Time and timing in doctoral education

The 2022 EUA-CDE Annual Meeting ddressed the question of time and timing, taking a close look at this key issue for doctoral education. Through workshops and sessions in various formats, this conference provided an opportunity for the doctoral education community to come together and address these topics.


One of the most significant developments in the field of doctoral education over the last two decades is the growing attention paid to the question of time. The 2005 Salzburg Principles define the duration of a doctorate as “three to four years full time as a rule”. While EUA-CDE surveys indicate that this has become the average length of a doctorate, there is still an ongoing debate on key issues such as time to degree, the role of doctoral candidates who are part-time – either due to parenting obligations or additional work responsibilities – and the increased time pressure in doctoral education caused by tight timelines. Universities face the challenge of ensuring that a doctorate lasts for a reasonable length of time, but they also need to take into account the individual circumstances of doctoral candidates, including age, gender and socio-economic background. At the same time, in light of the increased training offers in doctoral education, it is important to prioritise and consider time management as a key skill for doctoral candidates. Above all, high quality research takes time, with large variations across fields and topics, and it is of utmost importance that doctoral candidates are allowed enough. 

The 2022 EUA-CDE Annual Meeting also focused on future trends and the diversity of the doctoral candidate population. A new paper outlining a vision on doctoral education, developed together with the EUA-CDE member community, was presented at the Meeting.

EUA-CDE Annual Meetings have become the largest and most comprehensive gatherings of academic leaders, senior academics, doctoral education professionals, postdoctoral researchers, doctoral candidates and other stakeholders working on doctoral education and research training. 

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For more information regarding this conference please contact us at info@eua-cde.org.


Invitation from the President

Dame Professor Nancy Rothwell resized 002

On behalf of The University of Manchester I am delighted to invite you to participate in the 2022 European University Association - Council for Doctoral Education Annual Meeting.

The University of Manchester, in its present form, was created in 2004 by the amalgamation of the Victoria University of Manchester and the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST). In 2024, we will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the foundation of our first predecessor institution, two centuries that have seen 25 Nobel Prizes including that for Ernest Rutherford for his work on the nucleus of the atom. The world’s first stored programme electronic computer was built here, with Alan Turing pioneering artificial intelligence. Professor Arthur Lewis, Britain’s first black professor, received his Nobel Prize for his research on development economics.  Christabel Pankhurst, who studied law here, was a leader of the suffragette movement. The University of Manchester is a place where research has a global impact, where students experience outstanding teaching and learning, helping them to develop into tomorrow’s leaders, and where our activities are enriched by a commitment to social responsibility.

Our student community is one of the largest in the UK; we have more than 40,000 students of whom some 4,000 are postgraduate researchers and we know that as we look forward we must focus on the well-being and success of our students.  In particular to support those who have witnessed their studies disrupted through the pandemic, and to respond to our students rapidly changing needs.    

During these times of change, challenge and opportunity, the 2022 EUA-CDE Annual Meeting provides the ideal opportunity for higher education leaders in Europe to meet, reflect and engage in discussions.  The overarching theme of the meeting will be time and timing in doctoral education, specifically exploring the different challenges faced during the doctorate and how both students and institutions can optimise the use of their time. 

We look forward to hosting the 2022 EUA-CDE Annual Meeting.

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor


About the city of Manchester and the University

Brunswick and Whitworth 2

The University of Manchester has many great assets: a fantastic location in a vibrant and forward-thinking city; an attractive and evolving campus; a cosmopolitan and lively student population; and dedicated staff who are world-leading experts in their fields. The University has one of the largest student communities in the UK and is home to more than 40,000 students from more than 160 nationalities.  The University’s size and scale enable unparalleled interdisciplinary inquiry with world-leading minds from the across the University collaborating to discover new ways forward and address some of the world’s biggest challenges from poverty to sustainable consumption to cancer.

