The 7th ORPHEUS Conference 2012: Establishing Evaluation of PhD Training

Mission of the Conference

7th ORPHEUS 2012  Conference:  “Establishing Evaluation of PhD Training”

Throughout Europe there is a growing emphasis on PhD education as the “third cycle” in the Bologna process. For the health sciences, this provides new opportunities for the advancement of clinical research as well as for strengthening basic research in the area. This is, however, dependent on the content and quality of the PhD degree, and it was for this reason that ORPHEUS was established.

ORPHEUS (Organisation for PhD Education in Biomedicine and Health Sciences in the European System) held its first conferences in 2004 and 2005, where standards for the health science PhD were discussed and defined.  In particular, the “Zagreb declaration” was formulated, which defined the expected content of a PhD thesis in the biomedical context. The third conference in 2007, discussed the role of clinical PhD programmes in graduate schools in health science. The fourth meeting held in 2008 in Aarhus set the basic standards for the PhD degree in biomedicine and health sciences. The fifth conference was held in Vienna 2007, with the motto “The Advancement of European Biomedical and Health Science PhD Education by Cooperative Networking”. The most recent conference 2011 was held in Izmir, Turkey, with the theme: “Quality Indicators of PhD training”.  The position papers from each of these conferences can be found on the ORPHEUS homepage (http://www.orpheus-med.org). ORPHEUS now has a membership of around 100 biomedical and health science faculties and institutions from almost all European countries.

Recently, ORPHEUS in collaboration with Association of Medical School of Europe (AMSE) and World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) issued a joint document: Standards for PhD Education in Biomedicine and Health Sciences in Europe. The document is the product of discussion at numerous conferences with hundreds of participants. The aim now is to discuss how these standards can best be promoted and applied. In particular, whether some form of ORPHEUS label could be offered to institutions meeting these standards. Such actions could have an important effect on improving the quality of PhD training in European biomedicine and health sciences, and preserving the reputation of the PhD degree.

The forthcoming seventh conference, to be held 19-21 April 2012, in Bergen is on the theme “Establishing Evaluation of PhD Training”. On this topic, keynote speakers will provide impulses that we will further discuss in workshops to elaborate guidelines and strategies on ORPEHUS organized international evaluation of PhD training in Europe.

Local Organizing Committee

Local organizing committee:

Roland Jonsson, Conference Chair of the 7th ORPHEUS Conference in Bergen
Berit Rokne, Deputy Rector UiB
Robert Bjerknes, Vice Dean
Gry Kibsgaard, Advisor UiB
Jan Petter Myklebust, Assistant Director, UiB
Rune Nilsen, professor
Ernst Omenaas, Chief of Research, Haukeland Univ. Hospital
Reidar Thorstensen, Advisor, Haukeland Univ. Hospital
Kate Frøland, Senior Executive Officer
Torunn Olsnes, Senior Executive Officer
Marianne Stien, Higher Executive Officer
Inger Hjeldnes Senneseth, Assistant Director
Merete Allertsen, Senior Executive Officer
Ane Brorstad Mengshoel, Higher Executive Officer
Tone Friis Hordvik, Head of Administration
Anlaug Lid, Senior Executive Officer

Executive committee ORPHEUS:

Professor Dr. Zdravko Lackovic, Zagreb, President
Professor Dr. Michael Mulvany, Aarhus, Vice President
Professor Dr. Seppo Meri, Helsinki, General Secretary
Professor Dr. Andrea Olschewski, Graz, Treasurer
Professor Dr. Miroslav Cervinka, Hradec Kralowe
Professor Dr. Gul Guner-Akdogan, Izmir
Professor Dr. Konstantin Gurevich, Moscow
Professor Dr. Petr Hach, Prague
Professor Dr. Jadwiga Mirecka, Krakow
Professor Dr. Chris Van Schavendijk, Brussels
Professor Dr. Andre Nieoullon, Marseilles
Professor Dr. Roland Jonsson, Bergen
  

Co-opted Members of Executive Committee:

Professor Dr. Luis Martinez Millan, Vizcay
Dr. (PhD) Debora Grosskopf-Kroiher, Cologne

Declaration

UNIVERSITY OF ZAGREB
MEDICAL SCHOOL

PhD Programme:
Biomedicine and Health Sciences

EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON
HARMONISATION OF PhD PROGRAMMES
IN BIOMEDICINE AND HEALTH SCIENCES

University of Zagreb – Medical School
Zagreb, Croatia, April 24 – 25, 2004

 

 

The Declaration of European Conference on

Harmonisation of PhD Programmes in Biomedicine and Health Sciences

Convened in Zagreb on April 24 – 25, 2004

 

(hereafter referred to as the «Zagreb Declaration»)

 

 

After extensive discussion and exchange of ideas and experiences among participants coming from 25 universities and from 16 European countries having different schemes for obtaining PhD degree in medicine and health sciences regarding both form and the way of evaluation, ranging from monograph and evaluation within the same university to high standards of PhD thesis containing four or more papers published in internationally recognized peer reviewed journals, often with high impact factor and the inclusion of evaluators from abroad, the participants of the European Conference on Harmonisation of PhD Programmes in Biomedicine and Health Sciences (hereafter referred to as the «Zagreb Conference» or the «Conference») have agreed on the following:

Article 1

PhD programme is intended to enable individuals, after completing and defending their PhD thesis, to carry out independent, original and scientifically significant research and critically evaluate work done by others. To assure the above, the participants of the Conference reached consensus on the following:

Article 2

As in any kind of scientific peer review process, the reviewers of PhD thesis should be competent and independent from the PhD thesis, candidates and supervisor. In this sense, the participants of the Conference would like to encourage the inclusion of supervisors from other universities and countries.

Article 3

The Conference agreed that a suitable benchmark to describe the necessary achievement is a PhD thesis based on original in extenso publications in internationally recognized scientific-medical journals. The independent contribution of the candidate should be clearly demonstrated (for example the candidate being the first author). The Conference recommends that the minimal requirement for the PhD thesis in medicine and health sciences should be the equivalent of at least three in extenso papers published in internationally recognized journals. In addition to the papers presented the candidate should provide a full review of the literature relevant to the themes in the papers, and, where necessary, a fuller account of the research methods and results. Where the PhD research is presented in other formats, such as the single monograph, reviewers should demonstrate that the contribution is at least equivalent to this benchmark, and should encourage inclusion of publication from the research.

 

Article 4

While the main demonstration of the achievement should be the thesis and published papers, PhD programmes should include a theoretical basis as well as the development of technical research skills in taught courses where appropriate.

Article 5

The Conference recommends to all universities to make their PhD programmes publicly available to students, lecturers and tutors from other universities and countries. All medical schools are recommended to create their web pages and written material about PhD programmes in English and to make their programs open to candidates from other universities and countries.  The Conference encourages the development of joint PhD programmes in order to enhance the link between the European Higher Education Area and the European Research Area with a view to ensure higher quality and enable joint degree recognition.

Article 6

The development of well-designed and high-quality PhD programmes requires substantial support by medical faculties, universities, national governments, the European Commission or private sponsors and other institutions in order to engage the best medical students into scientific research so as not to lose our future in medicine and public health.

 

The Zagreb Declaration was adopted unanimously on April 25, 2004 at 2:00 P.M. by:

 

Conference participants
Representatives of international and Croatian professional / academic associations and governmental institutions (in alphabetical order)

Association of Medical Education in Europe (AMEE)

Prof. Jadwiga Mirecka, MD, PhD, Executive Committee member

Association of Medical Schools in Europe (AMSE)

Prof. Petr Hach, MD, PhD, President

Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER)

Prof. Charles Normand, BA, DPhil, FFPHM, President

Croatian Medical Association

Prof. Ivan BakranMD, PhD, Vice-President

European Medical Association (EMA)

Vincenzo Costigliola, MD, President

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), South-Eastern European Cooperation, Curriculum Reform in Medicine

Prof. Hans Joachim Seitz, MD,

Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of the Republic of Croatia

Prof. Velimir Božikov, MD, PhD, State Secretary for Health

Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia

Prof. Pavo BarišićPhD, Assistant Minister

University of Zagreb, Croatia

Prof. Aleksa Bjeliš, PhD, Vice-Rector

Prof. Helena Jasna Mencer, PhD, Rector

Representatives of medical schools and schools of public health (in alphabetical order by country name)

University of Mostar, Medical School, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Prof. Filip Čulo, MD, PhD, Dean

Prof. Mirna Saraga-Babić, MD, PhD, Vice-Dean for Science

University of Sarajevo, Medical School, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Prof. Jadranka Dizdarević, MD, PhD, Vice-Dean for Undergraduate Studies

Prof. Benjamin Vojniković, MD, PhD, Secretary General of the Medical School

University of Tuzla, Medical School, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Prof. Lejla Begić, MD, PhD, Vice-Dean for Science

Prof. Osman Sinanović, MD, PhD, PhD ProgrammeDirector

Prof. Husref Tahirović, MD, PhD, Dean

Higher Medical Institute of Pleven, Pleven, Bulgaria

Prof. Maria Simeonova, MD, PhD, Head of Medical Genetics Department

  1. J. Strossmayer University, Medical School, Osijek, Croatia

Asst. Prof. Gordan Lauc, MD, PhD, Vice-Dean for Education

Asst. Professor Ante Tvrdeić, MD, PhD, Vice-Dean for Postgraduate Studies

University of Rijeka, Medical School, Rijeka, Croatia

Prof. Anđelka Radojčić Badovinac, MD, PhD, Vice-Dean for Postgraduate Studies

Prof. Dragica Bobinac, MD, PhD, Vice-Dean for Graduated Studies

Asst. Prof. Zlatko Trobonjača, MD, PhD

Prof. Luka Zaputović, MD, PhD, Vice-Dean for Science

University of Split, Medical School, Split, Croatia

Prof. Mladen Boban, MD, PhD, Dean

Prof. Željko Dujić, MD, PhD, Coordinator of Postgraduate Studies

Prof. Stjepan Gamulin, MD, PhD, Head of Postgraduate Studies Committee

Prof. Marijan Saraga, MD, PhD, Vice-Dean for Science

University of Zagreb, Medical School, Zagreb, Croatia

Prof. Nada Čikeš, MD, PhD, ECTS Coordinator

Prof. Marija Dominis, MD, PhD, Vice-Dean for Postgraduate Studies

Prof. Boris Labar, MD, PhD, Dean

Prof. Zdravko Lacković, MD, PhD, PhD Programme Director, Deputy Dean for Postgraduate Studies

University of Zagreb, Medical School, Andrija Štampar School of Public Health, Zagreb, Croatia

Prof. Jadranka Božikov, PhD, PhD Programme Deputy Director

Prof. Luka Kovačić, MD, PhD Deputy Director

Prof. Stjepan Orešković, PhD, Director

Charles University in Prague, First Faculty of Medicine, Prague, Czech Republic

Prof. MUDr. Stanislav Štípek, DrSc., Vice-Dean for Pedagogical Affairs

University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine, Finland

Prof. Seppo Meri, MD, PhD, Head, Committee for Postgraduate Scientific Studies in Medicine

University of Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany

Prof. Dr. Hans Joachim Seitz, MD, Director of the Institute for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology III – Biochemical Endocrinology

University of Szeged, Albert Szent-Gyorgyi Medical and Pharmaceutical Centre, Faculty of General Medicine, Szeged, Hungary

Prof. László Vécsei, MD, PhD, DSc, Director of the Experimental and Clinical Neuroscience PhD Programme

University of Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

Prof. Charles Normand, BA, DPhil, FFPHM, Edward Kennedy Professor of Health Policy and Management

University of Pavia, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Pavia, Italy

Prof. Alberto Calligaro, Deputy Dean

University “St. Cyril and Methodius”, Medical School, Skopje, R. Macedonia

Prof. Magdalena Žanteva-Naumoska, MD, PhD, Vice-Dean for Postgraduate Studies

Prof. Ljubica Georgijevski-Ismail, MD, PhD, FESC, Member of the Postgraduate Studies Committee

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Faculty of Medicine, Trondheim, Norway

Anne Britt Storeng, Senior Executive Officer, Research Administration

Prof. Alf O. Brubakk, Professor of Environmental Physiology

University of Oslo, Faculty of Medicine, Oslo, Norway

Sigrid Bergseng, Senior Executive Officer and Head of PhD Programme University Administration

Medical Centre of Postgraduate Education, Warsaw, Poland

Zbigniew Wegrzyn, MD, Department of Education and Quality Assessment

Jagellonian University, University Medical College, Kraków, Poland

Prof. Jadwiga Mirecka, MD, PhD, Head of the Department of Medical Education

Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland

Prof. Maciej Zabel, PhD, Head of PhD Program

Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Prof. Petru Adrian Mircea, Vice-President of the University

University of Niš, School of Medicine, Niš, Serbia and Montenegro

Prof. Goran Nikolić, MD, Vice-Dean

University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Medicine, Novi Sad, Serbia and Montenegro

Prof. Nevena Sečen, MD, PhD, Vice-Dean for Foreign Communication and Foreign Students

Comenius University, Jessenius Faculty of  Medicine, Slovak Republic

Prof. Kamil Javorka, MD, DSc, Vice-Dean for PhD Study

University of Navarra, Medical School, Navarra, Spain

Prof. Alfonso Sánchez Ibarrola, MD, PhD, member of University PhD Committee

List of other invited lecturers not listed above (in alphabetical order):
Tina Dušek, MD, PhD student, University of Zagreb Medical School, Croatia
Dr. Guy Haug, Expert on the European Higher Education Area (Bologna Process), Bruxelles

Alena Kavalírová, graduated pharmacist, PhD student, Faculty of Pharmacy in Hradec Králové, Charles University in Prague

Dr. Cees C. Leibbrandt, MD, Former Secretary General (1999–2002) of the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS)

List of observers (in alphabetical order)

Sandra Belko, BA (English), PhD Programme Secretary, Medical School, University of Zagreb; Kristina Fišter, MD, Research Fellow, Andrija Štampar School of Public Health, Medical School, University of Zagreb; Asst. Prof. Ileana Linčir, MD, PhD, Vice-Dean for Postgraduate Education, University of Zagreb School of Stomatology; Prof. Josip Madić, DVM, PhD, Vice-Dean of Science and International Cooperation, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zagreb; Prof. Albert Marinculić, DVM, PhD, Vice-Dean of Education, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zagreb; Anita Putrić, BA (Political Science), Senior Executive Officer of PhD Programme Administration, Medical School, University of Zagreb; Marita Mimica, BA (psychologist), Head of Postgraduate Studies Department, Medical School, University of Split, Miroslav Sabolek, BA (economy), Head of PhD Programme Administration, Medical School, University of Zagreb; Assoc. Prof. Velimir Sušić DVM, PhD, ECTS Coordinator, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zagreb; Tea Vukušić Rukavina, MD, Research Fellow, Andrija Štampar School of Public Health, Medical School, University of Zagreb.

