Zoek in de site...

Instructions for the TSP

Supervision

The PhD candidate’s supervisors supervise the research project and provide feedback, advice and support regarding the candidate’s research and also other tasks – for instance, teaching.

PhD candidates should meet regularly with their supervisors (promotor(s) and/or daily supervisor(s)) in order to discuss their progress in carrying out their research and other tasks, and also in order to agree on the steps to be taken for future research progress.

The supervisor(s) (promotors) should plan an annual appraisal with their PhD candidates; upon the request of the supervisor(s) or the PhD candidate, the daily supervisor(s) can also take part in this meeting. In the annual appraisal, the PhD candidate and their supervisor(s) should review the candidate’s research progress, their research data management, their professional development and performance, as well as the process of supervision (frequency, quality, approach, etc.). New objectives and agreements for the future should be recorded during this meeting.

The TSP serves as a guideline for reviewing research, training, and teaching goals, and making new agreements for the future regarding these issues during the annual appraisal. In the case of internal PhD candidates, a report of the annual appraisal will be sent to the personnel office. The personnel information system also records that the annual appraisal has taken place. The Head of the IMR HR Department may inform the vice dean of research about issues discussed during the annual appraisal if deemed necessary.

The IMR strongly recommends that external PhD candidates have a similar yearly evaluation meeting with their supervisor(s). The procedures involved in the annual appraisal of a joint degree PhD candidate will be discussed on a case by case basis.

Task distribution

Based on a full-time appointment of 1.0 fte, the daily duties of a PhD candidate amount to 1680 hours on an annual basis. All PhD candidates can be involved in carrying out: (a) research, (b) training related to research, and/or (c) teaching. The division of tasks will depend on the conditions of the contract.

Training

PhD candidates have a right to and are encouraged to pursue training in order to improve their skills as academic professionals. The IMR recommends that PhD candidates take 840 hours’ worth of courses during the whole trajectory, predominantly in the first and second year of the PhD trajectory.

The recommended 840 hours’ worth of courses can be:

  • Methods courses: addressing quantitative, qualitative, or mixed research methodologies, from issues of research design and philosophies of science, to data collection and analysis.
  • Transferrable skills courses: any courses or series of seminars, workshops, or coaching sessions that address skills unrelated to a specific research topic or methodology, and which can also be useful for candidates who go on to pursue a career outside academia (e.g. project management, presentation skills, etc).
  • Language courses: academic writing, English courses, and Dutch courses
  • Content courses: addressing one or more academic research topics, which can help PhD candidates deepen their understanding of a specific theoretical subject.

Although the IMR recommends a 40%-40%-20% distribution between methods, transferrable skills, and content courses, respectively (thus, 336-336-168 hours each), the precise division may vary depending on the training background of the PhD candidate and the needs of the specific research project.

That being said, determining the distribution of courses that would best fit a PhD candidate’s research topic and skill set will still fall to the PhD candidate and his or her supervisor(s). Thus, PhD candidates can choose to deviate from these recommendations (both the distribution of methods, content, and transferrable skills courses, and following the IMR Training Component), with the provision that they motivate this decision with relevant arguments.

In most cases, PhD candidates will take courses in line with their research project. However, the IMR strongly recommends that PhDs also attend courses that go beyond their specific PhD topic, to enrich their knowledge and skills. For instance, PhD candidates can regularly take part in the IMR’s multidisciplinary research community by attending the seminars and events organized by the IMR Academy.

Three courses/events offered by the IMR Doctoral School are mandatory. You will be invited to these courses. The courses/events are:

  1. The IMR PhD Induction Meeting
  2. The IMR Research Data Management Workshop (alternative: gROW Course Open Science for PhD candidates)
  3. The IMR Research Ethics and Scientific Integrity Course

The IMR also strongly recommends the gROW PhD course Designing a PhD research project.

The IMR further encourages PhD candidates to take seminars, workshops, or coaching sessions that can help them develop their own careers (among which, the Radboud Teaching and Learning Centre’s course offer for improving one’s teaching skills). These can also be added to the Training and Supervision Plan.

All the types of courses mentioned above can be taken at either PhD or Master’s level, from any of the following sources:

  • PhD-level courses from the Radboud University’s course offer (the RU gROW PhD Course pool);
  • PhD-level courses offered by the Dutch National Research Schools that the IMR is affiliated with;
  • PhD-level courses at Dutch or international Summer Schools;
  • Master’s-level courses offered in relevant Radboud University Institutes or Faculties;
  • PhD- or Master’s-level courses offered by any free massive open online course (MOOC) platforms (provided said courses issue a certificate) .

