6th Annual PRIDE Conference 2024

3. – 4. April 2024: The 6th Annual PRIDE Conference is held at the University of Zurich, Switzerland

How will AI impact Doctoral Education? The Future is a BOT (Beyond our Touch)


Artificial intelligence (AI) is not just a buzzword anymore, it is fundamentally reshaping the higher education landscape, with AI writing bots already disrupting academic text production. As we embrace this transformative technology, key questions arise.

In doctoral education, AI’s impact extends beyond research and academic writing, potentially impacting the way in which research-based training will be shaped and organised in the future. While the essence of PhD programmes revolves around cultivating “creative, critical, autonomous, and responsible intellectual risk-takers”, the question looms: will AI enhance or undermine this objective?

AI’s reach extends to supervision and support systems. Relieving scholars from routine tasks and empowering them to engage in truly innovative endeavours can offer the possibility for increased productivity and, potentially, higher quality outputs. Yet, ethical and responsible usage need to be considered critically.

Furthermore, AI’s impact reaches into recruitment processes in academia and beyond. Will it cast a shadow of uncertainty on future career prospects of PhD graduates? And finally, how will AI affect the role of professionals in doctoral education?

Join us at the PRIDE 2024 conference in Zurich for a thought-provoking exploration of these pivotal questions. Is AI truly beyond our control, akin to a BOT (Beyond Our Touch), an entity operating beyond our traditional boundaries? As we embark on this transformative journey, the need for knowledge exchange and a deeper understanding becomes increasingly clear, recognizing that we are still in the early stages of this remarkable transformation.


Location Conference
University of Zurich
Karl Schmid-Strasse 4, Raum: KO2-F-180
CH-8006 Zürich

Location Training
University of Zurich
Rämistrasse 59
CH-8006 Zürich

Wednesday 3/4/2024 – AI and Doctoral Education

12:30 Arrival and Registration

13:00 Welcome note
Gabriele Siegert, Deputy President, University of Zurich
Lucas Zinner, PRIDE network

13:30 Introduction: How is AI shaping the future of doctoral education?

Session 1: Supporting the critical, creative, autonomous, innovative risk-taker.
How is this possible with AI /endangered by AI?
Chair: Melita Kovacevic;
UniversitAi – realty, future reality and what all the fuss is about”
Keynote Speaker: Robert Harris
Second speaker: Jacques Lanares

15:00 Coffee Break

15:30 Session 2: Supervision and support.
How AI can help boost productivity
Chairs: Lucas Zinner and Kenneth Wann and Mathias Schroijen
Speakers: Oguz A. Acar, Vincent Ginis, Victoria I. Marín Juarros

Evening Social Dinner

Thursday 4/4/2024 – AI and Doctoral Education

09:00 Welcome and wrap up of day 1
Speaker: Claudine Leysinger

09:15  Session 3: Ethical, responsible use of AI
Chair: João Pedro Pego
Speaker: Carlos Soares, Pil Maria Saugmann 

10:45 Coffee Break

11:15 Session 4: The impact of AI on the practice of career development
Chair: Verity Elston
Speakers: Danny Mirza, Tina Persson, Laetitia Renier

12:45 General Assembly

13:00 Lunch

14:00 Session 5: How does it impact the professionals? (Role of Professionals as Researcher Developers)
Chair: Elizabeth Halton
Speaker: Tom Stoneham

15:00 Discussion Panel
Chair: Melita Kovacevic

15:45 Farewell drinks

Download the programme

Download the Session Abstracts

Our Speakers​

Extra One Day Workshop on Friday 5.April 2024

(fully booked, no more places available)

The aim of this one day workshop is to learn how to develop or draft a workshop programme in a doctoral education related topic (be it academic writing, careers, mental health or similar) in a relatively short time with the help of an AI tool called eDoer.


It will be held following the PRIDE Annual Conference on Friday, 5. April, from 9:00 to 15:00.
Registrations will be treated on a first come, first served basis with a preferred status for PRIDE members.


Host and Venue

With over 5.100 PhD candidates and 1.400 postdocs, University of Zurich (UZH) is not only Switzerland’s largest full university but also a leading research institution in the world. The doctoral and postdoctoral phases are essential stages in the careers of researchers. At UZH, Graduate Campus (GRC) has established itself as a central platform for doctoral and post-doctoral researchers and has been supporting and fostering (post-)doctoral education since 2011. As a founding member of PRIDE, we are proud to host the 6th Annual PRIDE Conference. We are especially excited to tackle the topic of AI – a topic of close interest to us – and look forward to a fruitful discourse.