Quality assurance of Doctoral education

Roland JonssonDoctoral education is a major Norwegian and European investment reflected also at Department of Clinical Science with its approximately 140 PhD trainees. Although the PhD education system has many qualities, it also faces persistent challenges and emerging issues that need to be addressed. One area where almost all higher education institutions have a way to go concerns explicating the relevance of the competencies acquired during the PhD period, for different labour markets and occupations. Current trends indicates that increasing numbers of PhD holders, also in biomedicine and health sciences, will work outside the research and higher education sectors, in a range of clinical, advisory and managerial jobs. Due to this, there is a need to strengthen the focus on the increasingly diverse career trajectories of their PhD holders, and consider how PhD qualifications are used in different occupations and sectors. In accordance with a recent NIFU report initiatives should be supported to develop better practices in promoting generic/transferrable skills training e.g. in project management, leadership and communication skills.

With such an increase in the demands of the PhD student, all skills cannot be accommodated by the traditional apprenticeship model, if the quality of the research is to be maintained.  Excellence in research is the sine qua non of the PhD programme, but a new attitude to the PhD is needed, away from the idea that it consists only of learning scientific method and laboratory techniques towards having responsibility for a project.  A new approach is needed. (Univ Wold New artikkel)

When it comes to translational medicine, which is clearly multifaceted, it should be emphasized that successful training in this discipline requires an understanding of at least three main subject areas: biomedical technology, clinical issues, and leadership and technology management. Increasing the quality of training for graduates who go on to have careers primarily in medtech and biotech are other challenges for our educational system in the field of translational medicine. For more information read here. Our institute aims to follow this up.


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