Sociale veiligheid van promovendi

On Thursday 10 November, the PhD Center [1] (Dutch Expertise Center for Doctoral Training) is organizing a study day on:

‘Social safety of PhD candidates’

We would like to discuss and study this subject by focusing the KNAW’s recent report on social safety in science [2], on the situation of PhD candidates. In addition, we will highlight other sources, such as “A healthy practice in the Dutch PhD system” [3] from UNL and the “Good Practice Principles for Graduate Schools in the Netherlands” [4]  from the PhD Center itself.
The way we want to do this is by means of a limited number of speakers followed by 2 rounds of 5 workshops (of your choice) in which we want to explain the core principles and perhaps arrive at the start of a code of conduct and certainly want to emphasize the importance of prevention. Hopefully the results can again supplement the sources mentioned.
As indicated in the introduction, this day is intended for all those involved in the ups and downs of PhD students: PhD students and their supervisors, deans and employees of Graduate Schools and Doctorate Boards, research policy officers, PhD confidential advisers, PhD counselors, PhD psychologists, diversity and integrity staff, and PhD representatives (such as PNN and local PhD platforms).
The day is planned in Enschede on Thursday, November 10, 2022, and will last from 10:30 am to 4:00 pm with drinks afterwards. The components of this day look something like this (exact program will follow later after submission):

Inge van der Weijden (CWTS, Leiden): Social safety, PhD students and supervisors.
Paul van Dijk (TGS, UT): The (im)possibilities of confidential advisers with regard to PhD students.
Tamarinde Haven (VU/Aarhus): Responsible supervision of PhD students from the perspective of the PhD students and supervisors.
1. Recruitment and introduction (‘onboarding’) – Inge van der Weijden
2. Early identification of problematic relationships: who and how – Paul van Dijk
3. Reports and research – Christine Teelken
4. Instruments to promote early identification – Hannerieke van der Boom
5. Prevention through training, intervision and peer support – Hans Sonneveld

Good Practice Principles for Graduate Schools in the Netherlands

Numerous Dutch Graduate Schools have taken important steps in the professionalization of doctoral degrees. However, there is a lack of a regular exchange of good practices and their easy accessibility for colleagues, in the Netherlands and abroad. With this in mind, the Netherlands Centre of Expertise for Doctoral Education is publishing Good Practices Principles. See:  NECPO_Principles

PhD Network Netherlands – 2020 Survey


Here you can find all reports based on the PNN PhD Survey 2020. These reports provide insights in the employment conditions and the wellbeing of PhDs in the Netherlands. This survey was the first to investigate PhDs in the Netherlands on a national level.


Survey information, Demographics and COVID-19
Contract characteristics
Supervision and freedom
Non-standard PhD arrangements
Workplace malpractices
Collective Labor Agreement
International PhDs
Open Science,  Recognition and rewards, Career


Graduate Spirit

Graduate SPIRIT is an EU Erasmus+ funded project. The participating partners are nine European graduate schools with a similar profile, among which the Erasmus University Rotterdam (project coordinator).

The project will provide an inventory of best practices in graduate schools with respect to PhD candidates, staff, curriculum and organisation. In addition, the project will test a number of innovations regarding international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral doctoral training.

New publication: Tips and Tricks.

This report is envisioned as a tool to help European graduate schools, staff members, and doctoral students find examples of activities carried out by the project’s consortium partners and study their approaches to foster Triple-I doctoral education. As such, the report gives an overview of best-practices in the field of social sciences and the humanities. Additionally, the collected trips & tricks of the best practices have been transformed into an interactive toolbox, which will be made available on this website in October.

Zürich University – PhD Supervision quality

(2017/2020) Sonneveld, H.  Supervision quality at the Graduate School in Geography and Earth System Science University of ZurichZürich, Switzerland: Graduate School in Geography and Earth System Science.

This report deals with the evaluation of the doctoral working conditions, with a focus on the supervision quality, by the PhD candidates of the Graduate School. Most important findings do concern: expected time to degree, role of teaching during the PhD trajectory, composition of the supervision committee, frequency of meetings with the committee, function of the written supervision agreement, appreciation of the primary supervision, qualities of the supervision the candidates are missing. PhD survey Zürich 2020

Managing change in doctoral education

Slaven Mihaljević, Managing and Leading Change in Higher Education Institutions: The Example of Doctoral Education. Zagreb University, 2019, doctoral thesis.

The aim of the research

Investigating the process of changes in doctoral education at selected European universities and identifying the main factors influencing the results. Multiple case studies  as regards the modernization of doctoral education have been conducted  at four public universities, in Slovenia, Austria, Portugal and Montenegro. The external environment, and the internal organizational culture and structure had a profound impact on the scope, goals, duration and effectiveness of methods used during the process of modernizing doctoral education.

KEYWORDS: Doctoral education; change; change agents; Burke–Litwin model; change management.

Doktorat_Slaven Mihaljević_FINAL

Composition of the Board

President of the board (from March 2020 onwards)

  • Inge van der Weiden. Senior researcher, lecturer and PhD coordinator Center for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS), University of Leiden.

Members of the board (from March 2020 onwards)

  • Gab van Winkel. Researcher and adviser on doctoral education. Division: Corporate Strategy & Accounts, Subdivision Dean of Research Office. Wageningen University.
  • Linda Martens. Policy officer research. Tilburg Law School, Tilburg University.
  • Hannerieke van der Boom. FHML Policy Advisor PhD Affairs, PhD TRACK coordinator & CAPHRI PhD coordinator. Maastricht University.
  • Paul van Dijk. Director Twente Graduate School. University of Twente.
  • Hans Sonneveld. Advisor and researcher with regard to doctoral programs. Former president of the board.

Training of PhD supervisors – evaluation of results

The Netherlands Centre of Expertise for Doctoral Education (NECPO) is organizing a meeting at Tilburg University on Friday 20 September 2019. Topic: exchange of experiences with the professionalization of PhD supervision. We will therefore, among other things, compare existing programs.


A few questions that we would like to address in this regard are the following. Do judgments of PhD students about their supervision give cause to support the PhD supervisors? Which subjects should be part of the programs? What is a realistic set-up in terms of time? Who should provide these programs and how can we determine whether they have an effect?


The registration for the meeting is closed.

Doctoral Project Meetings – a manual

Doing a PhD is a collaboration. Central to this is the PhD candidate, but many other people are involved too. They collaborate with the PhD candidate in order to make it as
successful as possible: supervisors, PhD mentors, and representatives
of the departments and Graduate School. The manual describes the Doctoral Project Meetings of all parties involved.

Throughout the PhD process, the collaboration includes a number of milestones; the mandatory progress meetings. These serve to facilitate and document the research
progress. The meetings are the place to explain things, make plans and evaluate results. Depending on the type of meeting, different people collaborating in a PhD process are involved.

Manual describing the meetings
This manual of the Delft Graduate school of Industrial Design Engineering describes who is present at which meeting, and explains who does what before, during, and after each meeting. And why. In the first year, five meetings serve to ensure that the PhD project gets a strong definition and gets off to a good start. In the later years up to the doctoral defense, there is a yearly progress meeting where the candidate gets feedback on the development of his skills. IDE GS Meeting Manual Sept 2018