FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Who has to register to a PhD programme?

All PhD candidates who have started their PhD after January 1st 2007 have to register to a PhD programme. PhD candidates who started before 01-01-2007, earn their doctoral degree the 'oldfashioned way', outside the Graduate School of Life Sciences.

What is Hora Est!?

Hora Est is the application Utrecht University uses to register PhD candidates. All employed prospective PhD candidates have to complete Hora Est! Form 1 as soon as possible, and the latest within three months after the start of the research/the appointment.

Where do I find Form 1?

Here you will find a brief explanation of Form 1 as well as the link to the application.

What is a TSA?

A TSA is a Training & Supervision Agreement. This is the registration system of the Graduate School of Life Sciences. It is the agreement between the PhD candidate, his/her supervisor and the director of his/her PhD programme. Without registration by filling out your TSA, you have no access to courses and you will not be eligible to receive the PhD Training Certificate of the Graduate School of Life Sciences at the end of your PhD track.

What is a PhD programme?

The Graduate School of Life Sciences offers 14 PhD programmes. Every PhD candidate has to subscribe to a PhD programme. Each programme offers (thematic) courses.

Does the candidate chooses his/her PhD programme him/herself?

No. Upon consultation of the (co)promotor the PhD candidate applies to the director of the PhD programme by handing in the TSA.

When do I have to register to a PhD programme?

Registration to a PhD programme into Hora Est! and by handing in the signed TSA has to be completed within 3 months after starting your PhD.

Where do I sign in to a PhD programme?

The PhD programme has to be registered in your TSA.

What are the consequences of not registering to a PhD program?

Without full registration in Hora Est! and with your TSA, you have no access to courses and you can not earn your PhD degree.

Problems with Hora Est!? Forgotten your login?

Logins for Hora Est! are the responsibility of Utrecht University. Information about requests for logins and problems can be found in the instructions at the website of Utrecht University.

About Education

How many credits do I have to earn during my PhD?

Every candidate has to obtain a minimum of 20 credits (ECTS) in total.

How do I earn my credits?

There are several ways you can obtain your 20 credits (ECTS); general courses (at least 4 credits), thematic courses of your own PhD programme (at least 8 credits, max. 16 credits), courses of other PhD programmes of the GS-LS and by attending external courses or meetings.

Where can I find an overview of courses?

There are 2 kinds of courses: general courses (PhD Course Centre) and thematic or disciplinary courses.
An overview of both general and disciplinary courses can be found on the webpage of the PhD Course Centre.

How do I know how many credits an external symposium or workshop is worth?

The director of your PhD programme has to decide how many credits following a course or attending a meeting is worth. As a rule of thumb, one credit corresponds to 28 hours. Most courses offer information on the amount of credits you can earn.

Is the PhD candidate him/herself responsible for collecting 20 credits?

Yes, the PhD candidate is responsible for keeping counts.

Do all PhD candidates have to follow courses?

Yes, in the Graduate School of Life Sciences all PhD candidates are obliged to follow courses, including clinical researchers.

What happens when I don't get 20 ECTS credits?

Without 20 ECTS credits, you are not eligible to receive the PhD Training Certificate of the Graduate School of Life Sciences.

Do I have to join a PhD programme when my research project doesn't fit one?

Yes. All PhD candidates (including clinical researchers) have to join a PhD programme and follow thematic courses. But, because of the wide availability of general courses, including the possibility to participate in courses of other PhD programmes, candidates are permitted (and even encouraged) to follow (thematic) courses only within their own PhD programme.

During the PhD track

What is the procedure during my PhD track?

Each year you will have a supervision meeting with your supervisor to discuss the progress of your research project. The arrangements and conclusions of that meeting will be reported in your TSA. Both your supervisor and you sign your TSA. The director of your PhD program will also sign your TSA every year.

What happens at the end of my PhD?

At the end of your PhD track, the TSA must be completed (e.g. 20 credits and all necessary signatures). Then the director of the PhD programme will sign the complete TSA and the PhD Training Certificate can be applied for.