The EURODOC survey was prepared by the Doctoral Training Working Group (DTWG) to analyze the diverse landscape of doctorates across Europe. In this survey, doctorate is understood as the institutional frameworks and processes geared towards the completion of a doctoral degree, and doctoral candidate is a person enrolled in a doctorate.
The survey was divided in three main sections:
I. General information and application procedure
II. Defence procedure
The first part describes which institutions at the national level can award doctoral degree, in which form of attendance is the doctorate available, and what is its formal length. Concerning doctoral candidates, the questions focused on their status and related social benefits, as well as the financial support they have access to. At the end of this section, the admission requirements for the doctorate are mentioned.
The second part deals with the progress of doctoral training once the doctoral candidate is enrolled. It includes topics such as organization of doctoral training, from the planning of career progress to defence procedures. For example, attendance of courses, how is training in transferable skills provided, and how is the progress of the doctoral candidate evaluated. Questions about the main obligations during this period, such as teaching activities or the need to be mobile, were also included. The remaining of part two is dedicated to supervision, how it is provided, for example, if it is possible for the doctoral candidate to change supervisor and what is the procedure to make such change, or if supervisors need to undergo training prior to starting supervising doctoral candidates.
The third part refers to the requirements for the defence, specifically, what documents are needed to start defence procedures. Finally, information about the defence procedure is provided.
Doctorates in Europe vary across countries and often there is a lack of information at the national level on the topic. The information collected through this survey can be compared with the requirements of the European Training Networks of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) under the Horizon 2020 program, where structured research and training programmes are based on the Principles for Innovative Doctoral Training (European Commision, 2011).
It is also important to mention that within one country, the structure of doctorates varies across universities, faculties/departments or disciplines. The description of the doctoral training models in each country was prepared mostly by members of EURODOC national associations and is intended to provide a general overview of how doctoral training is organized at the national level
National law, rules or regulations change over time. Therefore, it is the intention of EURODOC’s Working Group on Doctoral Training to keep an annually updated database of doctoral training structures across Europe.
Those interested in providing a description of doctoral training models in their country, when none was provided in this document, or that wish to update the information we made available, please contact the Working Group coordinator.
The survey was prepared by the following members of the EURODOC Doctoral Training Working Group (in alphabetical order): Melania Borit* (NO), Gergely Buday (HU), Eva Hnatkova (CZ), Filomena Parada (PO) and Olga Shtyka (PL).
Vice-president of EURODOC
Former coordinator of the EURODOC Doctoral Training Working Group 2016-2018
* Melania Borit wishes to acknowledge the project SAF21 – Social science aspects of fisheries for the 21st Century [project financed under the EU Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie (MSCA) ITN-ETN Program; project number: 642080] for facilitating this work.