Research phase


This only lists the formal steps. Arrangements on day-to-day supervision are made between the supervisor, the day-to-day assistant supervisor(s) and the doctoral candidate and set out in the T&SP.

T&SP: a personal Training & Supervision Plan (T&SP) for the doctoral candidate must be recorded in ProDoc within three months of arrival. It sets out arrangements on supervision and the knowledge and skills that must be in the training plan. The actual subjects (courses etc.) will be described in greater detail, including details of specific activities, in the course of the doctoral process. The T&SP is, therefore, a dynamic document that should be updated at each annual progress meeting. At least 30 EC credits (divided roughly equally between broadening and deepening) must have been achieved by the end of the doctoral process. A TGS education certificate (with supplement) will be drawn up for this and signed by the supervisor and the Director of the TGS. The supervisor may apply to the director of the TGS for exemptions for all or part of the training plan, based on recognition of prior learning (EVCs). The director of the TGS may consult the dean of the faculty and/or the training professor of the TGS programme concerned before making a decision.

Qualifier: between six and nine months after starting, the supervisor will set a ‘qualifier’ exam. The doctoral candidate explains the research proposal, provisional results and updated planning in writing (2 A4) and in a public oral presentation to a qualifier committee (supervisor, daily supervisor(s) and at least one other professor). The committee will make a recommendation accompanied by supporting evidence. There are two possible outcomes: sufficient and insufficient. In the case of insufficient, the committee defines clear objectives for a possible second qualifier exam three months later. After a second qualifier exam no other improvement period is possible.

Annual progress meetings: the recommendation of the qualifier committee forms the input for the first annual progress meeting, held and recorded by the supervisor (go/no-go). If there is an negative outcome following the single 3 months improvement period, the employment contract is not extended and/or renewed. The same applies for the termination of a study contract. In these cases the doctoral candidate may appeal in writing to the dean of the faculty. There is always an exit interview with TGS in the event of early termination of a doctoral process for any reason.

With a positive outcome, the results and objectives for the following period are recorded in the T&SP. The supervisor holds further annual progress meetings at which the T&SP is discussed and updated. The planning of the doctoral defence ceremony, or a possible extension (force majeure), must be discussed at the third assessment interview (i.e. near the start of the fourth year) along with the activities that still have to be undertaken for the TGS education certificate (30EC) in the final year.