EU policies promote mobility as a part of contemporary doctoral education.
EU-funded doctoral candidates are expected to move country,
establish international research networks; travel for workshops, conferences
and research stays abroad; and collaborate across disciplines
as well as work in other sectors during their doctoral training. As far
as EU policies are concerned, competence in all these ‘mobilities’ is essential
for future knowledge workers in a competitive, global economy.
But how do doctoral fellows themselves experience mobility? A survey
of 3,410 EU-funded doctoral fellows shed light on their experiences of
geographical, sectoral, interdisciplinary and social mobility. It showed
that many PhD candidates are excited by the opportunities they see
in their doctoral programmes, but they often experience tensions
between their professional and personal desires.