UR 09-148 Institutional Plan Graduate School

Institutional Plan Graduate School

University of Twente

Table of contents

1 Mission Statement

2 Organisation

2.1 Organisational Structure

2.2 Right to Participation

2.3 Board of Appeal for Examinations or Arbitration Board

3 Graduate Programmes

3.1 Curriculum Graduate Programme

3.2 Graduate Programme Requirements and Admission

3.3 Quality Monitoring of Graduate Programmes

4 Graduate Students

4.1 Graduate Students Categories

4.2 Admission Requirements and Monitoring Progress

4.3 Registration

4.4 Training and Supervision

4.5 Diversity Policy

5 Finances

5.1 Funding Sources for Research

5.2 Financial Assistance for the Realisation of the T&SP

5.3 Grants for Dissertations

5.4 Guarantee Fund PhD

6 Communication

6.1 Recruitment and Marketing

6.2 Admission tool for Graduate Students on the Web

6.3 Science Communication

7 In Unforeseen Cases


This is the institutional plan for the Graduate School of the University of Twente. The Graduate School is an instrument used to enhance the quality of research and education, to sharpen the identity and profile of the university, and to differentiate and individualise the programmes and services for students.

•Enhance the quality of research and education

To guarantee this, the school maintains an internal safeguard system for the quality of the graduate programmes, the supervision of students/researchers and the levels of intake and outflow among students/researchers.

•Sharpen the identity and profile of the university

The school plays a major role in creating an external profile as well as in the recruitment of international talent. The innovative nature of education and the advanced level of research at the scientific institutions provide a challenging learning environment for top talent.

•Differentiate and individualise programmes and services for students

The educational courses and research tracks are tailored to the competence of students/researchers. Both supervision and monitoring, as well as the programme itself, are based on flexibility, thus enabling the firm inclusion of students/researchers with widely ranging standings. This flexibility of organisation results in a better attunement to national and international (scholarship) programmes, as well as adjustments within the Dutch doctorate system.

1.Mission Statement

The mission of the Graduate School is to train and educate excellent researchers and to present and promote excellent research, and by doing so enhance the quality of research and education, sharpen the identity and profile of the university, and differentiate and individualise the programmes and services for its students.

The University of Twente is a young entrepreneurial research university with proven excellence in the field of new technologies and their impact on society and humanity. The university develops technologies that shape the future: ICT, biotechnology, and nanotechnology. Our researchers are among the world’s leaders in those fields. The University of Twente is unique in its capacity to break down and cross over the boundaries between disciplines. It is at the interfaces of technologies where important and intriguing innovations occur. The new technologies are not approached in isolation, but in relation to behavioural, social, and management sciences, combining high tech with a human touch. As a modern, entrepreneurial university, Twente is renowned for its engineering approach when supporting industry and commerce, and its creation of new innovative businesses. This approach provides unexpected solutions in areas such as health, sustainable energy, water, learning and safety.

Graduate education at the Graduate School gives students an opportunity to immerse themselves in high-impact research projects across a variety of disciplines and to benefit from close interactions with world-class researchers and teachers. Within the framework of the Graduate School, integrated MSc and PhD programmes will be offered in cooperation with the university’s research institutes and their most excellent researchers. The Graduate School is to become a breeding ground for research talent. It sets high standards. There is a rigorous selection for the research and educational programmes. We want to retain talent for the university in an early stage by offering them a special, high quality educational experience. This applies to our own talent in general, and to international talent in particular.


The University of Twente has its education and research organised in a matrix structure with the faculties on one side and the research institutes on the other. The Faculty Deans are responsible for the quality of the BSc and MSc programmes and the Scientific Directors account for the quality of research. The Graduate School integrates innovative education and excellent research. This strengthens the relations between faculties and research institutes and improves focus and quality of the curriculum and the research projects.

2.1 Organisational Structure


The Board of the University appoints the Dean of the Graduate School. The Dean carries executive responsibility for the overall strategy, management and operation of the Graduate School. He has to guard the quality and maintain the standards of excellence. The Dean of the Graduate School is appointed for a term of 5 years.


The Director of the Graduate School is responsible for the coordination, organisation and budget of Graduate School programmes and the admission, monitoring and supervision of students. The Director is also head of the Graduate School Office. Together with the Dean, he or she represents the management team of the Graduate school.

2.1.iiiProgramme Committee

The committee advises the Dean on the admission of Graduate Programmes in the School. It monitors the quality and standards of the programmes within the Graduate School. The scientific directors of the University Research Institutes together form the Programme Committee of the Graduate School.

