PhD students admitted to the educational programme of EPS must have successfully completed an academic training at MSc level or equivalent higher education in one of the relevant fields of science and must work on a research project that is formally approved by EPS

PhD students admitted to the educational programme of EPS must have successfully completed an academic training at MSc level or equivalent higher education in one of the relevant fields of science and must work on a research project that is formally approved by EPS.

 

For every PhD student in EPS a Supervisory Committee has to be formed. The Supervisory Committee consists of:

  • The PhD student
  • The promotor(s)
  • The co-promotor(s)
  • The daily supervisor(s)
  • An external advisor

At least one of the promotors or co-promotors must be an EPS staff member. The external advisor may be any senior scientist originating from a research group that is not directly involved in the research project.

After appointment at one of the participating laboratories, every student within the graduate school is urged to submit an individual Training and Supervision Plan (iTSP). This iTSP is filled out in consultation between the PhD student, the (co-)promotor(s) and the supervisor(s) and is obligatory for all PhD students of EPS. The supervisory committee and the PhD student meet at least once a year to discuss the students' progress and the planning of research and education for the year to come. The results are summarized in the EPS Annual Progress Report. This monitoring system is obligatory for all PhD students of EPS. Graduating PhD students who fulfilled all requirements of the EPS PhD student's training are entitled to obtain the EPS Certificate. This certificate can be acquired by completing the 'Request for the EPS Certificate Form', which has to be signed by the promotor(s) and the PhD student. The Training and Supervision Plan, the Annual Progress Report and the Request for the EPS Certificate Form are formal documents that need to be signed and then can be send electronically to the EPS PhD program coordinator, Dr. Susan Urbanus (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

The Training and Supervision Plan must be sent to the EPS secretariat within 3 months after the first date of the PhD student's appointment for approval by the EPS Educational Committee. Any correspondence on required adjustments in order to obtain the approval of the Educational Committee has to be concluded within 6 months after the first date of the PhD student's appointment. PhD students who don't meet this condition will be charged full course fees; PhD students at WU will not be permitted to use their educational fund.


The iTSP contains:

  1. A description of the individual educational programme to be followed by the PhD student.
  2. A description of the PhD student's teaching responsibilities.
  3. An agreement concerning the supervision provided by the supervisory committee.

Supervising professors are expected to abide by the general terms of education accepted by the graduate school. PhD students have to prepare a preliminary programme of education, on the advice of their supervisor, based on the activities described under the Specific Terms iTSP.

Rules regarding the iTSP should lie within the framework of two fixed provisions: the maximum time spent by a PhD student on education is 15% of the appointment (= 125 working days) and the maximum spent on teaching duties is 10% (= 84 working days). The plan should be considered to be an agreement on education and supervision between the PhD student and the university (faculty/department /chair group). Both parties concerned owe rights and obligations to it.

The Annual Progress Report of the Monitoring System should meet the following requirements:

  • a standardised evaluation on all aspects of the work of the past period;
  • insight in the progress of the project;
  • re-evaluation by PhD student and (co-)promotors concerning the expectations of the PhD project.

The Annual Progress Report forces the PhD student to:

  • look back: 'did I meet the goals I set for the past period?'
  • look ahead: 'which goals do I want to reach in the period to come?'
  • look aside: 'is my project on scheme, did I publish enough, did I attend enough courses?'

The Annual Progress Report requires filling out four forms in the course of the PhD student's appointment; one, two, three and four years after the date of appointment respectively. Only the last form, the Exit Sheet differs. Since all members of the Supervisory Committee are involved in the monitoring, it is recommended to synchronize the meetings of the Supervisory Committee at a yearly base. The Annual Progress Reports and the Exit Sheet are developed in close cooperation with the PhD Student's Council of EPS and will take approximately 15 - 20 minutes to complete. The Form also contains room for complaints of the PhD student at the last page. The student should fill this part without interference or account, which implies that it is only filled after the meeting of the Supervisory Committee and the signing of the first part of the Form. After the evaluation with the Supervisory Committee, the Form can be adjusted and sent to the EPS secretary. THE INFORMATION OF THE PhD STUDENT WILL BE HANDLED STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL! EPS will use the information to identify problems experienced by PhD students and, on request of the PhD student, EPS can offer direct support to the PhD student, like mediation in case of conflict between the PhD student and the (co-)promotor(s) or (daily) supervisor(s).

EPS PhD students who have fulfilled all requirements (see Specific Training Activities) set by the EPS Educational Committee are entitled to obtain the EPS Certificate. This certificate can be acquired by completing the Request for the EPS Certificate Form (part of the iTSP), which has to be signed by the promotor and PhD student. The certificate will be presented together with the diploma if timely requested. At WU it is obligatory for promotors to see that their PhD students obtain the Certificate in order to be entitled for the full graduation compensation of the University.

 

Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences