Approximately five percent of all doctoral dissertations are awarded the designation cum laude by an assessment panel. 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 assessment panel, 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, a group of relatively young scholars. These findings are stated in a pre-published abstract of his study.
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.
To date, Bol has declined invitations to be interviewed about his findings. His paper is currently awaiting peer review by the scientific journal in which he plans to publish.