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Urszula Wiśniewska and Jacek Lewicki

This chapter sketches out the development of the knowledge-based economy in Poland against the background of world trends in the context of education and research. It then addresses doctoral education in the context of the competence of young researchers. Poland is ranked among the lowest amongst members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Union (EU) in terms of the commercialization of research: it is in the group of so-called ‘modest innovators’. One of the challenges facing the area of research and development in Poland is the development of competencies of early-stage researchers that will allow them to cooperate effectively with the socio-economic environment. The development of PhD studies in Poland at the turn of the twenty-first century derived from the educational boom and the rise of Western trends with inadequate financial expenditure. At the same time, in recent years, various efforts have been made to better match doctoral education in Poland to the needs of both modern science and the socio-economic environment of academia. The chapter summarizes the main systemic changes in this area and presents possible dangers and barriers to effective implementation of modern PhD education in Poland.