2.1.ivEducational Board

The schools for graduate studies at the University of Twente have one Educational Board. This Board advises the Board of the University on the management of and strategy for the graduate studies at the university and the governance of the three schools involved. The tasks of the Educational Board are assigned to the Board of Deans of the University of Twente (‘College van Decanen’). The Board of Deans can formally decide on these matters in conjunction with the Board of the University.

2.1.vAdvisory Board

The entrepreneurial character of the university is reflected in the Advisory Board of the Graduate School. The Advisory Board oversees management and strategic issues affecting graduate education at the university. It reports to the University Board and advises the Dean. Members of the Board are prominent representatives of public and private organisations.

2.1.viStudent Council

The Student Council of the Graduate School maintains the interests of graduate students at the Graduate School. It is heard by the Dean in all matters pertaining to education and research at the Graduate School. The council has the right to advise, initiate, and inform. As representatives of the graduate students, the members of the council encourage social, cultural and other extracurricular events within this community. The members of the Graduate School's Student Council are elected and appointed by the Dean.

2.1.viiLeading Graduate Programme Professor

Each Graduate Programme is headed by a Leading Graduate Programme Professor (‘opleidings-hoogleraar’). The Leading Graduate Programme Professor is responsible for the coherence (combination of research and education) and the quality of the specific programme. He or she has the oversight of graduate students' progress and of the rules and regulations governing graduate education at the UT. The Leading Graduate Programme Professor is a full professor within the graduate programme. He or she organises the programme in cooperation with the Directors of Education (‘opleidingsdirecteur’) of the related master programmes and the programme coordinators of the respective programme. They meet on a regular basis to optimise the cohesion between the curriculum and the research projects. This includes discussing the individual tracks and research orientations.

The Leading Graduate Programme Professors regularly meet as the Chamber of Leading Graduate Programme Professors. This Chamber advises the Graduate School Management Team on all matters concerning education and research within the School.

2.1.viiiStudent Admission Committee

Each Graduate Programme in the School has a Student Admission Committee. This committee supervises the application and selection policies and procedures of prospective students. The Leading Graduate Programme Professor decides about the admission of a student on the basis of the advice given by the Student Admission Committee, which includes (a representation of) the (at least one full) professors of the Graduate Programme involved.

At the start of the Graduate Programme the master student also has to be admitted to a related master programme. This admission is the responsibility of the Director of Education of the master programme involved (see also 4.2.1).

2.1.ixGraduate School Office

The Graduate School Office has a dedicated team of professionals who coordinate and organise all matters concerning the programmes and students in the Graduate School. The tasks of the Graduate School Office are:

•Management support of Dean and Director

•Management support of Programme Committee, Advisory Board, Student Admission Committee, Chamber of Leading Graduate Programme Professors

•Organisation of the quality assessment of the Graduate Programmes

•Organisation of admission of students

•Organisation and coordination of Graduate Programmes

•Registration and monitoring of Graduate School Students in Graduate Admission and Tracking System (GATS)

•Issuing of Skills Certificate

•Management Front Office for Graduate School Students (the back office consists of the university services, e.g. PA&O, S&O)

•Coordination of Fellowship programme

•Graduate School Portal on the www

The office team includes:

•Director of the Graduate School (0,8 fte)

•Programme coordinator for engineering & science programmes (0,2-0,5 fte)

•Programme coordinator for business & social science programmes (0,2-0,5 fte)

•Administrative support GATS (0,1 fte)

•Front desk officer (0,6-0,8 fte)

•Secretary (0,6-0,8 fte)

The Graduate School Office coordinates the services for PhD students and the organisation and management of the Graduate School. The administrative staff of the Office is part of the Student and Education Service Centre (S&O). However, to facilitate the launch of the Graduate School and the merge of the current university services for PhD students, the integration in S&O will not take place immediately, but at the latest in 2014 once the complete restructuring of the Graduate Studies at the University of Twente has been completed and settled in. During the first years, the Office will serve as a separate university service centre.

2.2Right to Participation

With regard to the organisational position of the Graduate School between faculties and research institutes, the right to participation is exercised by the University Council (‘Universiteitsraad’).

2.3Board of Appeal for Examinations or Arbitration Board

In the event of complaints or disputes concerning education, policy and other issues, a graduate student can get help from various authorities and bodies. With regard to MSc examination and education regulations (Onderwijs- en Examenreglement), the University of Twente has a Board of Appeal for Examinations (Chapter 5 in Students Charter). In the event of a dispute regarding the Doctoral Regulations (Promotiereglement), the university appoints an Arbitration Board (Chapter 10 of Doctoral Regulations).

