In the light of the current coronavirus pandemic, the EUA Council for Doctoral Education (EUA-CDE) has chosen to replace the 2020 EUA-CDE Annual Meeting with a series of online sessions and a webinar. They will address doctoral education from different perspectives, recalling the original topic of the event: The role of doctoral education within Europe’s universities.

These events will be divided into two parts:

First, EUA-CDE will host a webinar on 25 June on “Disciplines and interdisciplinarity in doctoral education”. This webinar is open to anyone with an interest in doctoral education.

EUA-CDE Webinar: Disciplines and interdisciplinarity in doctoral education

Thursday, 25 June 2020 at 14:00 – 15:00 CEST

Interdisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity and multidisciplinarity have become buzzwords surrounding the question of how to structure research in the future. While there is an increased interest in organising doctoral education based on themes, academia is still mostly based on single disciplines and doctorates are given within specific disciplinary fields. At the same time, the current coronavirus crisis has shown the importance of collaboration between different scientific fields, and how humanities, natural sciences and other areas need to interact in order to address complex challenges.  Speakers will discuss possible challenges between different approaches and what it means for the way we structure doctoral education in the future, but also how doctoral education could lead the way for the university as a whole.


  • Patricia Rosado Pinto, Director of the Doctoral School, Nova University Lisbon, Portugal
  • Gabi Lombardo, Director, European Alliance for the Social Sciences and Humanities (EASSH)
  • Julia Kent, Vice-President for Best Practices and Strategic Initiatives, Council of Graduate Schools, USA


  • Luke Georghiou, EUA-CDE Steering Committee chair; Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Manchester, UK

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Registrations are open until the start of the webinar. Participation is free of charge and open to EUA members and other stakeholders with an interest in doctoral education.

In the second part, EUA-CDE will host three online sessions between 26-30 June featuring the presentations planned for the original 2020 Annual Meeting. These will be presented and discussed among the EUA-CDE community. The aim of these online sessions is to maintain the exchange of good practices and the sharing of experiences between our members. 

Participation to this second part is reserved to EUA-CDE members only. An invitation to these online sessions has already been sent. If you have not received it and are interested in attending one or more sessions, please contact the EUA-CDE Secretariat at by 23 June.

Online session I: Institutional approaches to doctoral education

Friday, 26 June at 11:00 – 12:00 CEST

This online session will present two institutional approaches that address the central role played by doctoral education within the university.

The first presentation will showcase how doctoral education can be intertwined in the university’s core missions, taking a central role within institutional practices and strategies. In particular, the presenter will illustrate the experience prompted by a planned rapid increase in Malmö University’s  doctoral education provision and the intended and unintended consequences.

The second presentation will explore the interaction between the Technical University of Munich Graduate School with several bodies within and beyond the university and assess its implications on the central role of managing doctoral education and research.


  • Christian Stråhlman, Doctoral Education Liaison Officer, Malmö University, Sweden
  • Robin Lucke, Responsible for Quality & Process Management, Technical University of Munich, Germany


  • Martine Rahier, ex-officio Steering Committee member; EUA Vice-President; Rector Emeritus, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland


Online session II: Innovative programmes and services to support the development of doctoral candidates

Monday, 29 June at 14:00 – 15:00 CEST

This online session will focus on new strategies and doctoral programmes developed at three institutions with the aim of better supporting the career path of doctoral candidates.

The first presentation will cover the initial experience of the doctoral school at the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne with several innovative doctoral education programs. In particular, the presentation will provide two examples, “EPFLinnovators” and “EPFLglobaLeaders”, which were developed to facilitate the acquirement of tailored entrepreneurial and leadership skills.

A second presentation by the Free University Berlin will highlight a project implemented by the Dahlem Research School. The main aim of the initiative is the creation of a central doctoral registration system to support the administration of doctoral procedures in the faculties and to create a solid database of comparable data to enable monitoring of doctoral study conditions.

The third speaker will showcase a collaborative programme called “23 Things International”, which was designed by the University of Surrey in partnership with two universities in New Zealand. The online course for doctorate holders, early-career researchers and supervisors provides participants with opportunities to build networks, familiarise themselves with resources to underpin research and establish their professional profiles. After a brief description of the programme, the presentation will explore the benefits and challenges of supporting international collaborations through this platform.


  • Jeroen van Hunen, Deputy to the Vice-President for Education, Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Andrea Dünschede, Quality Assurance Manager, Free University Berlin, Germany
  • Michael Rose, Researcher Development Training Officer, University of Surrey, UK


  • Pirjo Nikander, EUA-CDE Steering Committee member; Research Director of the Doctoral School, Tampere University, Finland


Online session III: Institutional practices to build the university profile and enhance policy making processes at doctoral schools

Tuesday, 30 June at 11:00 - 12:00 CEST

This online session will include three presentations of new institutional governance practices aimed at developing the university profile and enhancing policies and procedures at doctoral schools.

The first contribution will illustrate how the Hamburg Research Academy (HRA) pools the resources of nine higher education institutions in Hamburg to foster the career development of doctoral candidates and postdoctoral researchers. Since its establishment in 2018, the HRA has provided information, interdisciplinary training and networking opportunities to its member institutions and has brought expertise into current debates on research communication, diversity and internationalisation.  By offering a wide range of services to early career researchers and through cross-university cooperation, the Hamburg Research Academy is able to enhance its institutional profile and attract international talent.

The second speaker will share the experience of the David Tvildiani Medical University (DTMU) with  doctoral candidates’ involvement in the strategic management of the doctoral programme in medicine and will explain its added value. The evaluation of the participation of doctoral candidates in the development of procedures at DTMU revealed that there was high satisfaction in many dimensions. However, the feedback received proved to be necessary to update a number of administrative rules and regulations.

The third contribution will explain the adoption of the Higher Education and Science Act in Poland, which introduces a new system of doctoral schools in which the doctoral degree is granted by the universities, and no longer by the institutional departments. In particular, the presentation will concentrate on the pro-quality mechanisms, that were introduced at the University of Warsaw during the preparation stage of the new system with the aim of enhancing the quality of doctoral education.


  • Kerstin Lange, Deputy Managing Director for International Affairs, Hamburg Research Academy, Germany
  • Ilia Nadareishvili, Head of Research Unit, David Tvildiani Medical University, Georgia
  • Michał Goszczyński, Expert at Quality of Education Office, University of Warsaw, Poland


  • Alexander Hasgall, Head of EUA-CDE



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