Programme

13:00 – 15:00

Bergen 2012 Registration

Registration

 

15:00 – 15:30

 

Bergen 2012 opening ceremony orpheus zdravko lackovicRoland JonssonOrpheus 2012 Opening of the conference, Berit Rokne

Opening Ceremony

(Chair: Roland Jonsson) Welcome – Roland Jonsson, Conference ChairWelcome and greetings from University of Bergen – Berit Rokne, Vice-rectorWelcome and greetings from ORPHEUS – Zdravko Lackovic, President

Music entertainment

 15:30 – 17:15

 Key Note Lectures – Need for Quality PhD Training

(Chairs: Zdravko Lackovic, Michael Mulvany)

Strategic challenges in doctoral training and the Innovation Union agenda of the EU - Stefaan Hermans, ECStrategic challenges in doctoral training and the Innovation Union agenda of the EU – Stefaan Hermans, DG Research & Innovation, European Commission  EC
Strategic Challenges in Doctural Education: Raising Our Game Across Europe - David Gani, EUA-CDEStrategic Challenges in Doctural Education: Raising Our Game Across Europe – David Gani, EUA Council for Doctoral Education  EUA-CDE
Marie Curie actions: Innovation and excellence in PhD training - Frederico Miranda, ECMarie Curie actions: Innovation and excellence in PhD training – Frederico Miranda, Marie Curie Actions, European Commission EC
Giovanni Pacini; Orpheus conference Bergen 2012ESF-EMRC overview on Medical Research Education in Europe – Pacini Giovanni,, European Science Foundation ESF
 18:00 – 19:00

 Reception by invitation of the City of Bergen, Haakonshall

Orpheus Bergen 2012 - Reception by invitation of the City of Bergen, Haakonshallorpheus717veb[1].jpgOrpheus Bergen 2012 - Reception by invitation of the City of Bergen, HaakonshallOrpheus Bergen 2012 - Reception by invitation of the City of Bergen, Haakonshall; Nina LangelandOrpheus Bergen 2012 - Reception by invitation of the City of Bergen, Haakonshall; Trude Dreveland

 19:30

Well protected ORPHEUS treasurer Andrea Olschewski; Orpheus conference Bergen 2012Speakers dinner

April 20, 2012

09:00 – 10:30

 

Key Note Lectures – How to evaluate PhD training

Chairs: Melita Kovačević, Gul Güner-Akdogan

ORPHEUS: From development of Standards: toward international quality assessment and global PhD –        Zdravko LackovicORPHEUS: From development of Standards: toward international quality assessment and global PhD –        Zdravko Lackovic, ORPHEUS – President, University of Zagreb
Quality assurance and doctoral education: reflections on the UK experience – Janet Bohrer, QAA, UKQuality assurance and doctoral education: reflections on the UK experience – Janet Bohrer, , Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education, UK
Evaluation of Norwegian PhD education – Taran Thune, NIFUEvaluation of Norwegian PhD education – Taran Thune, Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education, NIFU
Students as key players in PhD evaluation - Tove Ragna Reksten Students as key players in PhD evaluation – Tove Ragna Reksten University of Bergen
10:30 – 11:00

orpheus719veb[1].jpg Break

11:00 – 12:00

Orpheus conference Bergen 2012 There are no free seats Key Note Lectures

Chairs: Seppo Meri, Anders Haugland

Evaluation of PhD training from standpoint of industry -       Mike Hardman, EMTRAINEvaluation of PhD training from standpoint of industry –       Mike Hardman, Medicines Research Training Network, EMTRAIN
 Qualitative aspects of PhD for staff development in health services – Stener Kvinnsland, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen
Balancing the Ying/Yang of doctoral education - evaluating and examining Intended Learning Outcomes – Robert Harris, KI  Balancing the Ying/Yang of doctoral education – evaluating and examining Intended Learning Outcomes – Robert Harris, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, KI
 12:00 – 13:30

Orpheus Conference Bergen 2012Lunch and Poster presentations Lunch and Poster presentations

 13:30 – 14:00

Orpheus Conference Bergen 2012Lunch and Poster presentations Poster guided tours

  P25-P34 Evaluation of PhD education
(Chairs: Debora Grosskopf-Kroiher, Karl A. Brokstad)   P35-P39 From the candidates’ point of view
(Chairs: Birute Strukcinskiene, Piotr Mydel)   P40-P43 Internationalisation and mobility
(Chairs: Luis Martinez Millan, Malin V. Jonsson)   P44-P48 National reports
(Chairs: Konstantin Gurevich, Line Wergeland)   P49-P59 Organisation of PhD education
(Chairs: Andrea Olschewski, Nicolas Delaleu)   P60-P66 Strategies to improve PhD education (Chairs: Robert Harris, Silke Appel)
 14:00 – 14:20

 Key Note Lecture

Chairs: David Gani, Rune Nilsen

Are ORPHEUS/AMSE/WFME standards document appropriate for evaluation of PhD? – Michael J. Mulvany

 14:20 – 16:20

 Workshops

1. Internal evaluation of PhD programmes (Chair: Miroslav Cervinka; co-chairs: Andrea Olschewski, Inger Senneseth, Jan Petter Myklebust)
2. External evaluation of PhD programmes (Chair: Michael Mulvany; co-chairs: Jadwiga Mirecka, Ernst Omenaas)
3. How to organize ORPHEUS labelling of PhD programmes (chair: Zdravko Lackovic; co-chairs Seppo Meri, Günther Gell, Rune Nilsen)
4. The role of students in PhD training evaluation (Chairs: Kirstine Kjær Kirkegaard and Tove Ragna Reksten)

 

16:20 – 18:00

How to improve quality of PhD TrainingHow to improve quality of PhD Training

Chairs: Andre Nieoullon, Robert Bjerknes

 Experiences with a publishing incentive connected to institutional funding – Gunnar Sivertsen, Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education, NIFU
 Healthy brain drain? – Rune Nilsen, Centre for International Health (CIH), University of Bergen
 Assurance & enhancement framework to improve PhD training quality – Barry Hirst, Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School, Newcastle University, UK
The Network of European Neuroscience Schools: Goals and developments – Pavle R. Andjus, School of Biology, University of Belgrade
Certified-Science-Training (CST) – Support of science and incubator of    the “Scientific Citizen” and The new thesis regulations of the Charité: Applying Orpheus Standards  Jörg-Wilhelm Oestman, Charité Faculty, Berlin
 19:30