3.Graduate Programmes

The Graduate School of the University of Twente provides coherent and integrated graduate programmes for MSc and PhD education for students who pursue a career as a scientist in frontier academic research. The school consists of various Graduate Programmes in different fields of research with a maximum duration of six years, and strives for an enrolment of at least 5 students per year for a Graduate Programme.

3.1Curriculum Graduate Programme


A Graduate Programme educates students to be researchers in fields of expertise in which high quality research is carried out at the University of Twente. The structure of a graduate programme includes a cursory component at master level that forms the basis for research concerning the subject in question, an international orientation on research, a preparatory and orientating master's project, a cursory component provided by the involved research institute, the national research schools and/or other (inter)national networks, a number of broadening subjects such as ethics and philosophy, innovation and entrepreneurship, governance and project management, science and communication, etc., and a research project resulting in a doctoral degree. The basic part can be supplied from various master's programmes (not all students in the programme will follow the same master's programme), but there needs to be a common basis of no less than 20 EC. The entire course is designed in such a way that each student, upon having passed the basic part, meets the requirements of an accredited master's programme.

The master thesis may be designed to be a first step towards the PhD research proposal, which means that the research proposal can be developed in 2 phases (year 2: master thesis; year 3: research proposal) during which the supervision team will be actively involved.

The maximum duration of the integrated MSc en PhD programme is 5 to 6 years. In either case, the same final requirements apply.

The Graduate Programmes explicitly incorporate the educational supply from the national research schools, which offer discipline-specific courses. This makes it possible to attune courses and research project closely to one another.

In addition, and in accordance with its profile (technique in a human context), the Graduate School will complete its programmes by including philosophical and methodological subjects for the more technically orientated students, as well as a package of subjects including technical elements for the more behaviourally and socially orientated students. This part of the curriculum is obligatory, and the courses are offered by the Graduate School.

Table 1: Graduate Programme Structure

Year 1

•20 EC compulsory core courses which form the basic knowledge for all students in the programme (this package can be composed of compulsory courses in one master programme and electives in another)

•40 EC electives


Go/no go decision on continuation of Graduate programme with guarantee for PhD project

Year 2

•15 – 30 EC international research orientation on one of the topics in the programme (e.g. internship or study period at an international renowned research institute)

•30 – 45 EC MSc thesis possibly related to a research proposal

Year 3

•Research proposal development

•Programme specific courses

•Graduate School Academic Skills & Career Orientation courses


Go/no go decision based on research proposal

Year 4 - 5/6

•Research and thesis development

•Programme specific courses, workshops and summer schools

•Graduate School Academic Skills & Career Orientation courses

•Graduate School Workshop ‘Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Research’

•Educational tasks (preferably in year 4 and 5)

•The total number of EC’s of Programme specific courses and the Graduate School Academic Skills courses amounts to a minimum of 30 EC over the last 4 years of the programme.

•PhD thesis completion

3.1.iiGraduate School Academic Skills & Career Orientation courses

In the years 3 to 5/6, the PhD phase, the Graduate School offers Graduate School Academic Skills & Career Orientation courses. The courses focus the students on career objectives and create a sense of commitment toward graduation that is based on the realisation of exciting job or graduate school opportunities in the future. The Director is responsible for the organisation and coordination of these courses.

3.1.iiiOrientations in Research

The time and space for orientation is integrated in all programmes of the Graduate School. Students are encouraged to acquire a variety of skills and become familiar with a range of research areas, including areas that may not have been explored before. If they want to, Graduate Students can be introduced to the research opportunities available at the University of Twente and its associated national and international partners. Vice versa, research groups involved with a programme have the opportunity to meet and work with prospective PhD candidates for their research programmes. The orientations in research provide a valuable opportunity for the student to be exposed to active research and to enable the student to make an informed decision in choosing a research track and thesis topic as well as composing a supervising team through a process of mutual agreement with the relevant research group.

In the first year, the orientations in research typically take the form of interactive courses and seminars as well as small research projects. International internships at partner universities and/or following specialisation courses abroad also are part of the scheme.

3.1.ivEducation Certificate (degrees offered, skill certificate)
The Graduate School offers programmes leading to the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Master of Science (MSc.).

The Master of Science degree is a professional degree designed to prepare a student for teaching, for further graduate studies, or for more advanced work in the industry or public sector. The relevant UT Master examination and education regulations (Onderwijs- en Examenreglement) are applicable here.

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy primarily focuses on recognition of breadth of scholarship, depth of research, and the power to investigate problems independently and efficiently, rather than on the completion of definite courses of study in a stated period of residence. The work for the degree must consist of research and the preparation of a thesis describing it, and of systematic studies of an advanced character, primarily in science or engineering. The PhD student who defends his or her dissertation will receive a doctorate from the University of Twente. The Doctoral Regulations (Promotiereglement) of the University of Twente are applicable here.

