How do I get access to Prodoc?
ProDoc is the platform used by PhD candidates and their promotors and thus only accessible by them. All new doctoral candidates (starting 1 January 2014) will be registered in Prodoc and invited for an intake interview with TGS. All pre-2014 doctoral candidates will also be registered in ProDoc in due time. They will receive a notice when their account has been activated, after which they can log in. ProDoc can be accessed via the ProDoc portal. Users can log in by using their m-numbers and your regular UT password.
How is ProDoc structured?
ProDoc contains 5 workflows that document the various requirements of the PhD Charter:
1. An intake interview will be scheduled with TGS.
2. The draft Training and Supervision Plan (T&SP). The T&SP also contains the educational program. As this is a draft, the document can be updated regularly. It should be updated at least once every year at the yearly appraisal.
3. The Qualifier will be scheduled after 6-9 months into the PhD program. A 3-month optional improvement period can be granted follow by a first assessment interview (for employees) or progress interview (for students). A successful Qualifier leads to a request to the Doctorate Board to appoint promotor(s) and assistant-promotor(s).
4. Subsequent 2nd and 3rd yearly appraisals: assessment interview or evaluation interview (with consent of dean of faculty) for employees: progress interview for students.
5. Graduation protocol by the Doctorate Board.
A more detailed description of the workflows can be downloaded from the download widget on the ProDoc page.
Why can't I edit my draft T&SP (Training and Supervision Plan)?
During your time as a PhD candidate you will have to submit a draft T&SP as one of very first steps. You have two oppurtunities to submit this plan in order to proceed to the next workflow.
If you can't edit your draft T&SP it means you have submitted it already to your supervisor and you will have to wait until your supervisor approves or disapproves your draft T&SP.
You can contact your supervisor to disapprove the draft T&SP so that you can edit it once more. However, note that this will count as one of your oppurtunities to submite your draft T&SP. Your second version has to be approved by your supervisor. Disapproval might lead to discontinuation of your PhD project.
More information regarding the draft T&SP workflow can be found here.
Where can I find the PhD Charter?
How do I get accepted for a PhD position?
For potential PhD candidates it is possible to either apply for a vacancy or, after a self-test, apply for an open application.
A selection is made by the intended thesis supervisor from the applications made for the vacancy. The selection committee then reviews whether the potential PhD candidate meets the requirements. The requirements can be found in Article 10 of the PhD Charter.
How do I get admitted to a PhD programme?
All PhD candidates (employees, bursary or self-financed, external) have to be admitted by the dean of the faculty with an employment contract or study agreement. This includes a budget and fiscal check through respectively the controller and the HR manager of the faculty.
How do I get an intake interview?
The TGS will invite new candidates for an explanation of the monitoring system (ProDoc) to familiarize the candiate with the system.
What do I have to report?
The PhD candidate has to report a list of documents to their (envisaged) promoters. These documents consist of a T&SP (Training and Supervision Plan), a 2-page summary (of the research progression and a planning of the remaining time) in advance of the Qualifier/Progress interview and their final thesis.
When do I have to finish my Training and Supervision Plan (or T&SP)?
The T&SP should be drafted within 3 months of the start of a PhD and updated regularly (at least at the time of the annual reviews).
What does my educational programme have to look like?
The educational programme should contain in principle 30 credits (EC). Exemptions can be requested and should be directed at the coordinator of TGS.
What is the qualifier exam?
A qualifier exam should be held between 6-9 months after the start of the PhD candidate. During this exam a committee, appointed by the (envisaged) promoter, will judge the progress to date and indicate the likelihood that the candidate will finish in time in two overall qualifications: “sufficient” and “insufficient”.
In case of “insufficient” the PhD candidate can be given a 3-month improvement period. A second qualifier date should be planned with the (envisaged) promoter.
What is the qualifier exam used for?
The promotor will use the qualifier exam for the first annual assessment interview (in case of employees) or progress interview (for non-employees) following the qualifier. The outcome may be “go”, “no-go” or a 3 months improvement period with specified targets (suggested by the qualifier committee). Employees always have the right for this improvement period of 3 months, after which a second qualifier will be held followed by a second assessment interview.
