November 23, 2020

Professionalizing Doctoral Education – about Structures and Professional Development. A joint UNIMED-PRIDE Network Event – 9 December 2020



On December 9th, 2020, from 3 pm to 4:30 pm CET, a joint UNIMED-PRIDE Network Event to discuss about Structures and Professional Development for the Professionalizing Doctoral Education will be held.

Have a look at the agenda of the event and register your participation!

To make the webinar even more interesting and adapted to all participants, we invite you to answer the questions in this survey, that will also serve as a starting point for discussions.

Just over 15 years ago, the publication of the Salzburg Principles triggered a reform movement in doctoral education in almost every European university. Despite the legal framework’s differences, common principles were laid down, setting the direction of the reform. Local policies were then implemented in many countries, funding programmes were initiated to encourage universities to take reform, and further recommendations followed at EU level. This is a step towards professionalising doctoral education in order to meet the new challenges and the expectations that politicians and society rightly have of the training of young researchers.

A similar approach is now starting in Southern Mediterranean Countries thanks to the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation framework. To reach its full potential, this process needs to be accompanied by a clear understanding of the local and regional needs and by a reform process where European and Southern Mediterranean universities jointly work for the benefit of the Mediterranean Youth generation.

In our webinar, two dimensions will be addressed in concrete terms:

  • the professionalisation of structures, which is reflected in European Universities primarily through the establishment of doctoral schools.
  • the professionalisation of the actors involved in the doctoral education system. These actors include academic leaders shaping their in-house policies and leading the management structures but also supervisors themselves, on whom great expectations are placed, and who have to constantly reflect on and further develop their supervisory practices. These actors also include those persons, referred to in the more recent literature as “third space workers”, operating at the interface between administration and academia, and who ensure, on a daily basis, that the system is running smoothly, and that doctoral candidates have access to a broad range of training opportunities.