UT Skills Certificate (for PhD)
This certificate is a statement of the skills that graduate researchers have mastered at the end of their research training. These skills may be present upon commencement, explicitly taught, or developed during the course of the research. It is expected that different mechanisms will be used to support learning, including self-direction, supervisor support and mentoring, departmental support, workshops, conferences, elective training courses, formally assessed courses and informal opportunities. The certificate covers seven sections:

•Research skills and techniques

•Research environment

•Research management

•Personal effectiveness

•Communication skills

•Team work and networking skills

•Career management

The UT Skills Certificate is an adaptation of the Joint Statement of Skills Training Requirements of Research Postgraduates, which was developed in 2001 by the UK Research Councils. This statement has proven to be a useful framework for considering the development of the personal and professional skills of postgraduate researchers.

The UT Skills Certificate is issued by the Graduate School Office.

3.2Graduate Programme Requirements and Admission

3.2.iFormal Requirements of a Graduate Programme

The programmes accepted for admission by the School fulfil the requirements of the Graduate School. These requirements include:

•a programme not only fits, but also enhances the UT profile as an entrepreneurial university of technology, with the focus on developing relevant modern technology, accompanied by an awareness that this is possible only through collaboration between engineering, natural, social and behavioural sciences strongly embedded in disciplines and technologies;

•a programme is based on a relevant and current research subject within at least one of the research institutes;

•the quality of research groups and chairs involved in the programme is demonstrably high (rating obtained in recent research assessment, fund raising capacity, excellence of staff and intake of master and doctorate students);

•the quality of the educational programme is demonstrably high (assessment results from the involved master's programmes, coherence within the entire programme, in compliance with the structure as described in paragraph 3.1);

•an accredited master programme at the base of the Graduate Programme;

•the monitoring of annual progress in the presence of an independent, unbiased third party.

3.2.iiAdmission Procedure of Graduate Programmes

a. Format for programme proposal

The proposal of a Graduate Programme in the Graduate School comprises:

•Basic details of the Graduate Programme (name of the programme, name of the Leading Graduate Programme Professor (‘opleidingshoogleraar’), host institute(s), master programme(s) involved);

•Description of the research theme (relation with UT profile, relevance of the theme)

•Participating research groups (staff, evidence of quality);

•Overall Graduate Programme description (core courses, international research orientation, preferred master programme(s), educational programme in PhD phase);

•Quality of supervision (description of detailed training- and supervision plan starting with year one, description of monitoring process and supervision team.

b. Programme Committee

Before being incorporated in the Graduate School, a proposed Graduate Programme is assessed by the Programme Committee on compliance with quality requirements. The members of the Committee are the Scientific Directors from the UT research institutes. It is chaired by the Dean of the Graduate School and the Director of the Graduate School acts as the secretary of the Committee.

The Secretary checks whether the proposal meets the formal requirements. Quantitative information about the quality of research (bibliometric information, European ranking) is verified by the Graduate School Office. The office seeks advice from two external parties who review the proposal. For each proposed programme one of the committee members is leading. He or she prepares the advice for the Programme Committee on the basis of the proposal and the checked and collected information. The Programme Committee decides with majority of votes. The Scientific Director of the research institute involved in the proposal has no voting right. In case of a negative decision by the Programme Committee, the Scientific Director has the right of replication. The Dean formally decides on the acceptance of the programme in the School. A Graduate School programme will be certified by the Dean for a period of six years.

c. Timetable for Submission

The intention is to carry out the procedure for submitting and admitting graduate programmes in the Graduate School twice a year and to have this formalised in the annual cycle. The dates for submitting programme proposals are November 1st (with advance application as of September 1st and May 1st (with advance application as of March 1st). The cycle as given in Table 1 will be repeated annually.

Table 1. Annual cycle for submission of programmes

Preliminary subscription

Application date

Advice of the Programme Committee

Decision of the Dean

Improvements of the programme

Start of the programme

March 1

May 1

June 15

July 1


September 1

September 1

November 1

December 15

January 1


February 1

3.3. Quality monitoring of Graduate Programmes

This paragraph deals with the internal quality management system of the Graduate School. The aims of internal quality management are to have reliable mechanisms of quality monitoring that ensure that quality of the programmes is maintained once they have been accepted into the Graduate School, that quality is improved where improvements are necessary, and that the mechanisms of quality monitoring are an inspiration for staff and students and not a burden.

The Dean of the Graduate School is responsible for the overall quality of graduate programmes within the School. The Leading Graduate Programme Professor (‘opleidingshoogleraar’) is in charge of providing evidence of the quality of the individual programme in the Graduate School. The quality monitoring system of the School will be based upon the institutional UT quality assurance system (as it is currently being prepared for implementation). This implies that the quality management system of the Graduate School will be based upon the regular quality assessment cycles for education and research (‘onderwijs- en onderzoeksvisitaties’). It is founded on five cornerstones:

a.results from the process of accreditation of the involved master programme(s);

b.results from regular research assessments;

c.continuous monitoring of the study progress of the Graduate Student, including the realisation of the Training and Supervision Plan;

d.exit interview with each student;


Ad a.

The School measures the results of the Graduate Programmes as a whole. The School uses the results of the master programmes as measured by the respective Faculty’s quality system. All the master programmes involved will be NVAO accredited masters, which means that they meet the quality requirements of an academic master programme. One of the decisive topics of a NVAO accreditation is the ‘internal quality assurance’. The system of quality assurance in all MSc programmes is based on the most recent developments at university level. Both effectiveness and efficiency of the programmes and study units are monitored, as well as the competence level of the master graduates.

Ad b.

The quality of the research groups involved in the programmes is assessed on a regular basis by international assessment committees. The School uses the information from these assessments. Negative signals from assessments of education and/or research during the six year’s certification period of a programme can lead to a reconsideration by the Programme Committee concerning the position within the Graduate School.

Ad c.

The monitoring of study progress and the supervision of students are described in chapter 4 of this Institutional Plan.

Ad d.

The School will conduct an exit interview with each student leaving the School, whether intermediate or at the end of the programme. Involvement of alumni is traditionally organised by the alumni associations. The School plans to establish a Graduate School community offering the possibility of a lifelong membership. For alumni this may lead to a membership of a virtual ‘Friends of Graduate School Society’. This society is designed to organise discussions regarding programme issues.

Ad e.

The Graduate School aims to set high standards in education and research. This also holds true for the final outcome of a Graduate Programme: the level of the PhD thesis. The Doctoral Regulations of the University of Twente requires from the Graduation Committee the membership of at least one full professor from another institute of higher learning. For Graduate School programmes, at least two external professors, one of whom international, are required. The assessment of the thesis is given in a signed report.

The admission of a programme in the Graduate School by the Dean is valid for a period of 6 years, except when intermediate assessment results give rise to serious doubts as to the quality of a programme. Before the end of the six year period, the Leading Graduate Programme Professor has to request prolongation of the certification by submitting written evidence of the quality of the programme. The procedure for admission as described in paragraph 3.2 is to be followed.

4Graduate Students

The Graduate School aims at differentiation and individualisation within educational programming and doctorate trajectories, the measure of which depends on the student/researcher’s background, the positions they take up and varying contexts. The Graduate School aims to consider the increasing differentiation within doctorate trajectories as well as the issues in relation to which these trajectories differ, namely the relationship of authority with the university, attention paid to the course, term of doctorate, cost for the university and/or the emphasis on a function (free course selection, carrying out research, development of individual talent, practical interaction, valorisation of knowledge, lifelong learning).

4.1Graduate Student Categories

The University of Twente accommodates the following PhD-student categories (see also VSNU ‘Passend promoveren’, 2008):

a. Research Assistant: a temporary employee of the University of Twente who receives direct funding, research grant or contract research.

b. Staff: present employees of University of Twente who are given the opportunity to conduct PhD research. These PhD candidates may already have significant teaching and/or research experience. The Training and Supervision Plan will be adapted to take this experience into consideration.

c. PhD student international: International PhD candidates with a fellowship or grant and not formally employed by the University of Twente. Their research is primarily conducted at the University of Twente. Or, in case of sandwich PhD students, they only spend part of the four-year PhD Programme at University of Twente or one of its international partners. These PhD candidates must have the support of both their home institute and their supervisor at the University of Twente.

d. External PhD candidates; PhD candidates who are not employed by University of Twente and who conduct research at an institute other than the University of Twente. These PhD candidates must have the support of a full professor as their supervisor at University of Twente.

e. PhD candidates in a dual course (study/work): PhD candidates who are not employed by University of Twente and who are given the opportunity to conduct a PhD research by their employer. These PhD candidates must have the support of a full professor as supervisor at University of Twente.

4.2Admission Requirements and Monitoring Progress

4.2.1Admission and Enrolment Procedures

a. Admission and enrolment procedures MSc

The Graduate Programmes will be open for students with a BSc in relevant disciplines. Because of the anticipated background diversity of the group, the emphasis in learning will be on individual coaching. The Graduate Programmes are specifically research oriented, requiring excellent students with good research skills. Therefore, prospective graduate students go through a selection process based on their BSc study results, letter of motivation and an interview. For the enrolment procedure the following documents have to be provided:

•A curriculum vitae

•A letter of motivation

•Names and e-mail addresses of two references.