The city and the University have long worked together and the city region is a big part the University’s identity. Manchester positions itself as the original modern city and as a place where things are done differently. The city was at the heart of the Industrial Revolution and has always had an independent spirit, with political movements such as Chartism, trade unions and the suffragettes having Mancunian roots. Manchester is one of the most celebrated British cities – judged to be the top UK city to live in for 2018 (the Economist’s Global Liveability index) and one of the ten friendliest cities in the world by Rough Guides readers. The city is famous for its sporting culture and boasts an enviable arts scene. The University’s own Manchester Museum, the John Rylands Library and the Whitworth are among the city’s cultural landmarks with the iconic Lovell Telescope just a short drive away at our Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Manchester was proud to host the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) in 2016, the first time a UK city has been chose to host this biennial, pan-European, general science conference which welcomed 4,500 leading thinkers, innovators, policy makers, journalists and educators from more than 90 countries to the city.


Hosted by:

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© The University of Manchester

Wednesday 22 June 2022

14:00 – 15:45 Pre-meeting workshop I: New to doctoral education

Alexander Hasgall, Head of EUA Council for Doctoral Education
Pirjo Nikander, EUA-CDE Steering Committee Member; Research Director of the Doctoral School, Tampere University, Finland
Claudine Leysinger, Head of Graduate Campus, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Sohail Luka, Policy Officer, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, European Commission
April Lockyer, Head of Research Governance, Ethics and Integrity, University of Manchester, UK

14:00 – 15:30 Pre-meeting workshop II: Supporting doctoral candidates at risk

Stephen Wordsworth, Executive Director, Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA)
Henriette Stoeber, Policy Analyst, European University Association
Marit Egner, Senior Adviser in the Office for Research and International Cooperation, University of Oslo, Norway
Claire Morel, Head of Unit, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, European Commission

15:45 – 16:45 Doctoral education and the war in Ukraine

Iryna Degtyarova, Polish-Ukrainian MeiN-PW Project Coordinator, Warsaw University of Technology; Senior Researcher, Polish Rectors Foundation, Poland
Ganna Tolstanova, Vice-Rector for Research, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine
Oleksandr Berezko, President, Eurodoc; Associate Professor, Lviv Polytechnic National University, Ukraine

17:15 – 18:15 Presentation of the new vision paper

Luke Georghiou, EUA-CDE Steering Committee Chair; Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Manchester, UK
Alexander Hasgall, Head of EUA-CDE


Thursday 23 June 2022

09:15 – 10:45 Plenary session I: Is there enough time for the doctorate? Time to degree and pressure to finish

Baptiste Dethier, Scientific Advisor, Observatory of Research and Scientific Careers, Belgium
Carolyn Wynne, Director of the Doctoral College & Centre for Researcher Capability and Development, Coventry University, UK
Marc Torka, Research Associate at the Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Sydney, Australia

11:15 – 12:45 Parallel session I

A. Preparing for the doctorate

Getting the best possible start to a doctorate: the Honours Programme for future researchers at Jena University
Hanna Kauhaus, Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Germany

The Wageningen Graduate Schools programme
Ingrid Vleghels, Wageningen University, Netherlands

The citizen science doctoral college – sharing an interdisciplinary experience
Lucimar Dantas, Lusofona University of Humanities and Technologies, Portugal

B. Skills training

Skills DIY for doctoral researchers
Bertram Welker, Free University Berlin, Germany

Transferable skills trainings and employability beyond academia
Julia Boman, European Science Foundation, France

Multidisciplinary doctoral schools as clusters of PhD programmes outside the walls of faculties: innovative organisation to support candidates in their doctoral journey
Claudia Cavadas, University of Coimbra, Portugal

C. The effect of financial, individual and contextual factors on careers and progress of the doctorate

Precarious careers & career sustainability despite the limited time frame of project funds
Karen Vandevelde, Antwerp University, Belgium

Time to breathe: doctoral students’ emotional well-being and academic performance
Aurelia Mane Estrada, University of Barcelona, Spain

Distilling policy into practice: learners’ stories of navigating the doctoral process across time, space and place
Maeve O'Regan, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland


14:45 – 16:15 Plenary session II The doctorate as a lifelong experience. The situation of older and part-time doctoral candidates

Viktoria Weber, Vice-Rector for Research and Sustainable Development, University for Continuing Education Krems (Danube University Krems), Austria
Alina Adriana Minea, Director of the Council for Doctoral Studies, Gheorghe Asachi Technical University of Iasi, Romania
Christian Strahlman, Doctoral Education Coordinator, Malmö University, Sweden
Mossadek Talby, EUA-CDE Steering Committee Member; Director of the Doctoral College, Aix-Marseille University, France

16:15 – 16:45 EUA-CDE in 2021/2022 and plans for the coming year

Alexander Hasgall, Head of EUA-CDE


Friday 24 June 2022

09:00 – 10:15 Parallel panel I Preparing for a doctorate. What can be done?

