PhD regulations

PhD regulations

The Tilburg University PhD Regulations incorporate a number of statutory provisions in conformity with the Higher Education and Research Act (in Dutch: WHW), and a number of conditions laid down by the Doctorate Board of Tilburg University.

On October 10, 2019, the Doctorate Board adopted the new PhD Regulations and decided that these will enter into force on December 1, 2019.

FAQs on the revised PhD Regulations

We offer you an overview of the frequently asked questions. Should you have an additional question, please contact the Graduate School.

General
  • Do the PhD Regulations apply to all PhD Candidates?
    Yes, the PhD Regulations apply to all PhD Candidates who wish to obtain a PhD at Tilburg University (Article 1.2 paragraph 3).
  • What is the composition of the Doctorate Board?
    The Doctorate Board consists of the Rector Magnificus (chair) and the Deans of the University’s Schools (Article 2.1).
  • Where can I find the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity?
    Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity (Universities of the Netherlands, 2018)
  • Is it possible to obtain a "dual degree" at Tilburg University?
    No, Tilburg University does not provide double doctorates or dual doctorates (Article 11.2 paragraph 4).
  • Are Graduate Schools allowed to draw up additional rules and guidelines to supplement the PhD Regulations?
    Yes, each Graduate School may lay down rules and guidelines on admission and other subjects to supplement the provisions of these Regulations. These rules and guidelines require the approval of the Doctorate Board (Article 15.1, paragraph 2).
  • Where can I find the Doctoral Regulations applicable until December 1, 2019?

