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Seminário “PhD graduation: from practice to research policy”

The crucial role of universities in the development of competencies required by knowledge society has been emphasised by several actors, namely political ones. Participating in the knowledge society implies to produce and sell knowledge and training to a large community, either national or foreigner students living in their country (organising brain drain/gain). Bridging higher education, research policy and post-graduation (PhD training) has generated widespread interdisciplinary interest in the social sciences. In parallel, improving graduate education and doctoral training has been one of the aims of political action in recent years, which leads to institutional changes to foster higher education and university research. Due to an increasing pressure to perform world class research, to produce European (world) standard education (Bologna process) and to match the job market requirements for better qualifications, and interest in research careers, higher education institutions and research practices have been changing.

Now the agenda has moved on to looking more carefully in depth at the European benchmark and scientific and technological competencies are built, mobilised, replicated and integrated. Based on scientific discussions on papers from Portuguese research scholars with leading academics as it has been done in the Netherlands and in Sweden during the 90’s, the aims of the workshop is to stimulate scientific research on science and higher education policies with a view to exchange best practices and policies amongst European researchers and to improve the overall quality of PhD research.

So, this seminar aims at:
1. Discussing and presenting ways to improve post-graduate education for both academia and industry;
2. Debating key difficulties which appear during the PhD preparation and which are mostly related to different types of organizing research in universities;
3. Addressing the desirable relation between research planning at organizational level and research done by post-graduates;
3. Sharing and discussing PhD stories/cases analysing them in a way they may effectively contribute to clarify doubts and to reduce uncertainties which normally spring up during the pursuing of the PhD degree.

It seems that some of the most exciting research welds conceptual thinking with highly contextual empirical work. We are therefore organising a two day-long workshop to look at work done in research and higher education policies to deepen understanding and gain insights into the broader knowledge society agenda. The meeting will involve young and more mature scholars from several countries and several leading institutions presenting papers and/or discussing streams of thinking in a highly interactive manner. There will be plenty of time for interactions as we allocate 45 minutes to discuss each formal paper. Papers will be made available in advance so that formal presentations are kept to a minimum and to stimulate lengthy debates.

Call for papers

The organization encourages researchers to interpret the conference themes in original ways. Presentation/paper proposals are called from all fields of scholarly investigation and diverse forms of creative expression.   All work will be presented in English, and should strike a balance between area of specialization and accessibility to a general intellectual audience.

Proposals should be approximately 300 words in length, and include the presenter’s field of specialization and academic/professional affiliation.  
Proposals should be submitted electronically to, with the author’s name as file name.  

The deadline for submission is February 15, 2007.

Preliminary Programme

26 March

9:00 h – Opening session

9:30 – 11:00 – Seminar

11:15 – Coffee Break

11:30 – 13:00 – Parallel Sessions

13:00 – 14:30 – Lunch

14:30 – 16:15 – Parallel Sessions

16:15 – 16:30 – Coffee Break

16:30 – 18:00 Parallel Sessions

27 March

9:30 – Plenary Session

12:00 – Closing Session and Remarks


15th February 2007: Deadline for abstracts’ submission
28th February 2007: Early registration
22th March 2007: Final registration deadline
23th March 2007: Programme finalised (subject to late changes)

[1] Research centre in Sociology  – is a research centre belonging to the School of Social Sciences/ University of Minho (UM)
[2] Research Centre in Economic Sociology and the Sociology of Organisations – is a research centre belonging to the School of Economics and Management (ISEG) / Technical University of Lisbon (UTL).


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