How and when is the co-promotor appointed?
Following a positive outcome of the qualifier, the Doctoral Board is requested by the candidate to appoint the promotor(s) and assistant promotor(s), with consent of the envisaged promotor(s).
What happens after the first appraisal?
Subsequently second and third year annual appraisals are held. For employees this can be in the form of an evaluation interview (or assessment interview). Non-employees always have a progress interview.
During the third annual appraisal the graduation is discussed, and if necessary opportunities for extension are discussed and planned. Extensions are only possible due to special circumstances.
What procedure should I follow in order to graduate?
The entire process towards graduation is explained in the graduation factsheet.
The PhD candidate will submit his/her manuscript to the promotor. The promotor will review the manuscript and either “approve” or “not approve” it. In case of the latter, the PhD candidate has half a year to improve the manuscript before submitting it again.
After approval of the manuscript, the Doctorate Board will plan a graduation date and form a graduation committee.
Finally, TGS will review the entire process and provide the proper certificates.
When will changes in the Doctoral Regulations as a result of the introduction of the PhD Charter and ProDoc become effective?
1. From 01-03-2014 the new Doctoral Regulations will take effect for all new PhD graduations (previously set dates will be handled under the old regulations).
2. In 2014 graduations can still follow the old practice via the Doctoral Board.
3. All pre-2014 doctoral candidates will also be registered in ProDoc, in batches per starting year. They will receive notice when their account has been activated, after which they can log in. This will take place in the second half of 2014 at the earliest.
4. When this proces is completed, all PhD graduations will follow ProDoc; this includes the graduation protocol of the Doctoral Board. This is in essence not much different from the present situation; however the information will be exchanged and stored through ProDoc.
Which changes in the Doctoral Regulations are a direct consequence of the introduction of the PhD Charter?
1. Registration of all PhD candidates in ProDoc at the TGS is mandatory at the start of their research. This will be done automatically through OracleHR (the personnel database). The HR assistants will enter the required data in OracleHR, and this will be transferred to ProDoc. Once the newly started PhD candidate is known in ProDoc he/she will receive an invitation by the TGS coordinator to familiarize with ProDoc.
2. Promotor(s) and assistant promotor(s) (max. 3 in total) have to be appointed by the Doctorate Board after the qualifier (see sub. 3) is passed successfully, so at the end of the first year of the PhD project. The required form (appointment of promotor) will have to be processed after a successful qualifier through the ProDoc workflow.
3. A Training and Supervision Plan (T&SP) containing an educational programme (30EC) for personal development of the PhD candidate is a prerequisite for the award of the Doctoral Degree. This T&SP has to be prepared within the first 3 months of the PhD project. It contains at least: - the name of the thesis supervisor (promotor) and daily supervisor(s); - the supervision arrangements; - the planning for the 30EC educational programme. The T&SP will be regularly updated (at least once a year) to keep in line with the progress of the research and the educational programme.
What other changes are included in the revised Doctoral Regulations?
1. Instead of "assistent-promotor" the term "co-promotor" will be adopted in order to be in line with the other Dutch universities.
2. Two external members are required in the graduation committee.
3. Members of the graduation committee cannot withdraw other than because of force majeure.
4. Members of the committee may not have close (family) relationships with the candidate.
5. The promotor can decide to implement (minor) changes in the manuscript suggested by the committee, and also decides to inform the other committee members about this.
6. One member of the committee may have a negative judgement (and can withhold his signature on the degree). In this case the other committee members are consulted before the defence.
7. One committee member is allowed to take part in the discussion by audiovisual means.
8. Rephrasing of the double and joint- doctorate article (42): “the substantive and quality provisions of these regulations must be met”.
9. Disputes are settled along the lines of the PhD Charter in the period before the submission of the manuscript, and according to the provisions in the Doctoral Regulations after submission of the manuscript.
30 credits educational programme
Are there compulsary elements in the programme?
