PhD-survey VUB 2017: report

Verbeylen, J., J. Minnen, P. te Braak, I. Glorieux (2017): PhD-survey VUB 2017: report. Brussel: Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Onderzoeksgroep TOR (37 blz.) - TOR 2017/28.


In 2017, the Central PhD Office of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) organized a pilot study at several faculties to measure the working conditions of the PhD candidates. Together with the par-ticipating Doctoral Schools and participating faculties, the Central PhD Office aimed at gaining more insight into the needs of the PhD candidates and to measure to what extent these needs are being met. Which aspects of the PhD process are already positively evaluated and which aspects need more support? Not only does the university want more successful PhD’s at the end of their trajectory, she also wants more satisfied students and personnel during their trajectory. To learn more about the PhD process, PhD candidates were asked to fill out a survey with ques-tions concerning their doctoral trajectory: the support from their supervisor and broader scientific guidance network, their perceived progress of their PhD research, their career plans and training needs. In total, 540 PhD candidates from 3 different faculties (Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Science, Faculty Physical Education and Physiotherapy) were invit-ed to participate. In the first chapter, we will elaborate on the research design, the population and the response. The second chapter will discuss personal characteristics to get a better idea of the composition of the group of respondents. The third chapter will elaborate on the development of the PhD proposal and prior experience of the PhD candidate. In the fourth chapter, different aspects of the PhD process are discussed such as the supervision, the working conditions, working hours and the Doctoral Schools. In the last chapter, we will go deeper into the dynamic of these aspects and the overall satisfaction of the PhD candidates. This study was conducted by Research Group TOR of the VUB, under the supervision of Prof. Ignace Glorieux. TOR is responsible for the data collection, the data cleaning, the data analysis and the writing up of the final report. For more technical details or more information on the ques-tionnaire, please consult the technical report.