Invitation for International Research Seminar & Call for Papers for a Special Issue

Invitation for International Research Seminar & Call for Papers for a Special Issue

(Post) Academic Careers: PhD graduates and Employability in- and outside Academia

Date: Friday 29th of March 2019
Location: VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
EERA Network: 22. Research in Higher Education


We invite researchers, both junior and senior, to participate in and contribute to our seminar. There is no fee for the seminar.

Since we received funding from the EERA, we are able to provide limited compensation for you travelling and accommodation costs (between 100 – 300 Euro) for researchers from outside the Netherlands.

It is our intention to further develop the papers of the meeting in a special issue for Studies in Higher Education or European Journal of Higher Education but this will depend on the quality and nature of the submitted abstracts.

  • Deadline for submission of abstracts (max 300 words): 1st of February 2019
  • Deadline for requesting funding (provide a brief overview of your estimated costs and the amount of funding requested): 1st of February.
  • Please send submissions and requests for funding to the four organizers. We will inform you about acceptance and funding by the 15th of February.

Rationale and aims of the Research Seminar

The supply of PhD graduates from European universities has increased substantially. This is promoted by EU agendas for higher education such as the Bologna process, with an objective of increasing investment in research and development (European Commission, 2015) and is following an international trend to secure the future supply of highly skilled research talent for the knowledge economy. Hence, this development has three consequences:

  1. PhD-holders will find their employment increasingly outside academia,
  2. Public and private employers demand and hire PhDs as to ensure their supply of highly qualified employees and
  3. Universities should encourage PhD students to achieve more general competences during their PhD studies, also called the third cycle in the Bologna Process. Future PhDs should prepare for both university and non-university employment (e.g. OECD, 2012) by the development of transferable skills, that are applicable in a broad variety of work situations.

This raises questions as to which extent there is a non-academic labour market for PhD graduates from all disciplines and leads to the following questions:

1) What makes the PhDs ‘choose’ their career paths, how do they use their PhD competences, and how are they considered useful on the labour market outside of academia?

2) How should current graduate education and PhD supervision be adapted to these developments?

Thus, this project focuses on the issue of employability of PhD graduates outside academia viewed from different research projects in Europe. It is based on contributions from Italy, Denmark and the Netherlands and other European countries. Aims of the project are:

A) To further study and investigate the employability of PhDs in an international comparative perspective

B) To allow for discussions between current PhDs students, recently graduates and higher education researchers from a wide range of countries

C) To further disseminate and publish the findings for our research collaborations.

Tentative Program

9:30 Welcome and Coffee

10:00 – 11:00 Keynote speech & Discussion

11:00 – 11:15 Short break

11:15 – 12:45 Presentation of papers, session I

(3 papers per sessions, 30 minutes for each paper, we will group the sessions according to (sub) topic, depending on the number of participants and papers, we will hold two or more parallel sessions).

12:45 – 14:00 Lunch break & poster sessions (every contributor will be requested to hang up a poster of his/her research, to increase interactions)

14:00 – 15:30 Presentation of papers, session II

15:30 – 16:00 Tea break

16:00 – 17:00 General discussion, reflections from the parallel sessions, presentation of following steps, conditions for special issue, preparation for ECER 2019