data and information
• Providing policy advice to EUA Board and Council
(e.g. MoU EUA – DG Research, 2013)
• More than 220 members (2012)
Doctoral education as the third step of the
Bologna process
A short historical excursus:
1998: Sorbonne (France, Germany, Italy, UK)
1999: Bologna (27 Countries)
2003: Berlin
2005: Bergen
Doctoral Education
DEC. 2008: ERA
The Salzburg principles/The Salzburg recommendations
Conclusions and
Recommendations from the
Bologna Seminar:
Document issued by the EUACDE and endorsed by the
Board and the Council
“Doctoral Programmes for
the European Knowledge
“ Salzburg II
recommendations ”
(Salzburg, 3 – 5 February
EUA, 2010
The Salzburg Principles/Recommendations
1. The core component of doctoral training is the advancement
of knowledge through original research.
Care about the needs of an employment market
It is essential that the development of doctoral
education should follow its own path and not to use
the same tools as the first and second cycles.
The Salzburg Principles/Recommendations
2. Embedding in institutional strategies and policies.
Universities need to assume responsibility for appropriate
design of doctoral programmes to meet new challenges and
include appropriate opportunities of professional career
Structuring doctoral education is to create a supportive
environment for individual development and not to
produce uniformity or predictability.
The Salzburg Principles/Recommendations
Flexible structures
Wide range of cultural and scientific opportunities
Transparent admission procedures
High quality of supervision
- Taught courses are to be seen as a support to
individual professional development and not central
to the meaning of structure
The Salzburg Principles/Recommendations
3. The importance of diversity
The rich diversity of doctoral programmes in Europe – including
joint doctorates – is a strength which has to be underpinned by
quality and sound practice
Structures should be developed at the appropriate
level of governance and not be imposed on or within
the institution. It is essential that academic staff takes
responsibility and ownership of these structures
through inclusive procedures
The Salzburg Principles/Recommendations
4. Doctoral candidates as early stage researchers.
They should be recognized as professionals – with
commensurate rights – who make a key contribution to the
creation of new knowledge.
Structured programs should develop recruitment
strategies that correspond to their particular mission:
- International recruitment
- Gender equality
- Social background
The Salzburg Principles/Recommendations
5. The crucial role of supervision and assessment.
Arrangements for supervision and assessment should be based
on a transparent contractual framework of shared
responsibilities between doctoral candidates, supervisors and
the institution (and where appropriate including other partners).
Take care of the supervisors! Providing professional
development to supervisors is an institutional
The Salzburg Principles/Recommendations
- Developing common supervision culture shared by
supervisors, doctoral schools leaders and doctoral
candidates must be a priority for doctoral schools.
- Supervisors must be active researchers
- Outcomes: early stage researchers, original
research results
- Career development: individual goals and
The Salzburg Principles/Recommendations
6. Achieving critical mass.
Different solutions may be appropriate to different contexts and
in particular across larger and smaller European countries. These
range from graduate schools in larger universities to
international, national and regional collaboration between
Critical mass does not necessarily mean a large number
of researchers but rather the quality of research.
The Salzburg Principles/Recommendations
7. Duration.
Doctoral programmes should operate within an appropriate time
duration (3 or 4 years full time).
Problem of harmonization between different countries.
The Salzburg Principles/Recommendations
8. The promotion of innovative structures.
To meet the challenge of interdisciplinary training and the
development of transferable skill
The institution should provide support structures for
professional development offering training in:
- transferable skills
- understanding ethics of research.
The Salzburg Principles/Recommendations
9. Increasing mobility.
Doctoral programmes should seek to offer geographical as well
as interdisciplinary and intersectoral mobility and international
collaboration within an integrated framework of cooperation
between universities and other partners.
Internationalization at home (intnl candidates, staff, events,
guests researchers)
Collaborative doctoral programmes (individual mobility, cotutelle)
International joint doctoral programmes (joint or integrated
curricula, joint committees and juries, joint degrees)
Mobility driven by research projects
The Salzburg Principles/Recommendations
10. Ensuring appropriate funding.
The development of quality doctoral programmes and the
successful completion by doctoral candidates requires
appropriate and sustainable funding.
Need of resources for supporting structures, physical
space, recruiting candidates.
The Salzburg Principles/Recommendations
the use of specific tools must be decided autonomously
within the institution in accordance with the profile of
the doctoral programmes and the needs of the doctoral
The Salzburg Principles/Recommendations
Legal framework
The national and European legal frameworks must give
institutions the possibility to engage in innovative
doctoral programmes and take the necessary
institutional responsibilities
The Salzburg Principles/Recommendations
Legal framework
The National legislation governing joint degrees or dual
degrees should be reviewed to facilitate international
Institutions must have the freedom to develop their
own indicators for quality
The Salzburg Principles/Recommendations
Quality and accountability
It is necessary to develop specific systems for quality
assurance based on the diverse institutional missions
and linked to the institutional research strategy.
