The Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences (EPS)



A prerequisite for being admitted to the Graduate School EPS as a PhD candidate is that you have successfully completed an academic training at MSc level or equivalent higher education in one of the relevant fields of science and are planning to work on a research project in a group that is affiliated with EPS.

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

  • The PhD candidate
  • The promotor(s)
  • The co-promotor(s)
  • The daily supervisor(s)
  • A mentor

At least one of the promotors or co-promotors must be an EPS staff member. For more information about the role of the mentor, please see here.

After appointment at one of the participating laboratories and the first registration with EPS, every PhD candidate within the graduate school is urged to submit a Training and Supervision Plan/Agreement (TSP/TSA). The TSP/TSA is filled out in consultation between the PhD candidate, the (co-)promotor(s) and the supervisor(s) and is obligatory for all PhD candidates of EPS. For PhD candidates from Wageningen University & Research it is obligatory to use the EPS TSP format, which can be found under EPS Documents. For PhD candidates from the other universities affiliated with EPS there is the possibility to hand in a local, approved TSP as a substitute for the EPS TSP.

The Training and Supervision Plan (TSP) must be sent to EPS within 3 months after the start of the PhD candidate’s appointment, so it can be approved by the EPS Educational Committee if this part of the procedure, within 6 months. PhD candidates who do not meet the condition of an approved TSP after the first 6 months, will be charged full course fees instead of the reduced fees that come with an approved TSP.

The TSP contains:

  1. A description of the training programme to be followed by the PhD candidate.
  2. A description of the PhD candidate’s teaching and supervision 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 candidates have to prepare a training plan in consultation with their supervisor(s). More information about the specific training requirements from EPS can be found here. Rules regarding the TSP should lie within the framework of two fixed provisions: the time spent by a PhD candidate on education is 15% of the appointment (= minimum of 30 ECTS credits) and the maximum time spent on teaching duties is 10% (= 84 working days or 672 hours). The plan should be considered to be an agreement on education and supervision between the PhD candidate and the university (faculty/department /chair group). Both parties concerned owe rights and obligations to it.

The supervisory committee and the PhD candidate meet at least once a year to discuss the PhD candidate’s progress and the planning of research and education for the year to come in their yearly mandatory performance interview. Additionally, the PhD candidate is expected to have a meeting with their mentor on at least a yearly basis, to reflect on the progress of the project, their personal development and their well-being.

EPS PhD candidates who have fulfilled all training requirements set by the EPS Educational Committee are entitled to obtain the EPS Certificate. This certificate can be acquired by completing the Request Certificate form, which has to be signed by the promotor(s) and PhD candidate. More information on how to request the EPS Certificate, can be found here. The certificate will be presented together with the diploma during the graduation ceremony, if timely requested. At Wageningen University & Research it is obligatory for promotors to make sure that their PhD candidates obtain the EPS Certificate in order to be entitled for the full graduation compensation from the university.