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Applied Research Programmes

DBA Programs Associated With Applied Research


Professional doctorates have been developed in recent years to match the needs for higher practical competences and skills expressed by the economy and young/mid-career professionals in comparison with academic PhDs primarily embedded in theoretical research related to scientific disciplines.

Professional doctorates have developed during the last 10-15 years in education, engineering, health, management and social work, with full accreditation and recognition delivered in countries such as Australia, Canada, UK, USA and some others.

DBAs are normally of a length of 2-3 years (4 years for a PhD) and are either entirely managed by academic institutions or co-managed together with professional ones. DBAs usually combine various types of learning tools, including distant learning to enable professional candidates to study flexibly and to keep their professional activities full time or on a part-time basis according to a preliminary negotiation with them individually but also with their employer. DBAs put a strong emphasis on a practical research project aimed to bring up each candidate to a higher level of management competences and skills. Coaching and evaluation are therefore provided by both senior academics and specialized professionals.

Contrary to academic PhDs which are mainly supply driven in terms of teaching and supervision of master students, professional doctorates usually respond to specific demands of professional institutions and their staff for higher practical and vocational skills. Each program is discussed not only with individual candidates but also intensively with their institutions of professional affiliation to prevent asymmetries and gaps between training demands and doctoral deliverables. Therefore, a DBA has to respect two specific constraints, which do not appear in the curriculum design of academic PhDs:

(i) The DBA needs to analyze the business and management context and the localization of the professional institution from which one or several candidates originate;

(ii) The DBA needs to consider the professional profile of each candidate before joining the program and tailor as precisely as possible the objectives of its professional re-integration and foreseen evolution once the degree is completed on a higher skilled project basis.

DBA curriculum for Candidates from Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa (PLA)


YEAR ONE (12 months)
Phase 1: Professional Profiling and Research Project Proposal (3 months on site)
 Unit 1: Internal and external evaluation of candidate’s professional profile with final joint validation
 Unit 2: Identification, construction and negotiation of field research project proposal by each candidate and its employer, with final joint validation together with the institution of professional affiliation (should be correlated with business development, performance measurement, risks evaluation and management, market intelligence and circular economy)
Phase 2: First Series of Training Modules (6 months)
 Unit 3: (3 months): Four (4) distant learning modules in business administration and management + validation/exams 1) entrepreneurship and business development ;
2) corporate finance ;
3) innovation and appropriate technology ;4) project management (including operations, monitoring and evaluation)
 Unit 4: (3 months) Conceptual and methodological design of professional field research project proposal and exploration of its feasibility and implementation conditions together with foreign and national supervisors combining academic and professional profiles.   ;
1) Exam validation of project proposal + (40 hours workshop) on 2) Performance Monitoring and 3) Risks Management.
Phase 3: Professional field research project (Step one: 3 months)
 Unit 5: (Phase I) Intensive conduct of field research project
 Unit 6: Report First intermediary research report and validation by co- supervisors
YEAR TWO  (12 months)
Phase 4: Conduct of professional field research project (Steps 2 and 3: 6 months)
 Unit 7: (Phase II: 3 months) Intensive conduct of field research project
 Unit 8: Report Second intermediary report and validation
 Unit 9: (Phase III: 3 months) Redaction of first draft doctoral project report
Phase 5: Evaluation of doctoral deliverables (Step 4: 6 months)
 Unit 10: 1st draft Evaluation of first draft doctoral project report by co-supervisors
 Unit 11: Professional re-integration Coaching of doctoral candidate for its professional re-integration (in a different and higher job position) and co-validation with employer and human resources
 Unit 12 : 2nd draft, re-integration follow-up, GE Network Alumni Preparation of second draft doctoral project report and final doctoral exam with grand jury (co-supervisors + employer’s observers) + Coaching and professional re-integration follow-up (in the institution of origin or in a new one) + Build-up of GEA alumni network among alumni trainees and their employers

Course organization

Prerequisites: 3 to 6 months of intensive language course in English economics and management (depending on the language level of each candidate).

Output: Doctorate of Business Administration

Delivered by: Partner University (to be determined – see partnership list)

Duration: 6 semesters

Fees: to be determined.

Program Owner: SBI Training Solutions (http://www.sbi-training.com)

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