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PhD evaluation procedure

All IMR PhD candidates are assessed by the Scientific Advisory Committee. The procedure is as follows:

  1. Nine months into their PhD, candidates are asked to submit the design and planning of their dissertation to the Committee. For external PhD candidates, or candidates with special circumstances, the time limit can be extended. For candidates who started their project on the basis of an existing proposal that has already been reviewed are also given the opportunity to present the proposal after six months.
  2. The PhD candidate presents the proposal to two members of the Committee, in the presence of the supervisors. Sometimes external experts are invited to participate. The presentation is followed by a short discussion. These sessions usually take 45-60 minutes.
  3. On the basis of the presentation and discussion, Committee Members assess the quality and viability of the project in question. This is expressed through a score of:
    • Accept: No changes are needed and project continues as suggested by the proposal.
    • Minor concerns: There are no doubts about the foundations of the research proposal, but some minor issues need to be addressed. A cover letter outlining a detailed response to the reviewers’ comments has to be submitted within 1.5 months.

    • Major concerns:There are (some) doubts about the foundations of the research proposal. A cover letter outlining a detailed response to the reviewers’ comments has to be submitted within 3 months.

    • Reject: There are doubts about the foundations of the research proposal and its feasibility which are serious enough to advise the research project to discontinue.

  4. The assessment is communicated orally to the candidate and the supervisors immediately after the discussion. A written assessment follows within fifteen working days.
  5. The results of the assessment are passed on to the supervisors and the Dean, who will take a decision on the continuation of the project.

In practice, this early review of PhD projects offers a good opportunity for feedback and reflection.