All PhD candidates can access the PhD-level courses in the RU gROW course pool and Master’s-level courses offered by any of Radboud University’s institutes or faculties free of charge. The courses offered by the Dutch National Research Schools with which the IMR is affiliated are free of charge for internal PhDs; these may be free of charge for IPS and external PhD candidates as well (this will have to be determined on a case-by-case basis). For all other courses, internal PhDs and IPS candidates can use their personal budget (apart from MOOCs). For all the other types of courses, external PhD candidates need to cover the associated fees themselves (apart from MOOCs). If external PhD candidates have been allocated a PhD budget, they can use that for this purpose. Joint degree PhD candidates will follow the guidelines of internal and/or external PhD candidates in this respect; which funding guidelines applies at which point in their PhD trajectory will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Here, more information can be found on PhD Education options.

Teaching

Internal PhD candidates are expected to teach throughout their PhD trajectories as part of their competence development. An internal PhD candidate’s teaching duties amount to a total of 360 hours for the whole four-year PhD trajectory. This does not apply to PhD/lecturers who have a 6-year contract. Their teaching hours are based on the contract with the faculty.

Teaching tasks can be planned in accordance with agreements made between the PhD candidate, their supervisor(s), the chair, and the head of the department. It is recommended that, in the first year of their trajectories, internal PhD candidates dedicate most of their time to research and training.

Internal PhD candidates may also choose to voluntarily take on a considerably larger teaching task per year (starting from the second year), but only with the agreement of their supervisors. External PhD candidates are not expected to teach, nor can they do so without a formal teaching appointment signed with the university.

Internal PhD candidates/junior lecturers with a six-year contract are expected to teach 50% of their time. All these PhD candidates are expected to obtain the University Teaching Qualification (UTQ) during their PhD trajectory. It is, therefore, especially important that a teaching portfolio is created, allowing diverse experience in various teaching skills and formats.

Research Progress Appraisal

The faculty’s appraisal procedure for internal PhD candidates is as follows:

Internal PhD candidates first receive a temporary appointment for one and a half years. Three months before the end of this period, they are informed as to whether or not their contract is extended for the entire duration of the PhD trajectory. A proposal for extending or terminating the appointment is drawn up based on the progress appraisal made by the candidate’s supervisor(s), informed by an assessment of the candidate’s progress by the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). The dean ultimately decides whether to accept the proposal for extending or terminating the employment contract.

  • After 7 months since the start of the PhD candidate’s employment contract, the supervisors and PhD candidate receive a message about the appraisal procedure.
  • No later than 9 months after the start of their contract, the PhD candidate should submit a research proposal to the SAC (following the standard IMR PhD research proposal format) and include information about progress of the research project.
  • Before 12 months have passed from the start of their contract, the PhD candidate will be invited to present and defend the proposal and research progress to a committee consisting of two members of the SAC, and if desired, other external experts invited by the PhD candidate’s supervisor(s). The supervisor(s) will also be invited to attend the consultation with this committee.
  • Before 12 months have passed, the SAC will provide the promotor with written recommendations regarding the PhD candidate’s research progress and quality.
  • The SAC’s evaluation can be one of the following:
    • Accepted: implies a positive recommendation for the continuation of the research project;
    • Minor or major concerns: imply that the proposal needs additional work in order to clarify certain issues brought up by the SAC. PhD candidates will have the opportunity to carry out this work over a period of three months. If the proposal addresses these issues appropriately, it will be evaluated as ‘Accepted’;
    • Rejected: implies that the SAC does not have confidence in the PhD candidate’s abilities to successfully finalize their proposed research.
  • The verdict will be taken explicitly into account by the promotor when appraising the PhD candidate.
  • Before 14 months have passed, the promotor will hold a performance appraisal meeting with the PhD candidate. During this meeting, the promotor will indicate whether they propose to extend or terminate the employment contract, or whether certain conditions must be met.

The faculty’s appraisal procedure for Internal PhD candidates with a six-year contract is as follows:

  • After 13 months since the start of the PhD candidate’s employment contract, the supervisors and PhD receive a message about the appraisal procedure.
  • No later than 15 months after the start of their contract, the PhD candidate should submit a research proposal to the SAC (following the standard IMR PhD research proposal format) and include information about progress of the research project.
  • Before 18 months have passed from the start of their contract, the PhD candidate will be invited to present and defend the proposal and research progress to a committee consisting of two members of the SAC, and if desired, other external experts invited by the PhD candidate’s supervisor(s). The supervisor(s) will also be invited to attend the consultation with this committee.
  • Before 18 months have passed, the SAC will provide the promotor with written recommendations regarding the PhD candidate’s research progress and quality.
  • The SAC’s evaluation can be one of the following:
    • Accepted: implies a positive recommendation for the continuation of the research project;
    • Minor or major concerns: imply that the proposal needs additional work in order to clarify certain issues brought up by the SAC. PhD candidates will have the opportunity to carry out this work over a period of three months. If the proposal addresses these issues appropriately, it will be evaluated as ‘Accepted’;
    • Rejected: implies that the SAC does not have confidence in the PhD candidate’s abilities to successfully finalize their proposed research.

The faculty’s appraisal procedure for International PhDs with a Scholarship (IPS candidates) is as follows:

  • After 7 months since the start of the PhD candidate’s registration with the IMR, the supervisors and PhD candidate receive a message about the appraisal procedure.
  • IPS candidates should submit their research proposal and progress report to the SAC no later than 9 months after their formal admittance to the IMR Doctoral School.
  • The SAC’s evaluation should be delivered in writing to the PhD candidate’s supervisor(s) no later than 12 months since their formal admittance to the IMR Doctoral School.
  • The SAC’s evaluation can be one of the following:
    • Accepted: implies a positive recommendation for the continuation of the research project;
    • Minor or major concerns: imply that the proposal needs additional work in order to clarify certain issues brought up by the SAC. PhD candidates will have the opportunity to carry out this work over a period of three months. If the proposal addresses these issues appropriately, it will be evaluated as ‘Accepted’;
    • Rejected: implies that the SAC does not have confidence in the PhD candidate’s abilities to successfully finalize their proposed research.

The faculty’s appraisal procedure for external PhD candidates is as follows:

  • After 13 months since the start of the PhD candidate’s registration with the IMR, the supervisors and PhD candidate receive a Hora Finita message about the appraisal procedure.
  • External PhD candidates should submit their research proposal and progress report to the SAC no later than 15 months since their formal admittance to the IMR Doctoral School.
  • The SAC’s evaluation should be delivered in writing to the PhD candidate’s supervisor(s) no later than 18 months since their formal admittance to the IMR Doctoral School.
  • Before 21 months have passed, the promotor will submit a proposal to Vice-dean of Research regarding the renewal of external PhD candidate’s two-year agreement with the university.
  • For the remainder of the external PhD candidate’s trajectory, the decision to renew the formal agreement with the university will be revisited yearly, based on the candidate’s research progress and quality.
  • The SAC’s evaluation can be one of the following:
    • Accepted: implies a positive recommendation for the continuation of the research project;
    • Minor or major concerns: imply that the proposal needs additional work in order to clarify certain issues brought up by the SAC. PhD candidates will have the opportunity to carry out this work over a period of three months. If the proposal addresses these issues appropriately, it will be evaluated as ‘Accepted’;
    • Rejected: implies that the SAC does not have confidence in the PhD candidate’s abilities to successfully finalize their proposed research.

In the case of joint degree PhD candidates, the steps and timing of the performance appraisal procedure will be decided on a case by case basis.

For all three categories of PhD candidates, if the supervisor(s) has/have serious reason for terminating the PhD candidate’s formal agreement with the university well in advance of the regular appraisal period, they should directly inform the personnel office. If the termination seems to be necessary, a performance appraisal meeting should take place immediately, in which the supervisor(s) reasons for terminating the agreement should be clearly given. Based on these appraisals, the dean will make the final decision regarding the termination of this agreement, based on recommendations from the vice dean of research and, possibly, the IMR Counsellor for PhD Candidates.

Data Management Plan

In accordance with the RU Doctorate Regulations and IMR RDM policy, IMR PhD candidates who have started after October 2019 have to write a Data Management Plan (DMP) for their PhD project to ensure proper responsible management of research data. The DMP review process is now embedded in Hora Finita. Hora Finita sends out a call to PhD candidates to complete a DMP and request feedback within a month by using the DMP tool. This message is sent out 9 or 15 months after the start of the PhD trajectory, depending on the type of trajectory.

Here, you can find more information on the checkpoint, and, here, you can find more information on the RDM policy and guidelines. The IMR organizes RDM courses for PhD candidates on writing a DMP twice a year. For any questions concerning research data management, please contact the IMR data steward, dr. Francie Manhardt, via rdm@fm.ru.nl.

Whom to contact in case of conflicts

In case of conflicts, PhD candidates can request support from (a) the Head of the Doctoral School,  (b) IMR Counsellor for PhD Candidates, (c) the IMR HR Department, or (d) a University’s confidential advisor. Further information pertaining to such matters can be found on the IMR Doctoral School PhD Guide.

The Head of the Doctoral School will attend to the issues raised by the PhD candidate and liaise with the supervisor(s) and other parties (b-d) as appropriate. For issues regarding requests for (additional) funding, clarifications regarding a PhD candidate’s teaching tasks, or any disagreements or conflicts between the PhD candidate and their supervisor(s), the respective head of department is the first person who should be approached for issues that cannot be addressed by a PhD candidate’s supervisor(s).

The IMR Counsellor for PhD candidates is an experienced and well-respected researcher and a successful supervisor who has a well-established network within the faculty. She can offer the PhD candidate the opportunity to speak freely about everything that has to do with obtaining a PhD degree, both positive and negative aspects. When conflicts or problems arise, PhD candidates can ask the IMR PhD Counsellor or the Head of the Doctoral School to act as an intermediary between them and their supervisor(s), or approach the most suitable person to handle and – whenever possible – solve the conflict or problem.