•A relevant bachelor’s degree (or equivalent qualification) from a university or other accredited academic institution.

•If English is not the native language, a document stating an overall band score of 6.0 in an academic IELTS-test (International Language Test) or TOEFL, internet based (TOEFL-iBT), of at least 80.

The Student Admission Committee (see 2.1.8) supervises the application and selection policies and procedures of prospective students. The Leading Graduate Programme Professor decides about the admission of a student on the basis of the advice given by the Student Admission Committee. Parallel and simultaneously to the admission proceeding for the Graduate Programme, the Graduate School Office will support the admission proceeding for a relevant master programme. The admission of a student to a master programme is a prerequisite for the admission to the Graduate School. The Director of Education is responsible for the admission to a master programme. Therefore, the Student Admission Committee, the Leading Graduate Programme Professor and the Director of Education assess in close cooperation the application of the candidate.

The enrolment of students into the MSc phase of a Graduate Programme formally takes place once a year (in September). However, the flexibility of the programmes enables a second starting point in February for individual cases. Also, influx in the second year of the Graduate Programmes is a possibility for excellent students from another programme, school or university. In these cases individual adjustments to the programme will be necessary, depending on the background of the student, which means that the entrance date can be flexible. For students with an MSc degree, enrolment in the PhD phase in September or in February is possible. In all situations the Student Admission Committee will give advice about the applicant and his/her individual education programme requirements.

b. Admission and enrolment procedures PhD

After successfully attaining an MSc degree, students continue the education and research Graduate Programme at PhD level. At this point the influx of excellent master students from outside the UT Graduate School becomes possible in the PhD phase. PhD candidates may either apply for a PhD position available with one of the research groups or they may have funding of their own. The Student Admission Committee will review the applications. The selection is based on the MSc study results, letter of motivation and an interview. The relevant Leading Graduate Programme Professor will take part in the interview.

Applicants must have achieved a master's degree or successfully finished an equivalent education, or have submitted their master thesis for assessment no later than by the application deadline. The PhD candidate must take part in the university’s approved PhD track leading to the degree within a time limit of 4 years. Hence, applicants must meet the formal admission requirements for the PhD track in the Graduate Programme.

The application for external PhD-candidates must include the following items:

•Brief statement of interest and motivation.

•Curriculum Vitae (listing the time of education/degrees and work experience and any relevant scientific publications).

•If English is not the native language, a document stating a overall band score of 6.0 in an academic IELTS-test (International Language Test) or TOEFL, internet based (TOEFL-iBT) of at least 80.

•Two letters of recommendation from scientists who are familiar with the candidate’s academic work and can judge his or her potential as a PhD student.

•Copies of exam results (both bachelor and master) and certificates.

•Copies of (up to 5) scientific works, including master thesis.

4.2.2Monitoring progress

In bi-weekly meetings of specialised subgroups headed by the day-to-day responsible staff member, various topics are discussed which are closely related to current research affairs. More or less on a monthly basis, bilateral meetings will be held between junior researchers and the day-to-day supervisor to discuss long-term progress and strategy. An annual review meeting will take place during which general progress and development, the terms for acquiring the PhD title, and his/her functioning within the group are discussed. The Training and Supervision Plan (see par. 4.4) is discussed and, if necessary, changed or updated at this occasion. Present at the annual review meeting are, in addition to the PhD, the supervisor (promoter) and the day-to-day supervisor, an independent unbiased third person who reports to the Leading Graduate Programme Professor in case of disagreement or imminent conflict.

There are two important milestones in the Graduate Programme: after year 1, the suitability of the student to pursue a research trajectory is assessed and the choice for the research track is made and approved. After year 3 a formal go/no go decision is made based on the progress and quality of the developed research proposal.

4.2.3Go-No Go Evaluation (after 1 year MSc and after 1 year PhD)

In the MSc phase of the Graduate Programmes, the assigned supervisor(s) are actively involved in teaching the prospective PhD candidates. This means that it is possible to already assess high talented students after the first year of the MSc phase, which is the first milestone in each Graduate Programme. Graduate students who qualify are selected and encouraged to choose their research track. They receive a guarantee from the university for a PhD position in the third year (upon obtaining their MSc degree). The second milestone in the Graduate Programme is after the first PhD year, when, based upon the finalised research proposal, a formal go/no go decision is made. The Leading Graduate Programme Professor, in close cooperation with the assigned supervisor(s), evaluates the progress of the student and the project. Students who fail to pass this milestone or who no longer pursue an academic career will leave the Graduate Programme with an MSc degree.

