The PRIDE project aimed on an alternative approach to administration in the area of doctoral education. The overall aim of the project was to professionalize administrative staff in doctoral education, in order to provide better support to PhD supervisors, PhD candidates and external stakeholders.
Doctoral education in Europe was undergoing a dramatic change in twenty years ago. European policy papers were asking for new skills for new jobs to the benefit of a European Innovation Union. Universities took up this challenge as hubs for the production of knowledge to provide highly skilled employees. This resulted in investments in the personal and professional development of PhD candidates, supportive structures, and higher quality of scientific supervision. However, the need for professional development of administrative staff required to support the overall endeavor was neglected. The potential benefit related to professional development measures for administrators, who were are still seen as primarily a residual personnel category, was not been recognized.
The objectives of the project were:
1. to collect and analyse needs and good practices focusing on the different roles and responsibilities of administrative staff in doctoral education as well as expectations they were confronted with;
2. to describe in a handbook for professionalizing administrative staff the roles and responsibilities of professionals to highlight their formal status in administrative positions and the potential benefits for institutions;
3. to design a training course for professionalization of administrative staff.
All objectives followed a multi-target group approach regarding potential end-users of the results, namely administrators in doctoral education, directors of doctoral schools and programs, HR units, and career service centres. Through the formalization of an international network for professionals in doctoral education the awareness for continuous improvement was addressed.
Professionals in Doctoral Education: Supporting skills development to better contribute to an European knowledge society
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