EKT statistics on PhD holders graduating from Greek universities in 2022

A comprehensive picture of current trends in research and academic education in Greece

1,923 PhD were awarded by Greek Universities in 2022. Most of them (23.2% of doctoral dissertations) were completed at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Most doctoral students completed their research in 5 years (20.8%). An interesting finding is that the vast majority of this particular category of research personnel (83.5%) does not intend to leave the country in the near future. These data are included in the new publication ‘Statistics on PhD holders graduating from Greek Universities in 2022’ (https://metrics.ekt.gr/publications/678) published by the National Documentation Centre (EKT).

The publication presents data that compose a comprehensive picture of current trends in the field of research and academic education in Greece. Data, presenting the profile of new doctorate holders, covers: the institutes at which they completed their dissertation; the scientific fields of their dissertations; the use of digital technologies for the purposes of their doctoral research; the range of research results’ exploitation in private and public sector; the professional employment of new doctorate holders upon completion of their doctoral studies; their future professional prospects, as well as mobility trends.

Number and profile of new PhD holders

According to data, retrieved from the National Archive of PhD Theses that EKT operates, Greek Universities awarded 1,923 new doctorates in 2022. Most doctoral dissertations were completed at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (23.2% and 17.4%, respectively),followed by the University of Patras (7.5%), the National Technical University of Athens (7.0%), the University of Ioannina (6.6%), the University of Thessaly (5.8%), the Democritus University of Thrace (5.7%). Less than 5% of PhD were awarded by other Universities.

Regarding the gender distribution of new doctorate holders, men marginally outnumber women (52.2% vs. 47.8%). Most  2022 new doctorate holders belong to the age groups 25-34 years (39.4%) and 35-44 years (36.6%), are single (55.8%) and have no children (58.6%).

The vast majority of new PhD holders (94.5%) obtained their first academic degree (BSc) from a Greek institute, while 86.5% have a postgraduate degree.

Data referring to the period of doctoral studies

Personal interest in conducting doctoral research was the main reason for completing a dissertation,  (60.1%).  The prospect of pursuing an academic career (21.1%) and access to better professional opportunities (16.5%) was the second and third most popular reason for studying at ISCED8 level.

34.5% of 2022 PhD holders were funded either by a scholarship or by a research project that was directly related to their doctoral research. However, the majority of 2022 PhD holders (59.8%) financed their studies either via employment or other means, such as personal savings and financial support from family.

Funding for doctoral studies (scholarship and/or participation in research projects related to doctoral research) appears to be  the main funding source for PhD students in the fields of Natural Sciences and Engineering Sciences & Technology. On the other hand, the majority of those who financed the period of their doctoral studies via employment obtained a PhD in Social Sciences.

As far as duration of doctoral studies is concerned, it seems that the majority of PhD holders complete their dissertation in four to six years (16% in four, 20.8% in five and 16% in six), while studies lasted more than 9 years for a significant share of 2022 PhD holders (14.3%).
16.5% of new doctorate holders lived abroad during their doctoral studies. Most of them lived abroad for less than a year (64.7%) and for reasons related to their doctoral research (39.2%).

Professional employment and future goals of new doctorate holders

Upon completion of their doctoral studies, 82.3% of 2022 PhD holders were employed. Most retained the position they held before completing their doctoral studies (63.0%) (most of which are specialised in Medicine and Health Sciences). A rather high percentage of 14.9% are not employed and are looking for a job (most in  Natural Sciences).

For most 2022 PhD holders who are employed, their job is relevant to the research or subject of their doctoral studies (63.2%). while for 27.5% there is only partial relevance, and for 9.3% there is no relevance.

Regarding their future goals, most (53.9%) intend to pursue a professional academic/research career – especially those whose dissertation is in the Social Sciences. At the same time, a significant percentage (19.0% - mainly from Social Sciences and Medical & Health Sciences) do not intend to change jobs.

On the other hand, when referring to new doctorate holders’ prospects of moving abroad, the vast majority (83.5%) do not intend to leave the country in the near future.Of those who intend to settle permanently abroad in the near future, most have obtained a PhD in Natural Sciences (26.5%), followed by those specialising in Engineering & Technology (24.4%).

Carrying out research activity seems to be the main reason for leaving the country (42.1%). The second most popular reply has to do with following an academic career (25.6%) and professional employment in any type of job.: https://knowledge4policy.ekt.gr/conference2023.

Scientific fields of doctoral dissertations and exploitation of research results

Most doctoral dissertations of 2022 fall within the main scientific fields of Medicine & Health Sciences (26.0%), Social Sciences (24.1%), and Natural Sciences (22.0%).

In terms of gender distribution, women are recorded to be the majority in the fields of Social Sciences, Humanities, Agricultural Sciences and Medicine & Health Sciences (54.5%, 54.4%, 53.6% and 51.6%, respectively). Men outperform in the fields of Engineering & Technology and Natural Sciences (72.7% and 56.1%, respectively).

The main scientific outputs of doctoral research include publication in international scientific journals (59.6%), participation in international conference (52.3%) and publication in conference proceedings (51.2%). 26.1% participated in a research project as a result of their research, while much lower percentages are observed for other types of outputs, such as protection of intellectual property (2.4%) and business creation (1.6%).

The majority of new PhD holders stated that the results of their doctoral research can be further exploited for societal or productive reasons. Specifically, 35.6% of new PhD holders believe that their research can be used by the State to promote common goods, 23.5% believe that businesses can exploit research results for commercial, productive and other purposes.

The annual national statistical survey on PhD holders from Greek HEIs is carried out by EKT as the competent National Statistical Authority and forms part of the official statistics produced by EKT. New PhD holders are required to fill in a relevant questionnaire, along with the submission of their dissertation to the National Archive of PhD Theses maintained by EKT. With more than 50,000 doctoral dissertations, which are available online, the National Archive of PhD Theses (www.didaktorika.GR) is a unique stock of Greek scientific production and knowledge with cutting-edge research activity.

The publication ‘Statistics on PhD holders graduating from Greek Universities in 2022’ is part of the series of statistical publications published by EKT and is enriched with new data, as a result of the new expanded questionnaire used for the purposes of this survey as of the end of 2022.