The Silo Effect in Doctoral Education

The Silo Effect in Doctoral Education

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Doctoral Education takes place across various organizational levels, including a wide variety of stakeholders. Yet, academic institutions are structured into functional departments, and information on Doctoral Education is often collected at multiple levels. This can result in isolated silos, where information is simply stacked–like a pile of paper–and it becomes impossible to access relevant information across levels to manage Doctoral Education. This state of limited flow of information is also described as a “Silo Effect” (Gillian Tett, 2015).
What are the consequences of such limited flow of information in Doctoral Education, and what can be done to overcome this potential risk? In this presentation the author will frame a concept to overcome the dilemma of quality and quantity in administration of Doctoral Education. Over the past four years the Life Science Zurich Graduate School (LSZGS) of the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich realized this concept together with a non-academic partner. The result is the scalable online platform “DissGo” with currently 2,300 active users, where information about the entire PhD process involves all stakeholders.