Orpheus conference Bergen 2012 Seppo Meri speaksMelita Kovačević and Zdravko Lacković; Orpheus conference Bergen 2012 Conference dinner, Mount Fløyen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 21, 2012

 09:00 – 10:30

BreakKey Note Lectures – PhD Training around the Globe

Chairs: Hannes Stockinger, Ernst Omenaas

 Doctoral Education as a Global Phenomenon –  Thomas Jørgensen, EUA Council for Doctoral Education (EUA-CDE)
 Global doctoral education: Critical Conversations – Karen P. DePauw, Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), USA
University of Karaganda, Kazahstan, joins Orpheus; professor Rausan S. DosmagabetovaShort national reports
PhD education in Kazakhstan – Raushan S. Dosmagambetova, Karaganda        Medical State University, Kazakhstan
Doctoral candidates’ view on standards of education at Polish medical schools – Agata Skrzypek, Jagiellonian University, Faculty of Medicine, Krakow
Evaluation of PhD work in Russian Federation – Konstantin G. Gurevich, Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry, Moscow
Evaluating structured PhD programmes – Helen P. McVeigh, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, School of Postgraduate Studies, Dublin
 10:30 – 11:00

Orpheus Conference Bergen 2012Break

 11:00 – 12:30

Presentation of Workshop Papers and draft CONSENSUS DOCUMENTS

Chairs: Jadwiga Mirecka, Peter Hach)

Workshop 1: Miroslav Cervinka
Workshop 2: Michael Mulvany
Workshop 3: Zdravko Lackovic
Workshop 4: Tove Ragna Reksten – Kirstine Kjær Kirkegaard
Draft Consensus document: Roland Jonsson
 12:30 – 13:30

Lunch

13:30 – 14:00

Acceptance of provisional CONSENSUS DOCUMENT and Closing Ceremony The person behind everything: Roland Jonsson; Orpheus conference Bergen 2012Acceptance of provisional CONSENSUS DOCUMENT and Closing Ceremony

Chairs:  Zdravko Lackovic, Mike Mulvany

14:00 – 15:00

 ORPHEUS General Assembly

Chair: Zdravko Lackovic; Co-chairs Helga Ögmundsdottir, Jadwiga Mirecka; Minutes: Debora Grosskopf-Kroiher

Consensus Document

Participants at the 7th ORPHEUS conference in Bergen agreed the following.

Conference affirmed that the ORPHEUS/AMSE/WFME PhD standards document was a practical tool for quality assurance of PhD programmes.

ORPHEUS warmly endorses the new PhD principles document: “Best practice based principles for innovative doctoral training”, approved by the EU Council of Ministers November 2011. The PhD standards document is fully compatible with the PhD principles document, and ORPHEUS has expressed a wish to work closely with the European Commission on implementing this in the field of biomedicine and health sciences. ORPHEUS also looks forward to supporting the work of the EUA-CDE and the ESF in this field.

Conference recognized that the PhD standards document could provide a basis for global conversations concerning the quality and content of PhD programmes and ORPHEUS will work closely with WFME on this.

To increase awareness of the PhD standards document, national workshops should be held, and all ORPHEUS members are encouraged to initiate these. For practical quality assurance, ORPHEUS members should consider establishing benchmarking exercises nationally and internationally.

ORPHEUS encourages that awards of PhD financing by funding bodies should be based on in-depth assessment of the quality of PhD training in addition to assessment of scientific quality.

ORPHEUS will introduce a labelling project based on initial self-evaluation that can be verified through information given via the institution website. This may be followed up by some form of site visit from academics with experience in PhD education.

Conference agreed that internal evaluation must be an essential part of an institution’s quality assurance system for PhD education. The evaluation criteria have to be transparent and should be defined at the institutional level.

Conference agreed that the PhD students should be represented in all committees and decision-making organs. To promote active involvement of students, their efforts must be acknowledged, the infrastructure provided and their influence reflected in decision-making. PhD students should have the opportunity to evaluate supervision and supervisors; this point should be added in any revision of the PhD standards document. Results of such evaluations should be communicated to the students.

Concensus Workshop

ORPHEUS2012, Bergen, 19-21 April 2012
Workshop reports
Participants were divided into four workshop groups

  • Workshop 1: Internal evaluation of PhD programmes
  • Workshop 2: External evaluation of PhD programmes according to ORPHEUS standards
  • Workshop 3: International evaluation and ORPHEUS labelling of PhD programmes

Workshop 4: The role of students in PhD training evaluation

Workshop 1: Internal Evaluation of PhD Programmes
In the ORPHEUS/AMSE/WFME PhD standards document, Chapter 8, Structure, it is stated:
“There should be approved procedures for regular review and updating of the structure,
function and quality of PhD programmes”. It was agreed that this should include all types of
feedback. Internal evaluation must be an essential part of the whole quality assurance system
and regular analysis of internal evaluations is the optimal way to achieve quality improvement
in PhD training. The following recommendations were made.

