The PhD track from start to finish
The necessary steps to take, from the start until the end of your PhD, are in this time schedule. The schedule refers to procedures and regulations as described on the university website for PhD candidates.
The start of your PhD track
MyPhD is the administrative system we use for all PhD matters. It helps you and your supervisor to monitor your progress. Manuals for MyPhD are available. Procedures in MyPhD follow the rules and regulations as they are described in the Utrecht University Doctoral Degree Regulations (UU-DDR).
A new way to acces MyPhD
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After you have obtained a written agreement of your appointment at the faculty, you will receive an email inviting you to complete the registration of your PhD track in MyPhD. After logging in with your SolisID, register your personal data and documents and the names of your supervisors (‘promotor’ and ‘co-promotor’) and your mentor. When in doubt consult the secretariat of your research group. Once you have completed your registration (within 3 months after the start of your contract), you forward it through MyPhD. The registration in MyPhD will be checked by the secretariats and finally approved and converted into a formal PhD track (of which you will receive notice).
All regular PhD candidates receive supervision from a PhD supervisor (‘promotor’) and a daily supervisor (‘co-promotor’). Minimum required supervision hours are 1 hour and 4 hours per month respectively (see Quality Plan of the graduate school).
Everyone involved in academic teaching and research at Utrecht University shares in the responsibility to maintain academic integrity. MyPhD registry contains an item in which you confirm that you are aware of The Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity 2018 and promise that you will always perform your duties accordingly (see also your appointment letter). Furthermore - if you started your PhD after Sep 2021 - you are expected to follow the Responsible Conduct of Research training offered by the GSNS (see PhD Education).
At the Graduate School of Natural Sciences you are expected to complete a total of 20 EC of training during your PhD of which 20% has to be dedicated to the development of transferable skills (for more info see PhD education).
At the start of your PhD trajectory you fill in the Training and Supervision Agreement (TSA) or Course Plan together with your supervisors and subsequently upload it to MyPhD under the TSA-tab. Take this meeting as a first opportunity to discuss your educational needs with your supervisors.
When you have completed a training register it under the Portfolio-tab in MyPhD and upload the certificate (if provided).
During your PhD track
Every year, you will have an Assessment & Development interview (A&D) with your supervisors (‘promotor’ and ‘co-promotor’). The first interview takes place in the twelfth month of your employment. The second A&D interview, in the sixth month of your second year, includes a decision on continuation of your PhD (Go/No-Go). Thereafter, A&D interviews continue every twelfth month of every year of your contract.
When an A&D interview is due, one month before the scheduled date, you will receive an email through MyPhD with the incentive for the interview. Write your progress report with the form which is provided on intranet and email this to your (co-)promotor. Before the interview, print the ‘portfolio’ form from MyPhD which recounts the formerly agreed planning of training and teaching activities. Use the meeting to renew these agreements, e.g. on expected output, supervision, working or a research internship abroad, planned attendance of conferences (see tips and tricks), teaching activities and your discuss your educational needs (see PhD education). Plan with your supervisors beforehand which topics will be addressed. Register the new activities you have decided on in MyPhD. Your promotor will upload a signed A&D report in MyPhD to be archived by the HR-department.
If you are not employed by Utrecht University you will have a yearly review with your supervisor(s) about your annual progress.
Most PhD candidates employed by the Science Faculty spend time on teaching activities. You can be requested to do so up to a maximum of 10 or 15% (depending on the department) of your appointment. Specific tasks and the way they are distributed differ per department and research group. The objective of these teaching activities is to gain teaching experience and improve qualifications for a future academic position, and to contribute to the teaching tasks of the department.
If you have teaching task during your PhD, you are required to obtain training before or while you start your teaching activities. See PhD education or the Development guide on the intranet for the course offerings. An example is the Start to teach Training, which is open to all staff members (including PhD candidates) who have little or no teaching experience. You may use MyPhD to keep track of your teaching activities.
Valorisation is one of the core tasks of Utrecht University – Teaching and Research being the other two. Valorisation activities may be targeted at the societal domain, for example, contributing to the public debate through public engagement. Economic valorisation, on the other hand, is aimed at the creation of economic value from knowledge, for example, through initiating a start-up. Valorisation may be relevant in your research as well. You may want to discuss the possibilities with your supervisors and follow training on the subject during your PhD.
Need a proof of enrolment?
- An official proof of enrolment (for visa etc.) can be requested through email to email@example.com
Finishing your PhD
To be allowed to defend your PhD thesis and obtain your PhD, you will have to follow a number of official procedures. This starts with uploading your thesis in MyPhD, thereby asking the approval of your thesis by your (co-)promotors, at least six months before your intended date of the defense. Upon the promotors’ approval, you should contact the Beadle’s Office to assign a provisional date for the doctoral thesis defense ceremony. Approval of your thesis by your promotor sets in motion subsequent procedures which in the end results in the final approval of your thesis by the College for Doctoral Programs (of which you will receive notice).
When you have completed 20 EC of training you can apply for a certificate. To be eligible for a certificate you must upload an item of proof (e.g. a course certificate of a confirmation for registration of a conference) for each activity that you register. Contact the GSNS (firstname.lastname@example.org) to obtain one.
The UU pages on practical matters provide more information on the PhD thesis approval and the regulations to complete your PhD (including information about the ceremony and a time schedule).