Supervision during your PhD

As a PhD candidate, you will have at least 2 supervisors. Your promotor will register you in the Hora Finita system. Your second supervisor has to be known at the time you submit your Thesis Supervision Plan (TSP, generally 3 months after registration). Read more about what the supervisors will do for you during your PhD trajectory.

Tasks of the supervisors

Your supervisors will advise you on the formulation of the dissertation outline and on elaboration of the research design. They will guide you into the meta-language of ‘conceptual frameworks’, ‘inductive and deductive’, ‘hypotheses’, etc. During the whole trajectory, they help you to establish boundaries and gaps.

The supervision team has to advise you on necessary courses and activities. The team will provide feedback on your written texts. They also have an important role in guiding you on ethical issues as professionalism and raising awareness about research integrity; responsible data management; open science, and GDPR regulations. They give you advice on research activities and possible publications.

Dutch supervision style

In the Netherlands, in part due to its PhD system and relatively flexible management culture, PhD candidates are considered fellow researchers. This is in contrast to Anglo-American doctoral systems where PhD candidates are considered students.

As a PhD candidate at EUR you have a strong role and voice in research groups and are treated as a colleague. This is reflected in the type of supervision you can expect. Your supervisory team will in most cases advise you what to do or what to look further into, rather than tell you explicitly what to do or how to do it. You are expected to make and share notes of meetings and agreements, hand in written work in time and formulate concrete questions for supervisors. Always critically assess and respond to feedback. It is up to you to indicate when feedback is not clear or if you require more guidance on a particular issue.

If you want to learn more in depth Dutch attitudes towards work, employment contracts and the structure of academia in the Netherlands, download the handbook A Beginner’s Guide to Dutch Academia.