VUmc-specific requirements

Some articles of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam doctorate regulations refer to possible specific demands from the faculty. On this page information can be found about these specific demands from VU University medical center.

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Article 9 section 4

The Training and Supervision Plan will be assessed in a manner to be determined by the faculty. If the Plan is approved, the admission form will be signed by the Dean of the faculty.
The Dean then sends the admission form to the College of Deans.

Now Hora Finita is in use, this has changed. The TSP is part of Hora Finita and will be approved by consecutively the supervisors, the copromotors and the director of (the education committee of) the research Institute.

VU University medical center addition: The educational program will be discussed with the supervisor and defined in the educational guidance plan (TSP) at the start of the PhD track. The details of the plan will be registered in Hora Finita. 

Article 15

  1. The PhD candidate shall devote at least 30 ECTS credits (840 hours) to training.
  2. The Dean is responsible for arranging a training programme of sufficient quality and for ensuring that the candidate has sufficient time and resources to take this programme.
  3. The content of the training programme shall be recorded in the Training and Supervision Plan, and shall be specified by the Dean in advance in consultation with the PhD candidate and the Supervisor.
  4. The Dean sets requirements in relation to the provisions of paragraph 1, which are part of the rules mentioned in Article 38, paragraph 2.
  5. The Dean may grant an exemption covering all or parts of the provisions of paragraph 1.

VU University medical center specific requirements

1. As part of their training as scientific researchers, PhD candidates at VU University medical center must take at least 30 credits in courses. External PhD candidates are also subject to this requirement.

2. This curriculum covers the following fields: 
(1) Skills / transferable skills, such as: 
- teaching guidance, such as mentoring or tutoring, and thesis writing guidance; 
- instruction;
- personal development; 
- presentation / writing in English, statistics, etc. 
(2) Professional-level education. 
(3) Required courses such as the BROK and a course on laboratory animal science. 
(4) Activities, including: 
- personal supervision (daily) by an experienced examiner (supervisor); 
- educational activities within the research group / department / research institute such as work meetings, journal clubs, colloquia, PhD afternoons, etc.; 
- preparation of conferences and participation in symposia, etc. 

The curriculum consists of a balanced distribution of courses in the various relevant domains. Each research institute has its own guidelines for this.

3. Exemptions from courses may be granted in certain situations, such as: 
- Physician-scientists in training who obtain relevant education credits as part of their specialist training.
- PhD candidates (internal / external) who can demonstrate having already completed sufficient relevant training, e.g. a Research Master's.
- PhD candidates doing a three-year PhD programme.
- Candidates obtaining their PhD via an appointment as junior researcher or in the MD-PhD programme.

Article 16 section 2

The PhD candidate’s training shall be assessed in a manner as established by the faculty. The faculty shall inform the supervisor about the results of the assessment; the supervisor shall inform the PhD candidate.

VUmc specific requirements
All PhD candidates employed under an 'OIO' (researcher in training) contract will be subject to an assessment conducted with their supervisor after nine months and again after three years. The nine-month assessment looks at whether the progress of the work and its quality are sufficient to reasonably enable the candidate to obtain their degree within the remaining term of the employment. Employees who are doing a PhD but who do not have an 'OIO' contract will have their progress assessed during a yearly evaluation. The second assessment at the end of the third year focuses on making a plan for the completion of the research and thesis in the final year of employment. The candidate's curriculum is also discussed at both the nine-month and three-year evaluation. Adjustments in the training programme are possible, but must be recorded. 

A VU University medical center-wide committee delegated by the dean coordinates the VU University medical center-wide duties. The Doctorate Board at the relevant research institute assesses PhD candidates' Training and Supervision Plans upon submission and midway through and at the end of the PhD programme (including any exemptions). The VU University medical center-wide committee assesses the additional guidelines set by the research institutes to ensure that comparable assessments are conducted at the various institutes. This committee will also offer candidates the option to appeal in the event that their curriculum is rejected.

Article 16 section 3

The Dean is responsible for drawing up the Degree Certificate Supplement and awarding this to the PhD candidate.

VU University medical center specific requirements
After having completed the training programme, which means that the PhD candidate has gathered 30 EC's (including exemptions if applicable), and approval of the trainings by the supervisor(s) and the director of (the education committee of) the research Institute, Hora Finita will generate a training certificate. This is essential to be able to continue the PhD trajectory after approval of the manuscript, and for getting admitted to the PhD ceremony. 

Article 17 section 3

The faculty may set guidelines relating to the Dissertation, which are part of the rules set out in Article 38, paragraph 2. The Dissertation must be consistent with these guidelines.

VU University medical center specific requirements
In principle, VU University medical center follows the guidelines of the Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres (NFU). This means theses must contain the following:
- An introduction describing the state of affairs in the field and the research problem. 
- A general discussion in which the results obtained are situated and analysed in their broader context, as well as a description of possibilities for further research.
- Adding a portfolio to your thesis is not compulsory. However, it makes it possible to show the extra experience you have gained during your PhD programme. If you would like to do so, it is highly recommended to use the format you can download on the bottom of this page.

Meantime the manuscript is being reviewed by the doctorate committee, the Doctorate Board evaluates if the training requirements described have been fulfilled. To ensure that these requirements are met, it is important that the scientific committee at the relevant research institute assesses the candidate's research plan (including the chapter outline) at the start of the PhD programme (simultaneous with the assessment of the Training and Supervision Plan). Progress on the project will be discussed at the nine-month and three-year assessments (also see point 3) in the case of PhD candidates employed under an 'OIO' contract. Other employees will discuss their progress during a yearly evaluation.