PhD Regulations applicable until December 1, 2019

Prior to admission to the PhD program
  • I'm an external PhD Candidate. Do I also need to draw up a Training and Supervision Plan?
    Yes, all PhD Candidates at Tilburg University who have been admitted to the PhD program by the Doctorate Board since January 1, 2018 are required to draw up a Training and Supervision Plan.
  • I haven't completed a Master's degree. Can I obtain a PhD at Tilburg University?
    That depends. The Director of the Graduate School may submit a request for this to be discussed by the Doctorate Board (Article 3.1, paragraph 3).
  • I have obtained a PhD at Tilburg University before. Can I obtain a PhD at Tilburg University in another field of science?
    No, it is not possible to obtain a PhD more than once at Tilburg University (Article 3.1 paragraph 4(a)).
  • I have obtained a PhD at another university before. Can I obtain a PhD at Tilburg University?
    This is only possible after approval by the Doctorate Board if the thesis is based on research in a different field of science than the one on which the previous thesis was based (Article 3.1, paragraph 4(b)).
  • I am conducting PhD research and do not have an employment contract with Tilburg University. When should I be admitted to the PhD program?
    You must be enrolled at the Graduate School and must have been admitted to the PhD program as soon as possible but at least two years before the intended or scheduled PhD defense date. (Article 3.2, paragraph 2).
  • What are the requirements for being appointed as a (co-)supervisor?
    For each PhD Candidate, the Doctorate Board appoints a thesis supervisor and a second supervisor, supervisor or co-supervisor. A minimum of two and a maximum of three (co-)supervisors are appointed. The (co-)supervisor is an expert in the field or part thereof of the subject described in the thesis. Persons with a family or comparable personal relationship, persons with a business relationship with the PhD Candidate, or other persons who are in such a relationship with the PhD Candidate that they should not reasonably be required to give an opinion are not eligible for appointment as supervisor or co-supervisor (Articles 4.1 and 4.2).
  • I am an assistant professor. Can I obtain the Ius Promovendi?
    No, only associate professors can obtain the Ius Promovendi (article 4.2).
Admission to the PhD program
  • My research proposal is not ready yet. Can I already submit a request to be admitted to the PhD program to the Doctorate Board?
    Yes, the missing information must be submitted as soon as possible:
    • Within 6 months if the PhD Candidate has an employment contract with Tilburg University;
    • Within one year if the PhD Candidate does not have an employment contract with Tilburg University (Article 3.2, paragraph 1).
During the PhD program
  • I expect to obtain my PhD in six months' time, and I do not have a Training and Supervision Plan. Do I still have to draw up a Training and Supervision Plan?
    All PhD Candidates at Tilburg University who have been admitted to the PhD program by the Doctorate Board since January 1, 2018 are required to draw up a Training and Supervision Plan.
  • I want to quit my PhD program. What am I supposed to do?
    Once you have agreed to this with your (co-)supervisors and the Graduate School, a written request must be submitted to the Doctorate Board, stating the reasons for the request (Article 3.4, paragraph 2).
  • I am a full professor at Tilburg University and I'm about to retire. Am I still allowed to function as a supervisor for PhD Candidates?
    After your retirement, as a full professor, you can only supervise PhD candidates for whom you have already been appointed as a supervisor by the Doctorate Board. In addition, these PhD candidates are required to obtain their PhDs within five years of the start of your retirement (Article 4.4).
  • I am a full professor at Tilburg University and will soon be granted an honorable discharge. Am I still allowed to function as a supervisor for PhD Candidates?
    After an honorable discharge, as a full professor, you can only supervise PhD candidates for whom you have already been appointed as supervisor by the Doctorate Board. In addition, these PhD candidates shall be required to obtain a PhDs within five years of the start of the honorable discharge (Article 4.4).
The assessment of the thesis
  • The composition of the PhD Committee has already been approved and does not meet all the conditions set out in Article 5.3. Does the composition still need to be adjusted?
    No, the conditions set out in Article 5.3 apply to all PhD Committees approved by the Doctorate Board as of December 1, 2019.
  • What requirements must the composition of the PhD Committee meet?
    The composition of the PhD Committee must meet the following requirements (Article 5.3):
    • The Committee consists of at least 4 members, the majority of whom are full professors;
    • The members hold PhD degrees;
    • At least one of the members is from outside Tilburg University;
    • At least one of the members is a full professors at Tilburg University;
    • At least one of the members is male and one is female;
    • The composition is sufficiently diverse in terms of expertise;
    • The members have no family/personal/business relationship with the PhD Candidate and have no other interests regarding the PhD research.
  • Are the (co-)supervisors members of the PhD Committee?
    No, (co-)supervisors are not members of the PhD Committee (Article 5.3, paragraph 2).
  • Can the composition of a PhD Committee be changed?
    In special circumstances, the composition of the PhD Committee may change. Such an amendment is only possible with the approval of the Doctorate Board (Article 5.2, paragraph 5).
  • Is it permissible for more than one member of a PhD Committee to come from abroad?
    Yes, as long as all the conditions for the composition of a PhD Committee are met (Article 6.3).
  • Can people without a PhD degree also be part of a PhD Committee?
    Yes, at the suggestion of the (co)supervisor, the Doctorate Board may add advisors to the PhD Committee. These may be persons who do not hold a PhD but who have exceptional expertise in the field in question. An advisor has an advisory role (Article 5.5, paragraph 3).
  • What are the assessment criteria a thesis must meet?
    The Assessment Criteria are included in Article 7.2 of the PhD Regulations.
  • When is the designation of cum laude awarded?
    The designation of cum laude is awarded if the thesis demonstrates the PhD Candidate's exceptional ability to practice science independently and, by way of indication, to be among the 5% best theses in the field of study. The procedure and criteria are set out in Articles 10.1 and 10.2 of PhD Regulations.
The PhD defense ceremony
  • Can committee members participate in the PhD defense ceremony via videoconferencing?
    Yes, committee members can participate in the defense ceremony via videoconferencing. One week prior to the defense ceremony, the beadle sends instructions, including the videoconferencing link.
  • What is the difference between the Auditorium and the Portraits Room?
    The Portraits Room has 60 seats and the Auditorium has 640 seats. All ceremonies in these rooms are live streamed and have video conferencing tools.
  • How is the PhD defense ceremony conducted?
    This can be found in the instructions for PhD Candidates.

The answers to the frequently asked questions have been carefully formulated. However, the text of the PhD Regulations is always leading.

Practical matters

The Graduate School is the first point of contact for practical questions concerning the PhD process and registration. During the PhD program a number of administrative steps need to be taken in the PhD tracking system Hora Finita, for example for admission to the PhD program, the appointment of the (co)promotors and the approval of the PhD committee and the PhD thesis.

In addition, more practical aspects have been included in:

Annual Report Doctorate Board

  • 2019 (only available in Dutch)
  • 2020 (only available in Dutch)