Praha 2021: 3rd Annual PRIDE Conference

The 3rd Annual PRIDE Conference will be hosted by Charles University in Praha. Due to the COVID-19 crises we had to postpone the conference by one year.

Giving a voice to professionals in doctoral education – how do we communicate and position ourselves?

Thinking of the job profile of professionals in doctoral education, communication skills are one major must-have. Universities are complex organizations with diverse stakeholders who have different needs and goals. Professionals in doctoral education are expected to have an awareness of the interplay of these different interests in their working environment and to be able to communicate with the diverse stakeholders.

Celia Whitchurch highlights in her studies on “Third Space Professionals” that new portfolios of activity have arisen which require professionals to collaborate and communicate with colleagues within and outside their institutions. In her study, Whitchurch (2012) categorizes bundles of activities for instance student life and welfare, including equity, quality, employability and internationalisation or research and business partnership, including enterprise and fundraising.

Given such a complexity of activities, communication in the field of doctoral education is a challenging task. Especially in times of COVID-19 professionals were challenged by the new circumstances.

With the PRIDE annual conference in spring 2021 in Prague, we want to shed a light on the topic of how professionals in doctoral education can best communicate with their colleagues and partners. One aspect is the question of how professionals communicate with their target groups, and the objectives and methods they can put to use. Another is how professionals position themselves in the community of peers and within their institutions.

The following topics will be discussed with experts (also in the light of the challenges of COVID-19):

  • Communicating within university management (academics and non-academics)
  • Communicating with doctoral candidates
  • Communicating beyond the university (for instance , local businesses, press and social media, community groups)

What are the goals when communicating with the different stakeholders? How do professionals position themselves in their environment? What are communication strategies and tools? What are the challenges when communicating with the different stakeholders? What are communication no-go´s with certain interest groups? What are good practices?

These and other questions will be addressed at the PRIDE annual conference 2021.

Cited literature:
Whitchurch, Celia. Reconstructing identities in higher education: The rise of ‘third space’ professionals. Routledge, 2012.