List of published articles

10 June 2011

What skills and knowledge should a PhD have? Changing preconditions for PhD education and post doc work

During the conference The Formative Years of Scholars, a range of topics was covered in the presentations and in the discussions and comments throughout the meeting. Besides developments inside the knowledge system, structural developments on the national, European and global level as well as labour market demands, and the content and structure of doctoral programmes, the further careers of post docs were discussed as was the question of mobility.

This chapter elaborates on a few themes that were brought up during the presentations and the discussions; we will partly combine them and perhaps summarize from them. Thus, not all ideas and points which were touched upon by the participants are discussed here. First, we note briefly some of the changes that seem to be presently ongoing in the sector of higher education and research, with subsequent challenges for the system and those involved in it. Secondly, we concentrate on the doctoral phase. New demands are put on PhD‑education programmes, and new skills and competences are demanded of those who earn a doctoral degree. PhDs are increasingly not just educated for academic research, but for the labour market in general; the postdoctoral phase will be discussed in close relation to this. There has been an increased focus on the postdoctoral phase of research careers. As with the developments in the doctoral education, new structural components are included in postdoctoral programmes and new competences are required. Also, the comprehensive topic of mobility and the closely connected discussion about ‘brain drain and brain gain’ will be elaborated upon in this context. Finally, the last section tries to summarize the shift in the prerequisites of the formative years.

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