Due to more men in the examining committee

Men twice as likely to obtain a PhD with honours

Photo: Pierre Gorissen / Flickr

Approximately five percent of PhD dissertations are awarded the designation cum laude by the examining committee. This is in recognition of outstanding research that scores well above average across a range of criteria.

In all disciplines, men are almost twice as likely to obtain a PhD with the designation cum laude than women. The more men there are on an examining committee, the more likely male candidates are to obtain the designation. Thijs Bol is a sociologist at the University of Amsterdam and vice president of The Young Academy, an association of young scholars. The findings are laid out in an abstract of his study.

Peer review
Bol’s research is based on assessments of over five thousand former candidates who obtained their PhD at “a large Dutch university” between 2011 and 2021.

Bol has declined all invitations to be interviewed about his findings. His paper is currently awaiting peer review by the scientific journal in which he plans to publish.

Tags: dissertation | PhD