  • Academic institutions should activate mechanisms to collect, analyse and respond to
    evaluations, as a part of quality assurance of PhD training.
  • Each university should develop a formal framework for internal (intramural) evaluation
    by collecting and acting upon feedback from all involved in PhD education (students,
    supervisors, examiners, administrative staff, and others).
  • Internal evaluation should include evaluation of the institution
    (university/faculty/programme faculty) and evaluation of performance indicators. The
    evaluation has to be carried out at different levels (PhD programme / administration /
    supervision / training). The evaluation criteria have to be transparent.
  • The workshop strongly recommends the evaluation of the supervisors and other
    academics responsible for each student’s PhD programme.
  • Evaluation has to be carried out repetitively. The workshop recommends evaluations at
    the time of the student’s admission to the PhD programme, midway, and at the end of
    the programme.
  • Evaluation of the administration by the supervisors as well as by the PhD students
    (doctoral candidates) should also be performed
  •  Evaluation of all aspects of the PhD training programme (courses, time at other
    laboratory, etc.) has to be included in quality assurance system.

Workshop 2: External evaluation of PhD programmes according to ORPHEUS standards
The workshop considered different ways in which the ORPHEUS PhD standards could be used
for performing external evaluation of PhD programmes. There were several views.

 

  • External evaluation is necessary and should be provided by an external body of
    auditors. It is, however, difficult to come up with a good practical means of
    implementing this. Neither the Commission nor the EUA can act as accrediting bodies.
    Standards could serve as guidelines, not regulations. There could initially be internal
    evaluation by the institutions themselves, supplemented by institutional accreditation.2. Peer-review evaluation. Evaluation of applications by funding agencies for PhD stipends
    could be made not only in terms of scientific excellence (publications, received funding,
    etc.), but also on in-depth peer-review evaluation of PhD programmes. This approach
    might be of interest in assessing Marie Curie applications.

    3. Benchmarking was seen as a practical means of external evaluation that could encourage
    compliance with the ORPHEUS standards at grass-roots level.

    4. No formal external evaluation needed. This was a view of industry which is concerned
    with outcomes. The outcomes of interest include academic excellence of the PhD thesis
    as well as “ability to work in a team”. Thus industry places great emphasis on
    collaboration with universities to ensure development of competences in transferable
    skills. Academically trained employees who do not have practical skills are unlikely to
    be attractive for industry. It was recognized that the institutions following ORPHEUS
    PhD standards would provide the outcomes that industry needs.

    Representatives for all views underlined that the standards that are established by ORPHEUS
    can form a basis for quality assurance. However, they should be dynamic and the organisation
    should always aim for further quality improvements of the PhD programmes. University
    autonomy must be respected. Any evaluation of PhD programmes should be performed by
    academics with experience of PhD training. PhD programmes should be transparent. There
    should also be transparency concerning the employability of the institution’s PhD graduates.
    Students are likely to form a driver to ensure the quality of PhD programmes.

    These views were supplemented by comparison with the US system of accreditation of PhD
    training. This is university-driven and there is reluctance to link evaluation of PhD programmes
    with funding. The workshop representative from the US, Karen de Pauw, recommended that
    data should be collected to determine the extent to which graduate schools complied with
    ORPHEUS standards.

    Workshop 3: International evaluation and ORPHEUS labelling of PhD programmes
    International evaluation is usually part of the evaluation of research. Accordingly international
    evaluation of PhD programmes is especially important for smaller scientific communities to
    ensure independent and competent evaluation of PhD programs (and PhD Theses). Even for
    large and competitive scientific communities, international evaluation can be significant added
    value. Beside it can be expected that international evaluation will facilitate international
    collaboration of PhD programme providers.

    ORPHEUS-AMSE-WFME standards, have been developed over 7 years by ORPHEUS, with
    participation of hundreds of health science schools, international associations such as AMSE
    and WFME, and positive assessment of the European Commission EU , and EUA-CDE. This
    PhD standards document is the only existing comprehensive document on PhD in biomedicine
    and health sciences and is suitable for use in international evaluation.

    Participants of the workshop welcomed the idea of ORPHEUS labelling as a reward to those
    ORPHEUS members organizing PhD program in line with the PhD standards document.
    ORPHEUS labelling should be organised in a simple and not expensive way. Evaluation of
    compliance of PhD programme with the PhD standards document should be the basis for
    evaluation and labelling. PhD programmes should be described on the web site in English in
    sufficient detail to allow “virtual evaluation”of compliance of PhD programmes with the PhD
    standards document as the main requirements for ORPHEUS labelling. Participants had
    different views about the necessity of site visits. Most participants would recommend site visits
    only if it can be organised as short and not expensive procedure. Details of evaluation and
    labelling should be developed by ORPHEUS Executive Committee.

    Workshop 4: The role of students in PhD training evaluation
    Participants were grouped according to nationality and student status ensuring that as many
    aspects as possible were discussed. Main focus of the discussions was student involvement in
    the topics PhD programme organisation, supervision and instruments for quality improvement.

    PhD programme organisation. The following conclusions were drawn.
    • Active and formal involvement in the PhD programme organisation: The PhD students
    should be represented in all committees and decision-making organs. Student
    involvement should be hierarchic constructed with different levels of influence, ensuring
    that all students have a student representative for reporting issues. Student
    representatives bridge the students and the PhD organisation, and facilitate the
    communication between students and organisation. Student representatives identify
    and communicate challenges and ideas to the programme organisation, and
    communicate the outcomes to the students. To promote active involvement of students,
    the efforts must be acknowledged, the infrastructure provided and the influence
    reflected in decision-making.

