Beginning to end
As a supervisor, you are involved in many of the formal issues, such as completing forms in MyPhD and conducting Assessment & Development (A&D) Interviews. The activities are described in more detail below. They refer to procedures, regulations and forms as described on the university website for PhD candidates (the UU PhD manual and Practical matters / Regulations and forms). For further information about quality assurance, such as the rights and obligations of the parties involved, please consult the GSG quality assurance plan "Towards a successful PhD journey".
As a supervisor you have to make sure that PhD candidates registers themselves in MyPhD, as described on the UU pages on PhD registration. Your PhD candidate should register within 14 days after the start of their research. Before submission, the registration must be approved by the supervisors and other involved parties. Please note that at most two promotors and two co-promotors may be involved. The minimum is one promotor and one (co-)promotor.
Within three months after the start of the programme, also the Training and Supervision Agreement (TSA) should be completed. This sets out the rights and obligations of you and your PhD candidate during the PhD programme. Your PhD candidate completes the agreement in consultation with you and co-supervisors. The candidate then uploads the TSA in MyPhD. You and your co-supervisors will receive an invitation via MyPhD to approve the TSA, in MyPhD, where it will also be stored.
You have a Progress Review with your PhD candidate at least once a year: a meeting to discuss the candidate’s progress and the supervision. For UU employees, this is the Assessment and Development Interview (A&D). You are responsible for the planning and conduct of the interview, but the candidate can also take the initiative for this interview themselves. Both you and your PhD candidate may each bring someone else along, if desired, in consultation with each other (for example, a daily supervisor).
Before the meeting, the candidate writes a progress report and sends it to you at least one week prior to the meeting. You record the assessment and the agreements made in the meeting in a report. If the candidate is a UU employee, the A&D form is used for both the progress report and the meeting report. For non-employees, the Progress review form GSG for non-employees is used. The candidate confirms the written, confidential report. If the candidate is a UU employee or a guest registered as such with GEO HR, you upload it to their digital personnel file. Otherwise, you and your PhD candidate keep a digital copy yourselves.
For standard PhD candidates, the first A&D takes place in the sixth month of their employment. The second A&D (in the ninth month) includes a decision on continuation after the first year (Go/No-go). For other UU employees a similar Go/No-go procedure is followed, but the timing is adapted to the situation at hand. For other PhD candidates, the Go/No-go procedure depends on the specific agreements.
Please note! In case of unsatisfying results of the PhD candidate during the first six months, you should contact your HR adviser about this in time (before the A&D interview in the sixth month). It is advisable to invite the HR adviser to this A&D interview.
From 1 September 2022, the course "Supervising PhD research" will be compulsory for researchers who start supervising PhD candidates. Completion of the course is a prerequisite for obtaining the SKOz. The Faculty of Geosciences has adjusted its promotion policy accordingly. You can read more about this topic, including transitional arrangements, on the Education and Development site, under “Mandatory and recommended courses”.
The PhD course “Responsible conduct of research” is mandatory for all PhD candidates at the Graduate School of Geosciences. For candidates who started their track from 1 November 2022 onwards, this course is part of the mandatory PhD Cohort Programme. In addition, educational training (“Start to teach” or otherwise) is mandatory for all PhD candidates at Utrecht University who have educational tasks and started their track from 1 September 2020 onwards. You can find information on the modules, transition arrangements, and the exemption procedure on the website for PhD candidates (under “Mandatory courses”).
Please note that you, as the supervisor, are responsible for checking whether the courses have been followed:
- PhD Cohort Programme: this four-year programme is mandatory for all candidates with a starting date of 1 November 2022 onwards, who are part of the Graduate School of Geosciences. The promotor is responsible for apprising the secretariat of their department of a starting PhD candidate, so that the Graduate School can invite the PhD candidate to the programme. Attendance of programme sessions should be discussed each year, in the candidate’s progress review (or A&D).
- PhD course “Responsible conduct of research”: The course consists of three modules. Candidates with a starting date between 1 January 2020 and 31 October 2022 should follow one module a year. The promotor is responsible for checking which modules have been followed so far. The planning should be discussed each year, in the candidate’s annual progress review (or A&D). The promotor performs a last check before the manuscript is sent to the Assessment Committee – the course certificate should be available by then (portfolio tab in MyPhD, when this becomes available).
- Educational training: The course should be followed in the first year of the PhD track. The promotor is responsible for checking whether the PhD candidate followed an appropriate course. The topic should be discussed in the candidate’s progress review (or A&D).
Your PhD candidate and you (the supervisors) each have a role and responsibility in the supervision process. It is good to make these explicit and to express expectations to each other. To support this, the UU has developed a vision of PhD supervision - an overview of "guiding principles" for PhD candidate and supervisor. The GSG has adopted the UU vision without modifications (GSG vision). We recommend to use this vision as a guide to discuss your mutual expectations with your PhD candidate.
You have to approve your PhD candidate's thesis at least six months before your candidate's intended date of defence. MyPhD plays an important role in the approval and a number of subsequent formal steps, as described by the UU pages on the required actions to complete a PhD programme.
The Doctoral Degree Regulations (on the university website for PhD candidates) stipulate, among other things, how the First Supervisors and Secondary Supervisors are appointed. As of 1 January 2018, some Associate Professors (i.e. senior university lecturers, or UHD's in Dutch) can also be awarded the Ius Promovendi. For the conditions, see the Ius promovendi for UHD’s at the faculty of Geosciences (in Dutch).