A limited number of structured interviews took place, with the aim to obtain and compare freely set answers to the following questions:

• Is the Diploma Supplement in its current status a useful tool in your recruitment policy?

• Should the Diploma Supplement turn into an objective description of the applicant’s scientific achievements during the doctoral study?

• Do you feel sufficiently informed about the core research competences you may expect from an applicant holding a doctoral degree? Should the Diploma Supplement turn into an objective description of the core research competences the applicant acquired during the doctoral studies?

• Do you feel sufficiently informed about the transferable key competences you may expect from an applicant holding a doctoral degree? Should the Diploma Supplement turn into an objective description of the transferable key competences the applicant acquired during the doctoral studies?

The interviews took place on 18-30 November 2013. They involved 14 stakeholders from 12 countries, categorised as follows:

• 8 industrial companies from: Austria (small size), Croatia (small size), France (medium size), Slovakia (medium size), Kazakhstan (large size), Spain (2 / large size), Russian Federation (large size);

• 3 research institutes from: Finland (medium size), Romania (large size), Slovenia (medium size);

• 3 public services from: Belgium (large size), Greece (medium size), Latvia (medium size).

Interviewees were selected among stakeholders already employing doctoral degree holders, collaborating with higher education institutions, and being aware of the Diploma Supplement. The responders had no knowledge of the on-line questionnaire and its results.

Independently of the size and type of organisation, there was full agreement in the necessity of having a reliable and transparent means for evaluating the knowledge and skills of aspirant employees holding a doctoral degree in chemical sciences. The Diploma Supplement could be the tool of choice, if it succeeded in objectively informing on all scientific and transferable skills the applicant acquired during his third cycle studies. To this aim, the Diploma Supplement should outline all documented achievements without becoming too detailed.

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