The Graduate School Office monitors the Go-No Go Evaluations.


The University of Twente uses the Graduate Admission and Tracking System (GATS), which registers MSc Students and all varieties of PhD contracts (employee from the university, employee from private or public organisations, international student, etc.). GATS is also a monitoring system that registers not only the beginning (a first contact, the enlistment as a graduate student or a PhD contract) and the end (MSc/Doctorate or timely ending) but also the training and supervision during the whole graduate (MSc and PhD phase) course. Each category of PhD students has its own requirements regarding training and supervision. These special requirements can be monitored by GATS. The Director of the Graduate School is responsible for the registration and monitoring of graduate students by GATS.

Registration includes:

•Personal information.

•BSc/MSc diploma.

•Funding (if known at this point. At the go/no go decision moment following year 1 the method of funding is a prerequisite.

•A letter of acceptance or acknowledgement by a UT professor and research institute. (depending on the graduate student category).

•A letter of acceptance or acknowledgement by an external professor and university (depending on category graduate student).

•Approved Training and Supervision Plan (see below).

4.4Training and Supervision

For each graduate student entering into the Graduate School a protocol is laid down in a standard Training and Supervision Plan (T&SP), which is individualised or ‘tailored’ to the skills and needs of each graduate student. The special requirements for the training and supervision of the individual student will be monitored by GATS.

Training and supervision includes:

•Approved T&SP at the start of the Graduate Programme;

•Annual review meeting (‘functioneringsgesprek’) and assessment of quality and progress (‘beoordelingsgesprek’) in case of go/no go decisions following 1 year MSc and following 1 year PhD, including the names of the supervision team and the name of the independent third person;

•Monitoring of supervisor. GATS monitors the performance of the supervisor.

The T&SP is supported by the Leading Graduate Programme Professor, evaluated by the Graduate School Office and approved by the Dean.

Training and supervision is different for the graduate students. Not only the difference in education and discipline is relevant, the student category is of special importance to PhD students. PhD-tracks differ more and more in relation to the (employee, student or guest) relationship with the university, the attention to training, the duration of doctorate, the costs for the university, and/or the emphasis in functionality (e.g. freedom of training, conducting investigation, development of individual talent, interaction of theory and practice, knowledge economy, or lifelong learning). The differences will be taken into account in the training and supervision protocols for each category PhD student, e.g. the protocol for the research assistant emphasises the relationship of authority with the university, whereas the protocol for the international PhD student stresses the attention to training and education.

4.4.1Training and Supervision Plan (T&SP)

For each graduate student entering into the Graduate School a Training and Supervision Plan (T&SP) is a prerequisite. The T&SP describes goals regarding assignment, courses and/or summer schools to be followed in order to complete theoretical education, expected output, and the amount of time spent on teaching and other non-research activities. The supervision of graduate students takes place on a regular basis by the supervisors responsible for the research to be conducted.

For every employee PhD student, an individual T&SP is defined at the beginning of his/her research project in accordance with the regulations of the Collective Labour Agreement of the Dutch Universities.

4.4.2Supervision and supervisory team

The supervisory team typically consists of 2 or 3 supervisors: one day-to-day supervisor (assistant or associate professor) and the promoter (full professor), possibly also involving ’another’ researcher. Preferably the supervision team combines a good mix of junior and senior research and PhD coaching expertise. The full professor selects the members of the supervisory team from within the departments and institutes involved in the research track in mutual agreement with the PhD student and on the basis of matching expertise and skills regarding the chosen research topic. Also, (inter)national co-supervisors from within various (inter)national research networks may be involved, often these would be scholars from the national research schools or partner institutions were the students followed courses or an internship.

PhD supervisors have to fulfil the UFO requirements as listed in the UFO job profiles. The Graduate School offers training for new PhD Supervisors (Coaching of PhD students, Effective coaching for assistant professors and project leaders).

4.5Diversity Policy

The University of Twente recruits, retains, rewards and develops people with regard to their abilities and contributions and without reference to their background, gender, ethnic origin, age, religion, sexual orientation, political belief or any disability. The university ensures that, for example, new policy measures work out equally for both men and women. (gender mainstreaming of HRM in talent management, leadership development, transparency of promotion procedures).


The MSc programme is financed by the faculty. Research is funded directly by contract and by research funds. The Graduate School Office and its arrangements (e.g. realisation T&SP, grants for dissertation) are financed by the university (university service).

