The research within ECOOM Ghent focuses on the human potential involved in research in Flanders. Who are the researchers affiliated to the Flemish universities, how do they evolve and what drives them? We look into how doctoral programs can be optimized so that PhD students can not only conclude with a successful PhD but are also immediately prepared for the career phase that follows. An answer to these questions is provided by, among other things, continuous monitoring and repeated surveys of the researchers.