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The Impact of the Doctoral Phase on the Career of Young Researchers in Life Sciences

The E-Prom project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and implemented in association with the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU) and Technische Universität München (TUM), aims to investigate connections between the quality characteristics of the doctoral phase and the career development of young researchers in the field of life sciences. It particularly focuses on the differences between the traditional individual and the structured models, i.e. graduate schools, of doctoral education.

The project aims to answer the following central questions:

  • What influence do the quality characteristics of the doctoral phase (e.g. acquired skills and expertise, specific features of the discipline) have on the success of career entry in research-based fields of work?
  • What influence do the quality characteristics of the doctoral phase have on the success of the post-doctoral phase over time?
  • How do the distinctive features of doctoral studies in Medicine (which often take place alongside a degree programme and not, as is the case in other subjects, after the degree programme) affect the start of the post-doctoral phase both as part of structured doctoral programmes and on an individual level?
  • What influence do factors that are not direct quality characteristics of the doctoral phase, for example cognitive and affective-motivational features, career orientation, gender, sociocultural backgrounds, family planning, etc., have on:

    • career entry in research-based fields of work?
    • the success of the post-doctoral phase over time?

Three approaches are used to answer these questions:

  • A multi-cohort panel study carried out in faculties of Medicine and Biology in the German Federal States of Bavaria, Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia that longitudinally records the career development of doctoral students at the start of their post-doctoral careers (sub-study 1)
  • A qualitative interview study with selected student participants aiming to obtain a deeper understanding of the influence of individual factors on career development (sub-study 2)
  • The evaluation of structured doctoral programmes in faculties of Medicine and Biology in the German Lands of Bavaria, Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia by means of document analyses and expert interviews (sub-study 3)

E-Prom project flyer (German)

 

For further information, please visit: www.e-prom-projekt.de

Berning, Ewald und Susanne Falk. 2005. Das Promotionswesen im Umbruch. Beiträge zur Hochschulforschung 27: 48–72.