5.1 Funding Sources for Research

•Direct funding by the institution (university / KNAW / NWO).

•Research grants obtained in national and international scientific competition (e.g. grants from NWO, KNAW and European Research Council).

•Research contracts for specific research projects obtained from external organisations, such as industry, ministries, European Commission and charity organisations.

5.2Financial Assistance for the Realisation of the T&SP

5.2.1Education budget

The entire education budget is intended for the Graduate School Academic Skills & Career Orientation courses and for conferences, seminars, symposia, workshops or working visits. Graduate students are entitled to this budget if they meet the following criteria:

•The graduate student is formally admitted to the Graduate Programme.

•The graduate student has an approved T&SP

The education budget is provided by the chair group, not by a Graduate School. The aim of the education budget is to financially support the realisation of the T&SP. Please note that the education budget is limited, and students and chair groups are advised to seek additional funding. Possible sources are described below. The supervisor is responsible for the proper use of the budget, i.e. for the realisation of the T&SP.

5.2.2Possibilities for additional funding of the T&SP

•EU Researcher’s Mobility Programmes have fellowships, grants and research job opportunities in Marie Curie Actions (FP6), ‘People Programme’ (FP7).

•The NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) provides grants for research and training through a number of foundations and offices. An overview of all foundations listed according to discipline administration can be found in the NWO Subsidy Guide.

•The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) awards grants for research, conference visits or periods of residence abroad, contributes to the cost of organising international conferences, workshops and colloquia in the Netherlands, and promotes international communication and partnerships.

•Companies or institutes providing full-cost support for PhD positions

5.3Grants for Dissertations

The actual costs of dissertations that are required for the doctoral committee are reimbursed by the relevant chair holder (this applies to all PhD candidates who are employed by or working in a research group based at the University of Twente). The maximum reimbursement is € 1400.

5.4UT Guarantee Fund PhD

The structure of the Graduate Programme allows for a Go/No Go Evaluation following 1 year MSc and following 1 year PhD. In the first evaluation following 1 year, MSc students (upon meeting the criteria) receive a guarantee for a PhD position at the UT in the third year (upon obtaining the MSc degree). To guarantee the budget for the research project, a UT Guarantee Fund PhD is established. Its objective is to warrant the feasibility of the Graduate Programme.

The application for the Guarantee Fund PhD is conditional: Firstly, an open PhD position in the Graduate Programme should be considered. Secondly, if this is not available an open PhD position in a comparable Graduate Programme should be considered. And, thirdly, if this is not available either an application for the Guarantee fund is valid.

The Fund is administered by the Directorate for Financial and Economic Affairs (FEZ).


The Graduate school aims to strengthen the position of the University of Twente in the field of international research. In the Graduate School, Bachelors with a talent for and an interest in research follow an integrated master/PhD-programme that is focused on ‘technology in context’.

6.1 Recruitment and Marketing

The educational organisation as well as the funding model tie in with international, and at a later stage also national, graduation programmes. By creating an easily identifiable programme and organisation, the Graduate School can assume a central position in the international recruitment of talent.

The programmes connect seamlessly to research carried out by the research institutes of the University of Twente. The educational courses and research tracks are well embedded in a highly scientific environment, while at the same time the educational programme pays due attention to the social context within which research is carried out.

Establishing a Graduate School Student Union, a graduate network, a Visiting Professors Programme and a Fellowship programme all contribute towards creating a Graduate School identity and a distinguished external profile.

The communication strategy is to first establish both name and profile of the school. The focus will be on quality of the programmes, not on quantity. The official opening in august ’09 will be used to reach the press and introduce our name and profile. Special attention will be given to the first available, excellent programmes. Creating a website containing programmes, related research topics and excellent researchers has the highest priority. The (international) UT network and its researchers will be used to recruit prospective (international) students.

6.2 Admission Tool for Graduate Students

The existing ‘graduate site’ of the University of Twente will be extended with the Graduate School Programmes. This includes the features of the Twente Graduate School and practical information for candidates (how to apply, costs, scholarships, living in Twente etc). In future, Graduate Students will be able to submit their admission form online .

6.3 Science Communication

The Graduate School offers excellent programmes. In cooperation with the Leading Graduate Programme Professor and graduate students, a communication and marketing officer (Directorate of Strategy and Communication) will develop a specific communication plan for each programme.

The Graduate School wants to build a community of graduate students and alumni. The students and alumni serve as ‘ambassadors’ for the School. A communication and marketing plan is developed here, too.

7In Unforeseen Cases

In the event of unforeseen cases for which no provisions have been made in this institutional plan, the Dean decides and if necessary will submit a supplementary regulation for approval to the Board of the University and to the University Council.