Webinar: The Post-Pandemic Doctorate, opportunities for revitalisation of theory and practice: The Aims and Scope of the PhD

Date: May 10, 2021, 16.00-18.00

Venue: Online. Link will be provided

Fee: Free and open to all

Registration deadline: May 10, 2021


This webinar is a part of a webinar series, organised by the Link Arrow SRHE Postgraduate Issues Network, and in conjunction with the Link Arrow Philosophy and Theory of Higher Education Society, that focuses on the evolving impact and implications of the coronavirus pandemic on researcher education and the doctorate by means of theoretical reflections and with a view to practical courses of action, for the medium and into the long term.  The series follows on and draws from the PaTHES led webinar in November 2020, Revitalising doctoral education – beyond global trauma.  With provocations from four internationally acclaimed keynote speakers (recording of the presentations is on the Link Arrow PaTHES website), the 2020 webinar explored and set the scene regarding the challenges, possibilities and prospects for hope regarding the prosperity of researcher education. 

The pandemic lands on us all and affects ‘normal’ operations, initially through organisation and management, then having implications for curriculum and for teaching and learning (to utilise Harold Silver’s 1998 typology of innovations in higher education). Mindful of the ‘message systems’ of curriculum, pedagogy and evaluation (i.e. assessment) with respect to the classification and framing of educational knowledge (Bernstein 1971), this 2021 series follows on by asking not what is the point of a doctorate now but what could be the point of a new form of doctorate, that embraces the need for creativity, inclusivity and interdisciplinarity to meet constant change. In service of this aim the series covers important questions about the place of different epistemologies and cultures. And the series pays close attention to the matter of establishing equivalence regarding supervisory and assessment practices.

This webinar will include a discussion about the aims and scope of the PhD suited to post-pandemic times, focusing on the question of curriculum, with two invited presenters giving short presentations considering in turn the Humanities and the Sciences disciplines. They will provide discussion documents in advance, through which the presenters will outline their national systems for doctoral programmes in their disciplinary fields, and respond to each other’s positions. This will in turn structure small group discussion between participants, for purposes of generating insights into the problems at issue. After plenary Q&A with the presenters, the event will last no more than two hours.


Søren S.E. Bengtsen, Associate Professor at the Department of Educational Philosophy and General Education, Danish School of Education, DPU, Aarhus University, Denmark

John S. Torday, MSc, Professor in Residence (Pediatrics, Obstetrics, Evolutionary Medicine) at the University of California, Los Angeles

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