The process of attaining a doctorate is undergoing changes. This is evident in the most recent developments in higher education and the discussions going on in Germany about the right of technical colleges to award doctorates or the establishment of EU wide standards. Questions regarding the status of the doctoral dissertation and the title itself, and about assurances of quality and institutional framework conditions, have not been adequately answered.
What is the roll of a doctorate in Germany for an individual’s career and for the science system as a whole? The classic “doctoral research” still serves as the prerequisite for an early-stage scientist’s academic career. In many disciplines, however, this has now changed into a career qualifying degree both within and outside of the area of research. Moreover, the adherence to ethical and scientific standards has notably become part of the public debate surrounding the plagiarism scandals.
What provisions should be continued to assure a doctorate’s quality, which should be reformed and which should be newly formulated? The working group is developing recommendations for ways that a doctorate in Germany can best engage with the future.
ML = Member of the Leopoldina
Scientific Officer, Department Science - Policy - Society
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