Paulo Chaló

Research project: Developing a framework on the students' essential competencies to complete the PhD and strategies for their development: A study in England and Portugal.

Abstract

The governments' investment policy to doctoral education over the last years led to an increase in the number of students enrolling and completing doctoral studies. However, this also resulted in new challenges, such as high attrition rates and extended time-to-degree (TTD) that universities need to address.

Although students' competencies were found to have a central role in PhD success, identifying the key competencies for achieving a PhD degree seems to be neglected.

This research, conducted independently in England and Portugal, aims to identify for each country the essential competencies required to achieve a PhD and the strategies that might contribute to enhance the development of those competencies. Thus, it intends to develop a framework that can be used by PhD students, supervisors and universities.

A systematic review and semi-structured interviews with PhD supervisors from one university at each country, provide data on the strategies that can contribute to developing students' competencies.

Data obtained from the semi-structured interviews also inform the development of an instrument for a web-based survey, targeting all PhD supervisors at both countries, aiming to study the existence of such essential competencies and describe them.

Findings are then compiled to develop, for each country, a framework with the found sets of essential competencies and the proposed strategies for enhancing the development of those competencies. This framework can be used to identify a student's underdeveloped essential competencies and design the suitable training, as well as suggestions for universities to improve their PhD training offer.

Lastly, the findings and outcomes are expected to highlight the relevance for further studies and a European discussion on essential competencies, contributing to a joint discussion about the perceptions of PhD competencies and promote the sharing of best practices, increasing doctoral on-time-completion (OTC) by the early identification and development of the essential competencies.

  • Research degree: PhD
  • Title of project: Developing a framework on the students' essential competencies to complete the PhD and strategies for their development: A study in England and Portugal.
  • Research supervisor: Dr Dimitra Nikoletou

Biography

After my graduation in Psychology, in 2005, I started my career as a Psychologist at Portugal.

In 2011 I started my career as a researcher, focusing in anxiety on higher education students.

In 2013 I completed my Master's degree in Psychology at the University of Aveiro.

In 2017 I completed my PhD in Psychology at the University of Aveiro.

At the moment I have attended about 18 symposiums and conferences as a speaker or poster presentation. I have also about 25 publications between conferences abstracts, articles and book chapter.

Areas of research interest

  • Development of PhD students skills
  • Psychological challenges on Higher Education
  • Biofeedback
  • Stress and Anxiety

Qualifications

  • Degree in Clinical Psychology, ULHT, Lisbon - Portugal
  • Master Degree in Psychology, Clinical Psychology and Health, University of Aveiro, Portugal
  • PhD in Psychology, University of Aveiro, Portugal