EUA-CDE Annual Meeting

A session about SEA-EU DOC deliverables, titled ‘Interaction with Employers, Alumni, and Doctoral Candidates’, was held during the 2023 EUA-CDE Annual Meeting, which focused on the role of communication in doctoral education. It was hosted by the Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology and the University of Helsinki in Lahti, Finland.

The conference aimed to explore comprehensive approaches to integrating communication in doctoral education strategies and practices. The session, held on 16th June 2023, featured four presentations that were based on the results of the SEA-EU DOC project and shed light on various aspects of broadening employment opportunities for doctoral graduates in the blue economy sector.

The first presentation, delivered by Dr Ritienne Gauci (University of Malta), “Doctorate of Tomorrow: perspectives on career success beyond academia in the blue economy sectors,” aimed to raise awareness about successful career pathways in the blue economy sectors. Testimonials from doctorate holders showcased the diverse range of career opportunities available outside academia.

The second presentation, delivered by Dr Viola Schaber (University of Kiel), “Learning from intersectoral stakeholders to boost the career opportunities of marine and maritime sciences doctoral alumni: the skill matching challenge,” presented analysis results on how the qualifications of doctoral candidates could be linked to the needs of employers and entrepreneurs in the blue economy sector and hence bridge the gap between academia and employers in the blue economy sector.

The third presentation, “Strengthening alumni networks: A key factor for Europe’s competitiveness and future job market,” was delivered by Dr Avan Antia (University of Kiel) and discussed the establishment of a network for marine and maritime science doctoral graduates. Through engaging design-thinking-inspired focus groups, the session identified requirements for an online community that aimed to enhance career prospects, foster collaboration, and facilitate knowledge exchange.

The final and concluding presentation, delivered by Professor Nicholas Vella (Doctoral School, University of Malta), “Building a strong alumni community for marine science doctoral degree holders,” emphasized the significance of alumni networks in preparing doctoral candidates for non-academic careers. The research study conducted by the SEA-EU alliance offered insights into successful activities and highlighted online portals as crucial resources for cultivating long-lasting relationships and providing career guidance.

Overall, the session provided valuable insights into enhancing employment opportunities for blue doctoral graduates. The presentations emphasized the importance of building strong alumni communities, understanding the skill requirements of non-academic sectors, exploring diverse career pathways, and leveraging alumni networks to prepare doctoral candidates for successful careers beyond academia. The session contributed to the overarching theme of the conference, highlighting the crucial role of communication in doctoral education and its impact on career development.