Why choose a joint international doctoral programme?

What is an international joint PhD?

A doctoral degree or PhD is a research degree and usually the highest academic degree and level of academic certification or formalization.

A joint doctoral programme is a type of postgraduate study where the student undergoes doctoral training/research at two or more academic institutions. This may result in a degree issued jointly by two or more academic institutions. When these institutions are in different countries, the degree is called an “international” joint PhD. International joint PhD’s can take different forms but common characteristics are

  • An international team of supervisors supports the doctoral research
  • International mobility is usually among the minimum requirements to obtain the joint PhD

An infographic with middle section titled “Advanced skills and personal development” with the following branches; 1. Personal challenge resulting in increased self-confidence 2.  Research expertise, progression, and expanded networks 3. Increased employability 4. Planning, prioritisation and organisation 5. Experience of travel and different cultures 6. Knowledge and experience of multiple languages

What are the benefits of undertaking a joint programme?

There are many benefits to yourself as a doctoral candidate as well as to the participating institutions.

  • Cross-cultural experiences that broaden horizons and enable global citizenship for individuals and institutions
  • Enhancing research and expertise of a research team or a university through collaboration with research teams at other universities
  • Collaborative learning and collaborative supervision
  • Engagement with a broader, international range of methodological approaches
  • Easy access to a wide range of researchers that can provide input on one’s research project and are happy to share ideas about their research
  • An international peer-network that can offer support, share research ideas and provide new perspectives on one’s research
  • Access to a wider range of funding opportunities such as travel grants and other resources such as training, laboratories, and libraries.

In short, as an international joint doctoral candidate you benefit from the experience of two or more countries, cultures, languages, institutions, ways of working and collaborating, teaching methods, styles of academic writing, research colleagues and networks. It gives you a chance to develop a more advanced skill set and enrich your personal development.

Why pursue an international joint PhD: views from doctoral candidates

We asked our doctoral candidates undertaking an international joint PhD what they thought of their experience and what motivated them to make their decision.

“I think that it’s very, very positive. For everything, for your professional career, for your personality, because traveling and working in another country broadens your mind and shows you that there are other points of view and ways to work”

“When you see that you can communicate with people in other countries in other institutions that you’ve heard of, that probably demystifies them and suddenly you discover that you are at the same level and that you can communicate with the same language, and then you develop some sort of self-confidence that I think is really important for doctoral students. It’s a reason why I would specially encourage them to gain mobility programs”

“It has given me the opportunity to see a part of the world that was previously not accessible to me, and as such it has been very enriching experience for me”

Other topics

Why choose an international joint PhD?

Choosing your research and places of study

Programme information

How to work succesfully with your supervisors

Practical information for your relocation

Research, skills, and career

Experience of a joint international programme