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Validation of the quality in PhD processes questionnaire

Kim Jesper Herrmann (Centre for Teaching and Learning, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark)
Gitte Wichmann-Hansen (Centre for Teaching and Learning, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark)

Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education

ISSN: 2398-4686

Article publication date: 13 November 2017




Increasing interest in PhD processes calls for valid and reliable survey instruments that cover key aspects of the PhD experience. Based on recent research, existing questionnaires and interviews with PhD students, the Quality in PhD Processes Questionnaire (QPPQ) was developed to cover a range of influential factors such as perceptions of the research environment and psychological well-being. This paper aims at validating the QPPQ for measuring quality in PhD processes.


This study assesses the validity of the QPPQ’s scales with special attention to factorial, convergent and discriminatory validity. Six scales were developed based on exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses applied to 23 items in a sample of 1,670 PhD students representing various academic disciplines.


Results were promising concerning the scales’ psychometric properties and indicators of validity.


The QPPQ offers itself as a theoretically grounded and thoroughly tested instrument for the purposes of evaluating and developing PhD programs at a local level or for researching PhD processes in general.



Herrmann, K.J. and Wichmann-Hansen, G. (2017), "Validation of the quality in PhD processes questionnaire", Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 189-204.



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