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Article

Does employment during doctoral training reduce the PhD completion rate?

Studies in Higher Education. 2019. P. 1-13.

This paper examines relations between doctoral students’ employment and graduation outcomes at a research-intensive university in Russia. Since most doctoral students lack financial support, they find employment and work full-time. This study addresses two questions: first, how the employment status is related to graduation outcomes (defending a thesis) and, second, how characteristics of student employment decrease the chances of defence of a thesis. The research is based on a longitudinal dataset of doctoral students that were enrolled in doctoral programmes between 2008 and 2017. The dataset combines survey data collected during the doctoral training and administrative data about the students’ graduation outcomes gathered in 2018. The results show that on-campus employment increases the chances to defend the thesis and off-campus employment is negatively associated with the completion. The findings may help define the groups of students that are at risk of attrition and should be provided with appropriate support.