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Luxembourg National Research Fund

National Quality Framework for Doctoral Training – publication of assessment report

The FNR has the pleasure to publish the final report of the external assessment exercise of the implementation of the National Quality Framework for Doctoral Training (NQFDT).

The NQFDT was launched in 2015, jointly with the first call of the FNR PRIDE programme. In late 2017, following a recommendation of the Ministry of Research, the FNR commissioned a team of consultants, notably Conor O’Carroll from SCIPOL and Beate Scholz from CTC Consulting, to conduct an external assessment exercise of the degree of implementation of the principles of the National Quality Framework for Doctoral Training at UL and the three main Luxembourg research institutions LIST, LIH and LISER.

The assessment was conducted in a multifaceted approach, involving the study of institutional documents and guidelines, the analysis of results of a PhD survey and semi-structured interviews with different actors in doctoral training, from PhD candidates, to supervisors, to admin staff and upper institutional management.

In September 2018, a workshop took place on Campus Belval to present and discuss the results of the assessment exercise. Three international experts in matters of doctoral training, Maresi Nerad (Professor for Higher Education, College of Education, University of Washington / Seattle Center for Innovation and Research in Graduate Education), Helke Hillebrand (Administrative Director, Graduate Academy, University of Heidelberg) and Johnny Laursen (Professor of History and Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University, Denmark) commented the outcomes and recommendations from their perspectives (see also video statements below). A round-table with the rector of the University of Luxembourg and the CEOs of the LIH, LIST and LISER concluded the workshop. Following the workshop, the team of consultants discussed individually with the management of each participating institution the institution-specific outcomes of the assessment.

The final report shows that there is a firm commitment from all the participating institutions to implementing the principles of the NQFDT and to offering high quality doctoral training in Luxembourg. The report moreover lists a number of recommendations on how to further develop Luxembourg as an attractive place for PhD training.

Download the report

Read our interview with Marie-Claude Marx, coordinator of doctoral training matters at the FNR, about the context of the NQFDT assessment, what are the key findings and how the recommendations will be implemented, e.g. through adaptations to the FNR PRIDE programme