EUA Council for Doctoral Education

The Doctoral Debate

All views expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of EUA Council for Doctoral Education. If you would like to respond to this article by writing your own piece, please see The Doctoral Debate style guidelines and contact the CDE team to pitch your idea.

  • 17 Jan. 2019
    EUA-CDE study examines doctoral education in Europe today by Luke Georghiou
    EUA-CDE presents a new report on the state of play of doctoral education in Europe. It is the result of an extensive and unique study offering findings gathered from more than 300 institutions across Europe. As EUA-CDE Chair Luke Georghiou points out, it provides an overview of the deep transformation that has taken place in doctoral education over the past ten years.
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  • 06 Dec. 2018
    EUA-CDE explores mental health and wellbeing in doctoral education by Alexander Hasgall Throughout the month of December, and as the holidays draw near, The EUA-CDE Doctoral Debate will address the mental health and wellbeing of Europe’s doctoral candidates. We are pleased to present an in-depth examination of this very important topic as it emerges in our community as a challenge many higher education institutions face. Read more
  • 06 Dec. 2018
    Developing an evidence-based approach to supporting the mental health of doctoral candidates by Barbara Dooley Universities need to follow a solution-based approach to adequately address mental health and wellbeing among doctoral candidates. This includes providing appropriate support structures and developing an understanding of the diverse reasons that lead to such challenges for doctoral candidates. EUA-CDE Steering Committee member Barbara Dooley shares her perspective regarding the overall relevance of the topic and how to tackle it. Read more
  • 06 Dec. 2018
    “Wellbeing” and “mental health” in academia: nomen est omen? by Katia Levecque and Anneleen Mortier In current debates, the terms “mental health” and “wellbeing” are often used interchangeably and are not clearly defined. Katia Levecque and Anneleen Mortier from Ghent University discuss why universities would benefit from a thorough reflection on how wellbeing and mental health are explicitly and implicitly conceptualised. Read more
  • 06 Dec. 2018
    Are we looking after the wellbeing of our doctoral researchers? by Janet Metcalfe and Sarah Nalden There is increasing interest in the wellbeing and mental health of researchers. Janet Metcalfe and Sarah Nalden from Vitae discuss how a recent project exploring the experiences of doctoral researchers and institutional support for their wellbeing and mental health reveals challenges and suggestions on how to provide appropriate support. Read more
  • 06 Dec. 2018
    Safeguarding the mental health of doctoral candidates in Europe by Mathias Schroijen Rather than a problem, mental health is an opportunity for the scientific community to create healthy and empowering working conditions. Mathias Schroijen tells us how Eurodoc aims to raise awareness and advocate for independent research on mental health among early-career researchers in Europe in order to provide preventive policies and share good practices. Read more
  • 23 Nov. 2018
    A European view on doctoral education in the United States by Henning Schroeder In the US, "PhD students" have traditionally focused on classroom time and course requirements, while their European counterparts, "doctoral candidates" followed the apprenticeship model. Now in Europe more institutionalised and structured doctoral programmes have taken shape. However, in the US, overregulation, higher costs and less time for independent research are cause for concern. Read more
  • 29 Oct. 2018
    Are the ESG applicable to doctoral education? by Tia Loukkola The Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in European Higher Education (ESG) are applicable to any quality assurance process in higher education, including doctoral education. However, one must focus on the spirit of each standard and adjust it to the specific context of doctoral education. Read more
  • 26 Sep. 2018
    The value of Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions for research mobility and society by Lise Wogensen Bach Policy makers and university leaders across Europe are currently discussing the proposal for Horizon Europe – the 9th EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The level of engagement shows just how important the framework programme is for universities, as it will decide the future funding of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) and other programmes. In this context, this article reflects on the importance the MSCA International Training Networks (ITNs) have had on training the next generation of researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark. Read more
  • 22 Aug. 2018
    Doctoral education in South Africa: ambitions and challenges by Shireen Motala The South African government has expressed its ambition to substantially increase the number of doctoral graduates by 2030. Graduates will be prepared for a world that is more connected in both cultural and economic terms and contribute to the country’s economic development and global competitiveness. However, the current capacity of universities is insufficient to deliver on this ambition and should be expanded, while international mobility brings up questions related to brain drain. Read more


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