This project is funded by the European Union under the Seventh Framework Programme Grant Agreement n°313082
European Union

UPDATES March 2017: ProFile

The RISIS Early Careers dataset “ProFile” is a longitudinal study on training conditions of doctoral candidates and careers of doctorate holders. ProFile was developed in order to provide data on the conditions of doctoral training and careers of doctorate holders. Since the beginning of ProFile in 2009, seven cohorts of doctoral candidates from selected German universities, graduate schools and scholarship providers have been surveyed on an annual basis until they completed or dropped out of their doctoral training and once again after the conferral of their doctorate. The dataset contains information on more than 16,000 doctoral candidates half of them in panel. Moreover, the study contains information on more than 3,500 doctorate holders of which 2,000 were surveyed also after conferral of the doctorate. ProFile is one of the few surveys worldwide that covers all disciplines, different types of doctorates (e. g. PhD by published work and taught doctorates) and at the same time spans different universities and funding organizations.


Within the RISIS context ProFile has been linked to data sources providing institutional information such as ETER, the LEIDEN Ranking and data from the German Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). ETER and Destatis data were matched on the level of the degree granting universities. LEIDEN Ranking was matched on the level of degree granting universities as well as on the level of subject fields. The matched data from Destatis opens up new possibilities for researching the relationship between subject fields and career outcomes. The information from the LEIDEN Ranking facilitates the multi-level analysis of institutional bibliometric performance on career outcomes.


Information in ProFile is provided in standardized categorization formats that ease analysis and facilitate cross data source match. The categorization of career stages was harmonized to the model of career stages R1-R4 that was developed by the European Commission (EC). All country variables are in ISO-format. All variables concerning fields of education provide information along the ISCED field of education. All information on scientific fields is provided as fields of science categorization. By matching with ETER and LEIDEN geocoded data can be linked to the degree granting universities.


The Early Careers dataset (“ProFile“) is available for on-site access at DZHW in Berlin under RISIS. From the current first on-site visit to ProFile, a paper describing the relationship between the motivations to start the PhD and changes of self-funding during the PhD is expected.


In autumn 2017, we expect the opening of an online platform presented as a semantic wiki that will facilitate the analysis of research careers by linking theory with available data. The platform is based on an ontology systematizing the literature review on research careers prepared in RISIS (Woolley et al. 2016). This literature review presents the state of the art in research on research careers and outlines analytical tools proposed by the theories and enumerates research that has used these analytical tools. The platform will greatly ease analysis as it will clearly point out where data is available and under what conditions these data can be accessed.