What took them so long? Explaining PhD delays among doctoral candidates

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 17
  • Abstract:

    A delay in PhD completion, while likely undesirable for PhD candidates, can also be detrimental to universities if and when PhD delay leads to attrition/termination. Termination of the PhD trajectory can lead to individual stress, a loss of valuable time and resources invested in the candidate and can also mean a loss of competitive advantage. Using data from two studies of doctoral candidates in the Netherlands, we take a closer look at PhD duration and delay in doctoral completion. Specifically, we address the question: Is it possible to predict which PhD candidates will experience delays in the completion of their doctorate degree? If so, it might be possible to take steps to shorten or even prevent delay, thereby helping to enhance university competitiveness. Moreover, we discuss practical do’s and don’ts for universities and graduate schools to minimize delays