Seeking accounting PhD students to take part in a survey on PhD education.

Hello everyone,

My colleague (Niamh Brennan) and I are undertaking a study to identify factors that may lead to PhD completion/attrition and timely/untimely completion The continuance of accounting as a respected academic discipline is critical to the ultimate success of the accounting profession. Central to maintaining an academic reputation is the need to have a strong supply of academically trained and academically qualified doctoral students/graduates. However, prior studies have commented on the dearth of accounting PhD graduates stating that the problem is global with studies noting that the demand for academics with accounting PhDs outstrips supply in the US, Australia, India and the UK to name a few.

 Initial data obtained from universities and prior literature suggests that a high number of accounting PhD enrolments either drop-out from their course or take a long period of time to complete and this is consistent with experiences in other countries. If causes of attrition and non-timely completion can be identified, then action and support by the profession, accounting heads of departments and supervisors can be initiated to meet the needs of potential and current doctoral students. We are particularly interested in getting responses from individuals who withdrew from their PhD course or who are behind schedule.

If you are willing to take part in this study, please email me ( and I will forward a copy of the questionnaire for completion. All replies will be treated with the strictest of confidence. We have received research ethics clearance from our respective universities for this study. We believe that the understandings gained from this study will have the potential to improve PhD-level training in the UK and elsewhere.

 Yours faithfully,

Anne Marie Ward

(on behalf of)

Dr. Anne Marie Ward

Professor of Accounting


Telephone: 028 90366545

Ulster University


Dr. Niamh Brennan

Michael McCormac Professor of Management


Telephone: +353-1-716 4704