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.


(Section 02; Admission to the PhD trajectory) Article 8; Procedure; section 5 and 6

  • 5. 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.
  • 6. The Dean may authorize the director of a Graduate School to assume responsibility forthe provisions in paragraph 5.

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 and will be approved by consecutively the supervisors, the copromotors and the director of (the education committee of) the research Institute.

(Section 05; The training programme) Article 14; Scope and content

  • 1. In consultation with the supervisor, the PhD candidate must record the content of the training programme in the Training and Supervision Plan. The training programme consists of at least 30 EC.
  • 2. The training programme at least contains a component that discusses current insights and regulations regarding academic integrity and, where relevant, includes a component on current scientific methods and techniques for research. The training and Supervision Plan always includes the PhD trajectory’s planning with options for go/no go decisions at any given time. The plan also states which graduate school, research institute, or institute the prospective PhD candidate is affiliated with.
  • 3. The Dean is responsible for providing a training programme of sufficient quality and for ensuring that the candidate has sufficient time and resources to complete this programme.
  • 4. The Dean may grant exemptions for parts of the training programme, provided that the way in which the PhD candidate has already met the final attainment levels of the relevant parts is indicated.
  • 5. The Dean can authorize the director of the Graduate School to perform the tasks mentioned in paragraph 4.

VU University medical center specific requirements

1. Credits in courses

  • 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:

  • Skills / transferable skills, such as: (a) teaching guidance, such as mentoring or tutoring, and thesis writing guidance; (b) instruction; (c) personal development; (d) presentation / writing in English, statistics, etc.
  • Professional-level education.
  • Required courses such as the BROK and a course on laboratory animal science.
  • Activities, including: (a) personal supervision (daily) by an experienced examiner (supervisor); (b) educational activities within the research group / department / research institute such as work meetings, journal clubs, colloquia, PhD afternoons, etc.; (c) 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.

(Section 05; The training programme) Article 15; Assessment of Training; section 2

The programme will be assessed in the manner established by the Faculty Board. The Dean will inform the supervisor of the results of the assessment; the supervisor in turn informs 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.

(Section 05; The training programme) Article 15; Assessment of Training; section 3

The Dean ensures that the degree supplement is created and handed 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. 

(Section 06; The Dissertation) Article 16; Conditions; section 3

A faculty may set additional rules relating to the dissertation, which are part of the Regulations set out in Article 38, paragraph 2. The dissertation must be consistent with this guideline.

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 analyzed 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.