Doctoral candidates and non-academic careers

Saeed Moghadam-Saman defended his PhD at the University of Stavanger 21 May 2021.

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He defended the thesis Intersectoral collaborations of doctoral researchers and generic skills acquisition: A critical realist inquiry.

Saeed Moghadam-Saman
Saeed Moghadam-Saman.

What are your research findings?

My PhD research shows that the issue of mismatch between doctoral skills and the business sector's desired skills needs closer attention, and shall be addressed in close collaboration between innovation system actors. It also shows that different academic disciplinary areas (e.g. faculties) can have different levels of consistency across different countries in terms of opportunities for intersectoral collaborations with industry and the public sector. Therefore the disciplinary specifics need to be taken more seriously in the design of collaborative doctorate programmes. Additionally, my PhD research found that in order to optimise the outcome from collaborative doctorate programmes aiming to prepare doctoral candidates for non-academic careers, it is necessary to develop disciplinary and the so-called generic (transferable) skills in parallel and in a balanced way. This requires closer collaboration between industry and the disciplinary structures within academe (i.e. faculties and departments) in the design and operation of collaborative doctorate programmes.

Within my PhD research I collected data using survey and interviews which provided me first-hand data about doctoral candidates as well as academic and industry people in terms of their perceptions about doctoral skills and the differences between conventional and collaborative (or professional) doctoral programmes. I implemented scientific methods that I believed suit best for the interpretation of the results from data analyses based on those collected data from different European countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, The Netherlands, and Spain). Notably, I wrote five academic papers and a book chapter during my PhD research, four of which are already published.

How can your research findings be used?

The results of my research can be used for the design of higher education policies that aim to improve the effectiveness of collaborative doctoral programmes in terms of preparing doctoral candidates for non-academic careers.

Research funding

My PhD research benefited from the European Commission's Marie Skłodowska-Curie grants by being part of the RUNIN project (2016-2021).

It is necessary to mention the source of funding for my PhD project, which was the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No 722295.

About the candidate

Saeed Moghadam-Saman has MSc in Industrial Management (University of Borås, Sweden, 2008) and BSc in Industrial Engineering (Azad University, Iran, 2003) Current position: Research fellow at Mohn Centre for Innovation and Regional Development, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL). He is from Tehran, Iran, and lives in Bergen, Norway.