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 that is formally approved by EPS. Please see here for the Project form for PhD proposals , which should be sent to EPS within 3-6 months after the start.

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)
  • 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. For more information about the role of the external advisor, please see here.

After appointment at one of the participating laboratories, every candidate within the graduate school is urged to submit a Training and Supervision Plan (TSP). This TSP 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.

The Training and Supervision Plan (TSP) must be sent to EPS within 3 months after the start of the PhD candidate’s appointment for approval by the EPS Educational Committee. Any correspondence on adjustments has to be completed by the acceptance of the Educational Committee within 6 months after the first date of the PhD candidate’s appointment. PhD candidates who do not meet this condition will be charged full course fees; PhD candidates at Wageningen University & Research will not be permitted to use their educational fund.

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 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). 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. The results are summarized in the Annual Progress Report. This monitoring system is obligatory for all EPS PhD candidates.

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 EPS 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.

The Training and Supervision Plan, the Annual Progress Report and the Request EPS Certificate Form are formal documents. Therefore, these documents must be signed and dated and sent as a digital document to the PhD Programme Coordinator and PhD Advisor, Susan Urbanus.