John Creemers, Director of the Doctoral School of Biomedical Sciences, KU Leuven, Belgium
Melike Riollet, International Cooperation Manager, Association Bernard Gregory, France
Pil Maria Saugmann, General Board Member, European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers (Eurodoc)

09:00 – 10:15 Parallel panel II Temporal organisation of doctoral education or “when do we offer what”? Finding the right balance

Minna Soderqvist, Service Manager, Aalto University, Finland
Mar Marcos, Director of the Doctoral School, University of Cantabria, Spain; President Conferencia Nacional de Directores de Escuelas de Doctorado
Lauris Bisenieks, Head of the Doctoral Studies Department, Riga Technical University, Latvia

10:45 – 12:15 Parallel session II

A. Duration of the doctorate and supporting completion

Professional interventions support timely completion
Lucas Zinner, University of Vienna, Austria

Measures to support the swift finalisation of the doctorate with a flexible system
Tim Klinge, Technical University of Munich, Germany

The influence of type of PhD trajectory on completion rate and time-todegree
Janneke Van Seters, Wageningen University, Netherlands

B. Organisation of doctoral programmes around a timeline

Timelines and forward planning: preparing doctoral researchers for the time “after”
Kerstin Lange, Hamburg Research Academy, Germany

Accelerated academy and doctoral studies
Dana Bilikova, Palacký University Olomouc, Czech Republic

C. Timing of the doctoral trajectory

The PhD progress tool at KU Leuven
Michèle Van Buggenum, KU Leuven, Belgium
Leen Cuypers, KU Leuven, Belgium

Doctoral candidates hit the ground running: timeline models in doctoral study- University of Essex case study
Sanja Bahun, University of Essex, UK
Andrew McCarthy, University of Essex, UK

The four-year doctoral thesis journey – key practices and resources to foster peer learning, teamwork and career development
Maija Taka, Aalto University, Finland


13:15 – 14:30 Plenary session III How to attract first generation students for a doctorate

Ann Kristin Kolwes, Project Coordinator “First Generation Doctorate Mentoring+”, University of Cologne, Germany
Mathias Neukirchen, Director of the Academic Service, European University Institute, Italy
Harriet Coombs, former Intern, Higher Education Policy Institute; Policy Advisor, Ministerial Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, UK

Registrations are closed since Monday 6 June. For further questions please contact events@eua-cde.org.


Payment must be made upon confirmation and prior to the event either by bank transfer or credit card. The participant assumes full responsibility for paying all bank charges associated with the payment.


Cancellation of registrations

Cancellation is free of charge for the early bird period, which ends on 25 April 2022.  From 26 April to 31 May 2022 included, cancellations are still possible, but an administrative fee of 30% of the registration fee remains due. Any refunds will be made after the conference. Participants who cancel after 31 May 2022 or fail to attend, will be liable to pay the entire registration fee. Substitutes will be accepted at any time provided that EUA is informed of the change. Cancellations or changes must be sent in writing to the following email address: events@eua-cde.org.



Neither EUA nor University of Manchester will be liable for any losses, accidents or damage to persons or objects, regardless of the cause. Participants and companions attend the meeting and all related events at their own risk and responsibility.

Should you have any questions do not hesitate to contact the EUA Events Team at: events@eua-cde.org.


EUA Council for Doctoral Education & EUA Events Team

For enquiries regarding the programme, please contact:

Alexander Hasgall
Head of Council for Doctoral Education
Email: alexander.hasgall@eua.eu

Ana-Maria Peneoasu
Project Officer
Email: ana.maria.peneoasu@eua.eu

EUA Events Team

For enquiries regarding registrationspayments, invoices, visa applications and general coordination, please contact:

Caroline Marissal
Events Officer
Email: events@eua-cde.org

University of Manchester

For enquiries regarding accommodation and local information, please contact: 

Email: claire.hughes@manchester.ac.uk


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