  • Passive involvement: Mandatory evaluation of all courses taken, own project progress,
    supervision and the PhD programme should be completed every term (semester) by all
    PhD students. No approval of the term should be possible or accreditation of courses
    given before this is done.
  • Supervisors should be evaluated both by the PhD programme and the PhD student. The
    standards for supervision are stated by ORPHEUS in Chapter 5. These standards should
    form a basis for objective, non-personal criteria for use by students in anonymous
    evaluation of supervision. With basis in evaluation by the programme and the students,
    quality of supervision should be monitored continuously with regard to both individual
    supervisors and the general level of supervision in the programme. The results should
    be communicated back to the students, and the latter should be publically available. It
    was noted that several of the PhD students had no opportunity to evaluate supervision
    and supervisors. This aspect is not part of the ORPHEUS standards.
  • At the beginning of the project, students and supervisors shall make a detailed progress
    plan. The responsibility for supervision is shared between students asking for
    supervision and providing information on progress, and supervisors for monitoring
    progress and offering supervision where they see the necessity in following up the plan.
    The student is responsible for informing the faculty in case of insufficient supervision.
  • PhD students shall have the opportunity for formal networking in settings outside the
    research programme. Association with a broad network increases student involvement
    and sense of belonging.
Conference Participants

Introduction

Conference affirmed that the ORPHEUS/AMSE/WFME PhD standards document was a practical tool for quality assurance of PhD programmes.

ORPHEUS warmly endorses the new PhD principles document: “Best practice based principles for innovative doctoral training”, approved by the EU Council of Ministers November 2011. The PhD standards document is fully compatible with the PhD principles document, and ORPHEUS has expressed a wish to work closely with the European Commission on implementing this in the field of biomedicine and health sciences. ORPHEUS also looks forward to supporting the work of the EUA-CDE and the ESF in this field.

It was recognized that the PhD standards document could provide a basis for global conversations concerning the quality and content of PhD programmes and ORPHEUS will work closely with WFME on this.

To increase awareness of the PhD standards document, national workshops should be held, and all ORPHEUS members are encouraged to initiate these. For practical quality assurance, ORPHEUS members should consider establishing benchmarking exercises nationally and internationally.

ORPHEUS encourages that awards of PhD financing by funding bodies should be based on in-depth assessment of the quality of PhD training in addition to assessment of scientific quality.

ORPHEUS will introduce a labelling project based on initial self-evaluation that can be verified through information given via the institution website. This may be followed up by some form of site visit from academics with experience in PhD education.

Internal evaluation must be an essential part of an institution’s quality assurance system for PhD education. The evaluation criteria have to be transparent and should be defined at the institutional level.

The PhD students should be represented in all committees and decision-making organs. To promote active involvement of students, their efforts must be acknowledged, the infrastructure provided and their influence reflected in decision-making. PhD students should have the opportunity to evaluate supervision and supervisors; this point should be added in any revision of the PhD standards document. Results of such evaluations should be communicated to the students.

Workshop reports

Participants were divided into four workshop groups

  • Workshop 1: Internal evaluation of PhD programmes
  • Workshop 2: External evaluation of PhD programmes according to ORPHEUS standards
  • Workshop 3: International evaluation and ORPHEUS labelling of PhD programmes
  • Workshop 4: The role of students in PhD training evaluation

The term ‘PhD programme’ in the following text encompasses both the concept of an organized programme involving several individuals, as well as an individual PhD programme for one person. 

Workshop 1: Internal evaluation of PhD programmes

In the ORPHEUS/AMSE/WFME PhD standards document, Chapter 8, Structure, it is stated: “There should be approved procedures for regular review and updating of the structure, function and quality of PhD programmes”. It was agreed that this should include both structural and ad-hoc feedback. Internal evaluation must be an essential part of the whole quality assurance system and regular analysis of internal evaluations is the optimal way to achieve quality improvement in PhD training. The following recommendations were made.

  • Academic institutions should activate mechanisms to collect, analyse and respond to evaluations, as a part of quality assurance of PhD training.
  • Each university should develop a formal framework for internal (intramural) evaluation by collecting and acting upon feedback from all involved in PhD education (students, supervisors, examiners, administrative staff, and others).
  • Internal evaluation should include evaluation of the institution (university/faculty/programme faculty) and evaluation of performance indicators. The evaluation has to be carried out in different contexts (PhD programme / administration / supervision / training).  The evaluation criteria have to be transparent.
  • The workshop strongly recommends the evaluation of the supervisors and other academics responsible for each student’s PhD programme.
  • Evaluation of the administration by the supervisors as well as by the PhD students (doctoral candidates) should also be performed
  • Evaluation of all aspects of the PhD training programme (courses, time at other laboratory, etc.) has to be included in quality assurance system.
  • Evaluation has to be carried out repeatedly over time. The workshop recommends evaluations at the time of the student’s admission to the PhD programme, midway, and at the end of the programme.

Workshop 2: External evaluation of PhD programmes according to ORPHEUS standards

The workshop considered different ways in which the ORPHEUS PhD standards could be used for performing external evaluation of PhD programmes. There were several views.

