The PhD track from start to finish
MyPhD: Purpose and manuals
MyPhD is the administrative system we use for all PhD matters. It helps you and your PhD candidates to monitor progress. All procedures you are involved in as a supervisor, such as registration of PhD tracks, conducting Assessment & Development (A&D) interviews and making arrangements for the assessment of the thesis, will be supported in MyPhD. Manuals for MyPhD are available here. Procedures in MyPhD follow the rules and regulations as they are described in the Utrecht University Doctoral Degree Regulations (UU-DDR).
The PhD candidate will receive notice through MyPhD to complete the registration of the PhD track. After a check by the secretariats, you will receive notice to approve this registration. With the approval of all (co-)promotors, a new approval request is forwarded to the head of department. You will receive notice of the final approval and the conversion of the registration into a formal PhD track by the College for Doctoral Programs.
PhD candidates follow courses and teach classes. PhD candidates should be encouraged to take courses and attend seminars. These courses may be either related to the subject of the research or intended to improve skills or for personal development of the PhD candidate. The former will usually be offered by the research school of which you are a member. The latter are mostly offered by the graduate school. With these courses PhD candidates can e.g. improve their research planning, scientific writing and presenting, communication with you as supervisor and in teaching. During the second half of the track PhD candidates should start to think of how to continue their career after the PhD. For this purpose there are courses about professional development and career orientation.
Please discuss the educational needs with your PhD candidates, at the start and yearly during Assessment and Development interviews. Courses provided by the graduate school can be followed by PhD candidates that are employed by Utrecht University and that are registered in MyPhD as members of the graduate school. PhD candidates use MyPhD to register the courses they take (and teach). Please plan these together with the PhD cadidate at the start of the PhD track in a Course Plan and review this programme every year at the A&D interview.
Please note! Most PhD courses involve a fee. As supervisor you have to approve of PhD candidates registering for courses and provide for the fee. The source for such fees varies between departments.
Please note! The Graduate School of Natural Sciences requires PhD candidates to follow courses on Scientific Integrity (available in the near future) and ‘Start-to-Teach’. These are part of the required 4 EC general skills training as part of the total of 20 EC of required training.
As 'promotor' you are responsible for the planning and conduct of the yearly Assessment & Development Interviews and the Go/No-Go assessment with your PhD candidates. Four weeks before the date for the A&D interview is due (every twelfth month of the contract), you and your PhD candidates will receive a reminder. The PhD candidate will be asked to prepare a progress report. You or the secretariat make arrangements for a definite date for the interview. The PhD candidate brings a transcript from MyPhD, a Portfolio, with courses followed (and taught), to the interview.
Use the A&D interview to renew former agreements, e.g. on expected output, supervision, working or a research internship abroad, planned attendance of conferences (see tips and tricks) and teaching activities and courses (see PhD courses). Plan with your PhD candidate beforehand which topics will be addressed. Let the PhD candidate register the new activities you have agreed upon in the Course Plan in MyPhD. Finally send the signed A&D report to the HR department.
The Go/No-Go assessment (after 12 months) is conducted similarly. Please note that apart from the daily supervisor, a third person should be present at the assessment. He or she can be the mentor or the director of the reseach institute. In case of a No-Go, contact the HR department well in advance and conduct the interview in the presence of the research director of the institute.
Every PhD candidate is appointed a mentor. The mentor is registered in MyPhD by the candidate. The mentor is a colleague of the supervisor, from outside the research group, who can act as impartial and confidential counselor for the PhD candidate, e.g. when the candidate has issues he or she rather not discusses with the supervisors. The mentor is appointed to the PhD candidate by the director of research of the research institute.
In case of serious conflicts, the mentor refers PhD candidates for mediation to the dean of the faculty.
You have to approve your PhD candidate's thesis at least six months before your candidate's intended date of defense. To get your approval, the PhD candidate will upload the thesis in MyPhD, of which you will receive notice. After you have collected the approval of all supervisors, you will register this approval in MyPhD, upon which MyPhD will return notice to start to compose the Assessment Committee (AC). After you have entered the members of the AC in MyPhD you will send it through MyPhD for a check to the secretariats, who will subsequently forward it for approval of the head of department (chair of the AC). After final approval by the College for Doctorate Programs, the members of the AC will receive notice to give their judgement of the thesis. You will receive notice after the College for Doctorate Programs has finally confirmed judgement of the thesis. Subsequently you will be informed about starting the composition of the promotion committee (PC). The members of the PC you enter in MyPhD will be checked by the secretariats and sent back to you, to the PhD candidate, the members of the PC and the Beadle.
More information on the time schedule leading to the defense on the UU-website.
In case of a possible Cum Laude (CL), the head of department together with the promotor decide to start the CL-procedure and choose possible referents. The procedure is started in MyPhD by the head or department or the secretariat of the department and starts by sending a request for approval for the start of the procedure to the members of the Assessment Committee and the promotor. After their confirmation the head and the secretariat of the department enter the names of the referents in MyPhD. The procedure ends with the confirmation of the CL-proposal by the dean of the faculty, of which the rector, the head of department, the secretariat, the promotors, the chair of the PC and the beadle’s office receive notice.
- Utrecht University offers various courses on leadership and on supervising PhD students for your own courses for supervisors
- Also see tips and tricks for supervisors.