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Doctoral Studies

Working Group

Chair: Adriana Zait

Adriana ZAIŢ is professor and director of the Doctoral School of Economics and Business Administration from University Alexandru Ioan Cuza Iasi, Romania. She holds a PhD in econometrics and teaches business research methods, intercultural management, services marketing and public relations. As PhD theses coordinator in Marketing, she supervised 29 doctoral students from 2007 to the present, and has been member in more than 30 doctoral coordination commissions.

Her main interests are in ensuring an interdisciplinary and intercultural education for doctoral students, in a research environment in quest of a better adaptation to the complexity, volatility and incertitude of our world.

Vice-Chair: Elise Pinta

Head of Research Career Unit PhD Elise Pinta is long-standing developer of doctoral training at University of Turku. She holds a PhD in medicinal biochemistry and is also trained as a teacher, rector and university administrator. Pinta has been establishing doctoral programs and graduate school activities, such as university-wide transferable skills training, supervisor training and different mentoring programs. Pinta is also an active player in national and international networks (latest, European University EC2U consortium’s Cotutelle & Doctoral Training Cooperation task force and National ERA4 action group coordinated by Unifi (Council of Rectors of Finnish Universities)). It was Pinta’s initiative to organise the first national doctoral education day in Finland, now an annual tradition. Her development efforts are currently focused on strengthening cross-sectoral cooperation and supporting the well-being of early-career researchers.

Focus of Working Group

Doctoral Studies constitute a key activity and major priority for multi-disciplinary research universities and represent one of the most important contributions of universities to the development of societies, through creative and collaborative approaches. Significant challenges and changes in higher education and substantial reforms of doctoral education and early research careers across Europe are central to the strategies of universities, and the DS WG fully assumes its important role in this process, fostering both rigorous doctoral training and meaningful doctoral research results.

The main remit of the Working Group is on a permanent exchange of information, sharing of best and innovative practice and joint activities of CG Universities and corresponding European University Alliances in the organization of doctoral programs and support of early research careers. We assist CG Universities in their aim of increasing participation in European research and education projects and offer our expertise as an excellent basis for possible contributions of the Coimbra Group to European policy-making relating to doctoral studies and early research careers.

Priorities for 2024-2026

  • International collaboration and mobility in doctoral education and research, fostering initiatives for joint programmes and thematic doctoral networks.
  • Participation in research and education projects.
  • Valorisation of European University Alliances experiences in doctoral education.
  • Permanent focus on improving doctoral supervision, research communication, inter- and trans-disciplinary doctoral research, supporting academic and non-academic early research careers.

Recent highlights

  • Working Group online meetings in November 2023 and March 2024, to discuss priorities and future activities.
  • Internal scoping survey on European University Alliances best practices, challenges and future intentions regarding doctoral education and research.
  • Internal survey for a potential WG name change.
  • Collection of a pool of subjects of interest for doctoral education and research.
  • Contribution to European Commission’s DG EAC Consultation “Reflections on the future of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions”.

Ongoing/forthcoming activities


  • Preparing the Coimbra Group 3MT Competition Final, Turku, 5 June 2024.
  • 3 Working Group meetings per year (1x in-person at the CG Annual Conference in Turku, June 2024; 1x open/depending on topic and possible side-events in autumn/winter 2024, 1x online in winter 2024/spring 2025).
  • Preparing a short report for the European University Alliances internal survey, early 2025.
  • Initiating an exchange of information, priorities and finding common ground for future collaborations with Coimbra Group RSO, Employability, Equality and Diversity, and Education and Innovation Working Groups.
  • Collecting internal information on the subject of “Data in shaping doctoral education”, for a better perspective of CG Universities’ doctoral contexts.


  • Supporting researchers’ careers – “Round table discussion – After the PhD”, with the participation of CG Universities early career researchers
  • Potential WG name change to better reflect the focus of the DS WG (2025), following EB analysis and decision.
  • Revisiting the Coimbra Group template for joint degrees / co-tutelles (end of 2025).
  • Publication of updated results/report from the doctoral supervision work stream (end of 2026).
  • Joint staff training week with the Coimbra Group Employability WG (was on hold due to the pandemic).
  • Possible cooperation with the Coimbra Group Research Support Officers WG.

Contact person at the CG Office: Manuel Daporta Cendán (daporta-cendan@coimbra-group.eu)