Main outcomes PhD Council survey 2016

In late spring 2016, the PhD Council conducted a satisfaction survey among all PhD candidates of the Graduate School. In total, 118 (of the approximately 400) PhD candidates filled in the survey. Here is an overview of the main outcomes

Composition of our PhD community

  • More women than men (57% / 42%).
  • On average 30 years old, with psychologists being the youngest and historians the oldest
  • Highly international, 60% are Dutch, the remaining 40% have other nationalities
  • Large majority of respondents has not experienced delay (80%)
  • 70% is funded from research grants, 15% is self-funded
  • Commonly supervised by a professor and daily supervisor
  • Training and Supervision Plans (TSP) are often absent at the Faculty of Social Sciences, widely accepted elsewhere

Overall sastisfaction

  • General satisfaction with the PhD trajectory (71%)
  • Sources of satisfaction are good supervision, interesting topic, and good progress
  • Sources of dissatisfaction are the opposite, unclear job prospects, and absence of relevant training
  • There is, nevertheless, overall satisfaction with supervision, 7.7. The Department of History scores the highest (8.75) and the Department of Psychology and Educational Studies (DPECS) and Philosophy score the lowest (around 7.1).
  • Female PhDs are slightly less satisfied with supervision than male (7.5 / 8)
  • Perceived obstacles are time management (32%), lack of facilities and administrative support (22%), and the project requirements itself (21%)

Graduate School

Satisfaction with the courses of the GS varied:

  • Information about the schools is appreciated with a 3,7 (on a 5 point scale) with IHS and ISS candidates feeling least informed, and Media and Communication, and Arts and Culture PhD candidates feeling best informed
  • Academic writing is by and large reported as a beneficial course, together with multi-level analysis, especially by DPECS and DPAS candidates
  • Regarding other outcomes of the survey, related to the doctoral education programme, the school’s own administration and evaluations provide more reliable information (see our latest annual reports for the course evaluations)

Completion of PhD track and prospects

  • Most PhD candidates are confident that they will finish in time, with a remarkable exception among the Media and Communication candidates who score 4.6 on a scale from 1 (not confident) to 10 (totally confident)
  • Most PhD candidates don’t know yet what they want after their PhD. 25% said they wanted to stay in academia, 15% said they would leave.

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More information on the Erasmus University Rotterdam doctoral regulations

The survey indicated that certain elements of the Erasmus University Rotterdam doctoral regulations (Dutch: 'promotiereglement') are unclear or unknown to PhD candidates and supervisors. Please note that the most important elements of the regulations are explained on the following pages of our website:

  1. <link doctoral-education training-and-supervision-plan>Training and Supervision Plan (TSP) and PhD portfolio
  2. <link doctoral-education professionalism-and-integrity-in-research>Professionalism and integrity in research (Dutch: 'integriteitsverklaring')
  3. <link doctoral-education reference-check>Reference check (Dutch: 'plagiaatscan')

Always feel free to contact us for more information.