The PhD educational programme of the Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences (EPS) aims to increase the quality of the PhD student's work within the graduate school. The programme is not limited to trainee research assistants (AIO's/OIO's) but concerns all PhD students within the graduate school.
The main purpose of the educational programme is to guarantee a significant scientific level of all students graduated within the context of EPS. PhD students within EPS are trained to perform as an independent scientific researcher but may also choose a different carreer. Thus, the programme primarily aims at both acquiring in-depth knowledge of specific research issues, as well as broadening the students' scientific scope and the potential of integrating their work in other research areas, but also allows for orientation on different future carreers.
EPS requires an individual Training and Supervision Plan (iTSP) for every PhD student. In essence the plan is a guide of educational activities associated with the PhD work and contains an outline of planned educational activities. It should be emphasised that the iTSP is a plan and items in the iTSP can always be adapted.
EPS will not determine the contents of the iTSP for the PhD student. Rather, the graduate school facilitates, amongst others, the development of PhD students to independent scientists who are able to position their own work in the broad context of international scientific research. The facilitation is done through the TSP and by supplying PhD's with a variety of courses, seminar series, workshops and symposia. To supply the appropriate and desired educational format and content, the graduate school highly values the PhD's opinion on existing educational facilities that EPS offers. Comments can be provided through the PhD student council or the secretariat of EPS.
An important part of the iTSP is the supervision component in which an agreement is made on the type and frequency of supervision. As the iTSP is officially signed by the (co-)promotor(s) and supervisor(s), and is approved by the graduate school, rights and obligations can be obtained from this document by the PhD student. When problems concerning PhD work arise which cannot be solved with the (co-)promotor(s) or supervisor(s), PhD students may contact the director of the graduate school referring to this document.
Timely graduation is beneficial to both the PhD student and the research group involved. Therefore, EPS holds track of the student's progress through the Monitoring System that is inextricably connected to the iTSP. Monitoring is an annual routine in which the student and the supervisors are urged to evaluate the progress made and to plan progress in research, education and writing publications for the year to come.
When the PhD graduate has fulfilled the requirements of the iTSP, a Certificate of the Graduate School for Experimental Plant Sciences will be presented on request at the PhD's graduation.
At their graduation PhD students completing their PhD in EPS are:
- Able to function as independent scientists.
- Able to integrate their work in the theoretical framework of their discipline(s).
- Competent in identifying priority areas of research and in formulating questions and experimental hypotheses pertinent to this research.
- Able to integrate their own work in a broader area of research.
- Competent in communicating and discussing the objectives, results and implications of their research in scientific journals, posters, and in conferences, seminars and other meetings with colleagues.
- Familiar with current research in the field of experimental plant sciences.