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What does a PhD entail?


As a candidate you will carry out academic research under the supervision of a professor who acts as provisional PhD supervisor (supervisor of the PhD candidate in the research and writing of the thesis). This supervision is ‘provisional', as the professor is not officially appointed as supervisor until the candidate has almost completed the PhD. In addition to the PhD supervisor, you will often also have a ‘daily supervisor'.

PhD thesis

PhD candidates report their research findings in a written document, called the PhD thesis or doctoral dissertation. A thesis can be made up of articles that may already have been published separately. The thesis and/ or articles are evaluated by a Thesis Committee and you must defend your thesis at the public defence (see the Doctorate Regulations).

The title of Doctor

While carrying out doctoral research and working on your thesis, you are a PhD candidate. After the public defence of the thesis, following which you receive your PhD certificate, you may call yourself Doctor. Obtaining the title of Doctor means that you are ready for an academic career. It also means that you have proven qualities that can be of great value in non-university organisations and in the business community.

Obtaining your PhD at Radboud University
Radboud University strives to be an international leader in all areas of its research. As a PhD candidate you will make a major contribution to this ambition. Radboud University employs more than 250 PhD candidates each year. These PhD candidates are therefore members of Radboud University staff. They carry out their research at one of the university's research institutes, and receive their PhD training at the graduate school of the institute. In many cases PhD candidates also teach.

At the Radboud University it is also possible to start your PhD research as an external PhD candidate. How to become such an PhD is explained here.