Time to PhD completion is mentioned as a major concern for universitie also in the last CDE publication. Likewise is efficient time management important at every stage of a researcher’s career. A doctoral candidate is expected to take on several tasks: as conducting experiments, collecting data, publishing articles, presenting at a conference for the first time, writing the dissertation, taking over administrative tasks or preparing for teaching. All this has to happen in a time frame of about 4 years. And that’s not all, they should also think about and proactively manage their personal and professional development. This happens amidst numerous frustrations when things don’t always go as planned, first rejections come in, progress fails to materialize – which is admittedly the nature of research, but causes stress. On the other hand, the clock is ticking, funding is time-limited, and the doctoral school is pressuring for timely completion. Time is a scarce resource and must therefore be used wisely.
In addition, doctoral candidates are usually faced with the task of carrying out a project of such complexity and duration for the first time in their careers. On the one hand, orientation can be provide by institutional regulations, on the other hand, the supervisors have a key role in the planning of the dissertation project. Both are decisively supported by the offers of the professionals, which are provided over the entire PhD life cycle and ensure that the focus on a high-quality and timely completion is not lost.
In our presentation, we look at what we consider to be key phases in the entire PhD life cycle, such as the induction phase or the completion phase and associated milestones, and use examples collected from the PRIDE community to illustrate how professionals support candidates, supervisors and school leaders with their engagement and interventions in achieving a timely completion.