Changing recognition and rewards for PhD candidates

As of January 2020, PhD candidates in the graduate program Clinical and Experimental Neuroscience (CENS) use a new evaluation form. Instead of listing publications, abstracts and prizes, this new form asks the PhD candidate to describe their two best accomplishments, motivated by personal or societal impact. In addition, the form asks PhD candidates to self-evaluate professional growth in research-related competencies, using the online Dutch PhD Competence Model tool.

How does it work?

In the graduate program CENS, PhD candidates meet with their mentor (external supervisor) before their annual interview. During this meeting, the mentor and PhD candidate discuss the new evaluation form including the competence self-assessment. The PhD candidate subsequently uses the outcomes of this discussion and the form as a conversation starter and framework for the annual interview. By using the new evaluation form, PhD candidates can discuss their professional development during the annual interview with their supervisors. If any issues arise during one or both meetings, the mentor or PhD supervisor reports back to the graduate program.

Implementation phase

CENS is the first graduate program within the Graduate School of Life Sciences (GSLS) that has implemented this new evaluation form. The ambassadors of this initiative, Young Science in Transition, are currently talking to the Board of Studies and the PhD Council of the GSLS about broad implementation in the GSLS.


Young Science in Transition: