PRIDE - Professionals in Doctoral Education

Doctoral education has been undergoing a dramatic change in the last decade in Europe. However, whereas the need for targeted investments in the personal and professional development of PhD candidates, support structures such as doctoral schools, and higher quality of scientific supervision are widely accepted, a proper investment in the professional development of administrative staff needed to support the overall endeavour, is rather neglected. Thus the framework changed without taking the needs of a professional administration fully into account.

The PRIDE project aims at elaborating an alternative approach to administration in the area of doctoral education. As in sport, where, in addition to players and trainers, every successful team needs highly professional supporters acting in the background with representing complementary competences like professional fitness trainer, communicators and other care-takers, successful universities and doctoral schools in particular need professionals. They not only provide and organize training for PhD candidates and supervisors but they are also professional science communicators and observe the labour market┬┤s needs, monitor and evaluate all activities in doctoral schools, and contribute to the accountability of universities. The PRIDE project brings together a consortium with the aim of collaborating on providing tools to professionalize administrative staff in the area of doctoral education. In the project, the professionalization of administrative staff is characterized by:

  • an increase in formal status of administrative positions,
  • an increase in the requirements for formal qualification and training to hold specific administrative positions,
  • the growth and formalisation of networks.

In order to fulfil its overarching aim, this project will provide tools and guidance in order to support current and future professionals in doctoral education. This will be done through analysis and clarification of administrators┬┤ roles and responsibilities, exchange of best practice in terms of support for doctoral education and the development of workshops and training courses. Furthermore, through the formalization of a new international network for professionals in doctoral education, the need for lifelong learning and continuous improvement in this area will be addressed.