The PhD programmes are typically 4-year post-Master programmes with a strong focus on in-depth academic research. In general industry is one of the involved partners in the PhD projects, hence societal relevance is secured. The research topics are closely related to the research carried out in the participating research chairs. After a successful completion of the PhD, the candidate is awarded the title of Doctor (Dr.). Unlike in many other countries, most PhD researchers in the Netherlands are paid employees, often working directly for the university. Some PhD researchers come to the Netherlands with an international scholarship.

Next to his/her research, the PhD student follows an educational program which is in the service of the research topic, but also inspires the broader view and personal development.

Students are expected to take part in two advanced courses offered by the programmes that are relevant to the research of the student. Alternatively, the student can select suitable courses offered by one of the affiliated national research-schools, e.g. the J.M. Burgers Center (JMBC), the Graduate School on Engineering Mechanics (EM), the Dutch Institute on Systems and Control (DISC) and the Netherlands Research School in Process Technology (OSPT). Each student must participate in at least two international workshops or conferences in the field of the PhD project. The supervisor will advise on suitable courses that will strengthen the development of the student.

Before the end of the sixth year of the SBE programmes the students have to complete, submit and publish a number of scientific papers in leading journals. The student will be expected to participate in courses focused on personal development including attention to practical writing and presentation skills, personal efficiency and time-management at the Centre for Training and Development, or broadening and research management courses offered by Twente Graduate School. A selection of courses offered at the UT will be made to facilitate the student to work effectively within the Dutch context.

Students that participate in one of the SBE programmes will contribute to supervision during one course at (under)graduate level per year, with exception of the sixth year. This can include supervision of exercise classes and coaching of Master’s students during their assignment.

Each PhD student will have her/his own individual training and supervision plan for the PhD phase of the graduate programme, with a total volume of at least 30 EC. Not all courses/subjects will have to be fixed in detail at the start of the PhD phase. During the yearly evaluation, the PhD student and his/her supervisor can decide which courses/subjects will be followed in the next year, depending on scientific and personal development.

Students who enrol in the PhD phase of the graduate programme might have to include additional courses or subjects (self-study) which cover the core concepts of the research group in their educational programme (core concepts which have been addressed in the Master phase of the graduate programme).