The Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences (EPS)



On recommendation of the EPS PhD Council and the International Advisory Board (IAB) of EPS, EPS wishes to reduce the time-lag between the end of the PhD candidate’s appointment and the graduation. The EPS PhD Council strongly supports this idea, because it is important to start a (scientific) career as early as possible. To reduce this time-lag and prevent ‘drop-outs’ EPS urges the PhD candidate to reflect on a yearly basis on the following three items:

  • 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 schedule, did I write/publish enough, did I attend enough courses?’

Each PhD candidate, regardless of PhD type, is expected to have a yearly performance meeting (e.g. called P&D or R&O meeting) with their (direct) supervisor(s) as stipulated by their own university. During this yearly performance meeting the questions above can be discussed and any changes in plans can be put down on paper.
Additionally, EPS asks the PhD candidate to have at least a yearly meeting with their mentor, to reflect on the questions above, but also to discuss their personal development and well-being.

The EPS office will monitor the content of the initial Training & Supervision Plans/Agreements (TSP/TSA) that are handed in within the first 3 months, and review the reports from the obligatory 3rd year PhD interviews with a EPS Theme coordinator, which deal with a.o. progress of the project, the supervision, the personal development & well-being of the PhD candidate, career planning, and any other issues that came up during the interview. The EPS office can also send out general surveys to all PhD candidates to get a better view on certain aspects of the PhD training programme.

EPS can offer direct support to the PhD candidate, e.g. help in figuring out which rules or regulations apply, or mediation in the case of a conflict between the PhD candidate and the supervisors. All registered EPS PhD candidates are welcome to contact the PhD Programme Coordinator & PhD Advisor, Susan Urbanus, for a meeting. All information will be handled with strict confidentiality.