Assessment of the academic quality of DE should be
based on peer review and be sensitive to disciplinary
The Salzburg Principles/Recommendations
Quality and accountability
In order to be accountable for the quality of doctoral
programmes institutions should develop indicators
based on institutional priorities such as:
Individual progression
Net research time
Completion rate
Transferable skills
Career tracking
Dissemination of research results
The Salzburg Principles/Recommendations
Intersectoral collaboration
- Stakeholders should engage in measures to facilitate
cooperation and build trust between providers of
doctoral education and non-academic sectors.
- Build trust on formalized but flexible research, and
on research training collaboration between industry
and higher education institutions.
- Necessary to create awareness about the qualities of
doctorate holders.
Charter & Code
Specific attention is devoted to doctoral
candidates and to post doctoral positions
Section 1. The charter.
• Recognition of the profession: All researchers
engaged in a research career should be recognized as
professionals and be treated accordingly. This should
commence at the beginning of their careers and
should include … doctoral candidate, postdoctoral
fellow, …
Charter & Code
• General principles. … Post doctoral appointments.
The need of clear rules and explicit guidelines for the
appointment of post doctoral researchers…
• The term early stage researcher refers to the first
four years of research activity including the period
of research training
• Experienced researchers are defined as researchers
having at least four years of research experience
(full time equivalent) since gaining a university
diploma giving them access to doctoral studies.
1st edition 2005
2nd edition 2009
European Industrial Research Management Association, European University Association,
European Association of Research and Technology Organizations, ProTon Europe
A voluntary programme aimed at improving strategic
collaboration and knowledge exchange between companies and
publicly funded research organizations (PRO)
Collaborative Doctoral Education
The objectives of the project are:
• To reflect on strategies and good practices on university industry
relations; models and degree of structure of university-industry doctoral
schemes; employability of doctoral holders and its relation with
transferable skills; good practices in tracking of doctoral holders;
• To identify strategies and good practices used by SMEs and other local
partners to approach universities and address how their access to
university research could be enhanced;
• To explore the perspectives of employability of doctoral holders in the
region, mobility opportunities and its relation to regional efforts to
reinforce doctoral employability considering the benefits of employing
highly trained workers and their professional expectations.
The ARDE project
• Specificity of doctoral education
• Questions regarding the content of supervision rules or
guidelines (1):
Maximum number of candidates for supervisor?
Obligatory training for supervisors?
Voluntary training for supervisors?
Requirements or recommendations for a minimum number of
meetings with the supervisor(s)?
The ARDE project
• Questions regarding the content of supervision rules
or guidelines (2):
- Requirements or recommendations for supervisory teams?
- Written agreements between supervisors, supervisees and/or
- Procedures for dealing with supervisor-supervisee conflicts?
- Systematic feedback collected from doctoral candidates?
A short comment on a large issue: Interdisciplinarity
(after Maria Morràs – UPF)
Interdisciplinarity could implie:
• Collaborative research across disciplines:
-Within a group project, by different experts
multidisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity
(Model by addition)
• In an individual project:
- Someone who has the knowledge from diverse disciplines or
the ability to acquire it
(Model by synthesis/integration)
Source:National Academy of Science, USA, 2004
Interdisciplinarity (2)
Cultural and institutional barriers
The visible frontiers:
o Schools/Faculties, Departments, Research groups
o Promotion, funding, acknowledgement
The invisible frontiers:
o Prejudices: hard sciences vs. soft sciences, humanities
vs. sciences, social sciences vs. humanities vs. scientific
sciences …
o Parity of esteem
o Open-mindedness
Interdisciplinarity (3)
• Why promote interdisciplinarity (building bridges)
Trains in collaborative work
Shows recognition of disciplines in action
Fosters open-mindedness
Incentives creativity
Tackling and working within uncertainty, comfort in
complex, not-well-defined situations
o Enhances boldness: New problems, new solutions, new
Interdisciplinarity (4)
• How to promote interdisciplinarity: creating a
common material and intellectual space.
o Exposing junior researchers to other disciplines and
o approaches: Physical center, common activities
o Emphasis on non-structured, non-penalty settings: value
of mistakes, serendipity
o Seminars based on cases
o Co-supervision
Interdisciplinarity (5)
• Risks:
Lack of recognition
Undervalue/ overvalue
Reluctance and rivalries among faculty and programs
Main placement of PhD researchers: funding and
discipline location
… at the end
Thanks for your attention!

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