During your time as a PhD candidate you have to participate in a 30 credits (EC) educational programme. Within this educational programme, the courses can be picked by the PhD candidate. However, a fair distribution between “disciplinary” and “personal development” has to be made. There is only one fixed recommended element for every PhD candidate: a 1-day TGS introductory workshop (0.5 EC). This will provide a broad introduction in doing a PhD at the UT including issues as integrity and how to manage your research. However, there may b other obligations for example as part of a TGS programme or a National Research School, or funding agency like FOM. PhD candidates involved can list these activities as part of their T&SP.
Please refer to the Doctoral Education Guidelines for full information.
Do we have to complete the 30 credits at the UT?
No, you can get EC credits also for elements that take place outside UT, for example courses organised by National Research Schools, (international) scientific or professional organisations etc.
However budget for travel and participation to outside events is not provided.
Participation in UT courses is free of charge for UT PhD candidates.
Is there enough choice in course elements at UT?
Courses regarding “personal development” are listed at the Centre of Training and Development for PhD candidates and Postdocs. Additional workshops and courses can be found here (http://www.utwente.nl/en/education/post-graduate/tgs/courses-and-workshops/ ).
“Disciplinary” oriented courses may be offered by UT research institutes (CTIT, IGS, MESA, MIRA).
PhD candidates are also welcome to gather course elements outside the UT. The criterion should be what best suits your situation.
Can supervision of BSc and MSc student form part of my 30 credits?
Yes, but with some provisions. The supervision should form part of your own personal development. Therefore, it should be executed under supervision of a senior staff member. It should also be preceded or accompanied by a course on educational methods. Finally, it should be expressed in a number of EC’s on your educational programme. For non-employees this is the only possible way to include supervision. Employed candidates may be asked to do a limited amount of teaching and supervision anyway.
How do I record the educational elements?
In the first 3 months of your PhD you draft the Training and Supervision Plan (T&SP) in ProDoc. You have to indicate the intended educational programme (note: the titles and dates you enter can be approximate/fictitious). With time you will subscribe to activities that match your intended list, and attend these. After you have completed an activity, you have to change its status from “planned” to “completed” in ProDoc, including the exact dates. Scans of the course programme and certificate can be uploaded in ProDoc. The candidate will have to keep a record of attended activities including the notifications (subscription, confirmation etc.) and certificates issued. In case the activity is not expressed in EC you should record the nominal time (contact hours and self-study) for calculation of EC’s (1 EC is 28 hours). Some activities (like regular seminars of your research group) may not issue any proof of participation. In that case your promotor may be asked to confirm your participation.
The final list of 30EC is signed by the promotor, indicating his/her confirmation of your participation and approval of the programme as executed (and agreement of any deviation from the initial planned T&SP).
Should all activities be in the form of formal courses?
No, other activities (“on-the-job-training”) are also possible, for example supervision of BSc and MSc students (see: Can supervision of BSc and MSc student form part of my 30EC?), attendance of regular research group seminars, preparing and giving conference/symposium/workshop presentations, etc. The assumption is that you learn from it. So the first conference presentation is OK, by the time it is your fifth we assume you have mastered the skill.
Can exemptions be given for the 30 credits educational programme obligation?
Partial exemptions can be given based on EVC’s (previously acquired competences). The promotor has to agree and write a request to TGS to waive (part of) the 30EC requirement, based on evidence like previous (work)experience and/or training that makes it plausible that the candidate has achieved a level equal to the end terms of the PhD profile (based on the Dublin descriptors).
Does the 30 credits requirement hold for PhD candidates that started before 2014?
Pre-2014 PhD candidates do not have to comply to extra obligations in the PhD Charter (such as the 30EC requirement) except for the obligation to become registered in ProDoc. However existing obligations concerning their PhD project will remain valid (for example as part of a TGS programme, research school, sponsor or employer, and the like).
Counseling & support
Where do I go for support?
During your time as a PhD candidate you might encounter times of anxiety and desperation. Building a support network of colleagues and friends is essential, but may not be so easy if you’re not a local. In troublesome times it may be good to share your concerns with nearby colleagues and staff from your department. However, it may also be good to share with others (sports, leisure, culture, religion, etc.).
In case any of these possibilities do not resolve your anxiety and despair, there is a student council available to help you overcome this period.