  1. External evaluation is necessary and should be provided by an external body of auditors. It is, however, difficult to come up with a good practical means of implementing this. Neither the Commission nor the EUA can act as accrediting bodies.  Standards could serve as guidelines, not regulations. There could initially be internal evaluation by the institutions themselves, supplemented by institutional accreditation.
  2. Peer-review evaluation. Evaluation of applications by funding agencies for PhD stipends could be made not only in terms of scientific excellence (publications, received funding, etc.), but also on in-depth peer-review evaluation of PhD programmes. This approach might be of interest in assessing  Marie Curie applications.
  3. Benchmarking was seen as a practical means of external evaluation that could encourage compliance with the ORPHEUS standards at grass-roots level.
  4. No formal external evaluation needed. This was a view of industry which is concerned with outcomes. The outcomes of interest include academic excellence of the PhD thesis as well as “ability to work in a team”. Thus industry places great emphasis on collaboration with universities to ensure development of competences in transferable skills. Academically trained employees who do not have practical skills are unlikely to be attractive for industry. It was recognized that the institutions following ORPHEUS PhD standards would provide the outcomes that industry needs.

Representatives for all views underlined that the standards that are established by ORPHEUS can form a basis for quality assurance.  However, they should be dynamic and the organisation should always aim for further quality improvements of the PhD programmes. University autonomy must be respected. Any evaluation of PhD programmes should be performed by academics with experience of PhD training. PhD programmes should be transparent. There should also be transparency concerning the employability of the institution’s PhD graduates. Students are likely to form a driver to ensure the quality of PhD programmes.

These views were supplemented by comparison with the US system of accreditation of PhD training. This is university-driven and there is reluctance to link evaluation of PhD programmes with funding. The workshop representative from the US, Karen de Pauw, recommended that data should be collected to determine the extent to which graduate schools complied with ORPHEUS standards.

Workshop 3: International evaluation and ORPHEUS labelling of PhD programmes

International evaluation is usually part of the evaluation of research. Accordingly international evaluation of  PhD programmes is especially important for smaller scientific communities to ensure independent and competent evaluation of PhD programmes (and PhD Theses). Even for large and competitive scientific communities, international evaluation can be significant added value. Besides it can be expected that international evaluation will facilitate international collaboration of PhD programme providers.

ORPHEUS-AMSE-WFME standards, have been developed over 7 years by ORPHEUS, with participation of hundreds of health science schools, international associations such as AMSE and WFME, and positive assessment of the European Commission EU , and EUA-CDE. This PhD standards document is the only existing comprehensive document on PhD in biomedicine and health sciences and is suitable for use in international evaluation.

Participants of the workshop welcomed the idea of ORPHEUS labelling as a reward to those ORPHEUS members organizing PhD programmes in line with the PhD standards document. ORPHEUS labelling should be organised in a simple and not expensive way. Evaluation of compliance of PhD programmes with the PhD standards document should be the basis for evaluation and labelling. PhD programmes should be described on the website in English in sufficient detail to allow “virtual evaluation”of compliance of PhD programmes with the PhD standards document as the main requirements for ORPHEUS labelling. Participants had different views about the necessity of site visits. Most participants would only recommend site visits if they can be organised as short and not expensive procedures. Details of evaluation and labelling should be developed by the ORPHEUS Executive Committee.

Workshop 4: The role of students in PhD training evaluation

Participants were grouped according to nationality and student status ensuring that as many aspects as possible were discussed. Main focus of the discussions was student involvement in the topics PhD programme organisation, supervision and instruments for quality improvement.

PhD programme organisation. The following conclusions were drawn:                   

  • Active and formal involvement in the PhD programme organisation: The PhD students should be represented in all committees and decision-making organs. Student involvement should be hierarchically constructed with different levels of influence, ensuring that all students have a student representative for reporting issues. Student representatives bridge the students and the PhD organisation, and facilitate the communication between students and organisations.  Student representatives identify and communicate challenges and ideas to the programme organisation, and communicate the outcomes to the students. To promote active involvement of students, their efforts must be acknowledged, the infrastructure provided and their influence reflected in decision-making.
  • Passive involvement: Mandatory evaluation of all courses taken, own project progress, supervision and the PhD programme should be completed every term (semester) by all PhD students. No approval of the term should be possible or accreditation of courses given before this is done.
  • Supervisors should be evaluated both by the PhD programme and the PhD student. The standards for supervision are stated by ORPHEUS in Chapter 5.  These standards should form a basis for objective, non-personal criteria for use by students in anonymous evaluation of supervision.  With basis in evaluation by the programme and the students, quality of supervision should be monitored continuously with regard to both individual supervisors and the general level of supervision in the programme. The results should be communicated back to the students, and should be publically available.  It was noted that several of the PhD students had no opportunity to evaluate supervision and supervisors. This aspect is not part of the ORPHEUS standards.
  • At the beginning of the PhD, students and supervisors shall make a detailed expected progress plan.  The responsibility for supervision is shared between students asking for supervision and providing information on progress, and supervisors for monitoring progress and offering supervision where they see the necessity in following up the plan. The student is responsible for informing the faculty in case of insufficient supervision.
  • PhD students shall have the opportunity for formal networking in settings outside the research programme. Association with a broad network increases student involvement and sense of belonging.

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