CTIT University of Twente
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April 2012


The moment you start with your PhD research, we expect you to

When you finished your PhD at the UT, we expect you to

Research domain, skills & techniques

Have basic understanding of the requirements of research at MSc level;
Have basic knowledge in the research domain;
Be able to apply those requirements to own research under supervision.

Have a systematic understanding of own field of study and a mastery of the methods of research associated with that field;
Make a contribution that extends the frontier of knowledge by developing a substantial body of work which merits national or international refereed publication.

Research management

Conceive, design, implement and adapt a minor process of research with scholarly integrity;
Be able to divide a project into small steps; 
Be able to give support to a research project leader.

Conceive, design, implement and adapt a substantial process of research with scholarly integrity;
Be able to plan own research; 
Be able to accept a leading role in research, society or business.

Research environment

Have problem solving abilities in new or unfamiliar environments within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts.

Be able to explain/use main concepts of the research environment, e.g. financing, integrity, safety, principles of research;
Have a clear view on the position and role of own research within the research group and (inter)national research.

High tech, human touch

Be able to apply insights of the study in other contexts

Cooperate for your research with other researchers, businesses and government bodies and other stakeholders; have the capacity to combine insights of different sciences and work with researchers of different research backgrounds; 
Identify the needs for new research of society and businesses;
Be able to look beyond the boundaries of own specialisation and place own research in societal/historical perspective;
Develop/contribute to technology of the future to stimulate change, renewal and progress in society; contribute to the future of the region, the Netherlands and the world;

Networking and team working

Participate in internal and external research networks and teams.

Participate and take a lead in developing and maintaining relevant internal and external research (academic) networks and teams.

Communications skills

Communicate your conclusions and the underpinning knowledge and rationale (restricted scope) to specialist and non-specialist audiences (monologue).

Communicate with your peers, the larger scholarly community and with society in general (dialogue) about your area of expertise (broad scope).

Personal effectiveness

Be able to manage own time and work to deadlines under supervision. 
Be able to plan work and balance needs of different projects.

Be able to achieve outstanding performance at work and study;
Be able to manage own time and work to deadlines; 
Be able to reflect on and improve own effectiveness.

Career management

Be able to motivate why you want to start a PhD.

Make career enhancing decisions and execute these.


Phase 1 - orientation

Phase 2 – realisation

Phase 3 – rounding off


How many colloquia (of your group) and promotion ceremonies have you attended?
How do you cite correctly other peoples work?
How do you familiarise yourself with the established methodologies?

How do you continue to work on your problem definition?
How do you deepen your expertise in the field?
How does the review process of an article work?

How often do you contribute to discussions in your field of research (research group)?
How can you contribute to write research proposals for subsequent research?


In what ways do you search efficiently in a digital database?
Is it possible to make a summary of a piece of writing?
How do you stay focused on solutions, show concrete results

How do you plan your project? What do you learn from evaluating your planning?
How do you solve practical problems?

How do you deal with data that don’t fit into your ‘picture’ (data manipulation is not allowed….)
How do you plan the final year? What are the official rules at the UT for your PhD-ceremony and thesis?


What ethical aspects have your research? How do they influence your work?
What could be practical benefits of your research?

How have you used the funding of your project?
What health and safety issues are important in your work? How do you show you take care of them?

How can you make money with your research?
How do you market your research?
Who are interested in your research?


What could ‘high tech, human touch’ mean for your research project?

How do you meet peers outside your own field?
How can you broaden yourself as a researcher?


Which meeting did you visit last month?
Who are important persons in your working field?
How do you stay in contact with your peers?

If you had your viva at this moment, what would you present?What role do you take on in a team?
What kind of feedback do you give to others?

Did you start and maintain a discussion group on linked in or another social network website?


How do you notice that your audience is interested in your presentation?
What are the most important journals in your field?
How is your writing experience?

How do you recognize high standard research in your field? What can you learn from the communication around this work?
How do you address the criteria for publishing in a journal?
How effective is the communication with your supervisor/peers?

What could be interesting ideas to use for your discussion part of the thesis?
What’s the main line in your thesis?


How can you optimally use your biorhythm in doing your PhD?
What tasks do you have – how do you prioritize them?
How do you plan activities to meet your objectives?

How do you check your own performance?
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
What are deadlines for an important presentation – how to make them?
Where to go in times of trouble?

What did you learn about yourself during your PhD?


Why did you start you PhD? What are your motivations?
What would you like to do after your PhD? What could you do to prepare for that?

What are my qualities?
What do I seek in my professional life?

What are job opportunities for me?
How can I find a job that suits me?
Do I have an update of my cv?