The Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences (EPS)



The main purpose of the training program is to guarantee a high scientific level of the PhD candidates’ work, by providing a variety of courses, seminars, workshops and symposia that increase their in-depth knowledge of specific research topics or broadens their scientific horizons. Additional general skill training activities are available to enable PhD candidates  to continue their career inside academia or to explore alternative career paths outside of academia. These events also provide excellent opportunities for the PhD candidates to create and extend their scientific network.

Training & reduced fee
To facilitate the development into an independent scientist, EPS requires a Training and Supervision Plan/Agreement (TSP/TSA) for every PhD candidate. The training part of the TSP is a plan of the educational activities throughout the whole PhD project, which is agreed upon by the supervisor(s) and the PhD candidate at the start of the project. It should be emphasized that the proposed plan for the educational activities can always be adapted later on.

During the PhD project, usually full-time for four years, an individual budget (varying for the six universities involved) is available for each candidate to finance the educational activities within the TSP. Furthermore, PhD candidates are permitted to follow the regular education of the university. Additional expenses must be financed via the project’s funding, department funds or other sources. Please be aware that EPS offers reduced course fees to EPS PhD candidates that have an approved TSP.

If you, as an EPS PhD candidate with an approved TSP, would like to participate in a course organized at one of the affiliated universities or institutes, but there is a difference in fee for PhD candidates from that particular university/institute (internal fee) and PhD candidates from outside that particular university/institute (external fee), please consider asking EPS for compensation for this difference. You can send your request for compensation together with 1) documentation about the course content, 2) documentation about the differences in the fees, and 3) your motivation for participating in this particular course to the Education Coordinator, Juliane Teapal. Please note that there is no guarantee that your request for compensation will be fulfilled.

To supply the appropriate and desired educational format and content, the graduate school highly values the PhD candidate’s opinion on the training activities that EPS offers. If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact the Education Coordinator, the PhD Council, or the Postdoc Council, or write your comments or suggestions down in the Annual Progress Report in your TSP.

On request a Certificate and an Education Statement of the Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences will be presented at the PhD candidate’s graduation, if all requirements for the training have been fulfilled.

End terms for the EPS PhD training
The EPS Educational Committee has formulated end terms for the EPS PhD training which read as follows. The EPS PhD graduate is able to:

  • demonstrate original, independent and critical thinking, and the ability to develop theoretical concepts;
  • show a broad understanding of the context, at the national and international level, in which research takes place;
  • apply effective project management through the setting of research goals, intermediate milestones and prioritisation of activities;
  • construct coherent arguments and articulate ideas clearly to a range of audiences, formally and informally, in written and spoken text;
  • develop and maintain co-operative networks and working relationships with supervisors, colleagues and peers, within the institution and the wider research community;
  • contribute to promoting the public understanding of one’s research field;
  • understand the processes for funding and evaluation of research;
  • take ownership for and manage one’s career progression, set realistic and achievable career goals, and identify and develop ways to improve employability;
  • take responsibility for their research and results and act according to the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity.

Please note that the end terms for each university might deviate from the ones described above. For more details, please check the different Doctoral Degree Regulations for each university affiliated with EPS.