Information on procedures


In this brief overview, the procedures and guidelines of the Erasmus University's International PhD Program on Cleaner Production, Cleaner Products, Industrial Ecology & Sustainability are presented.

Prof.Dr. Wim Hafkamp is the Scientific Director of the PhD Program.
Prof.Dr. D. Huisingh is advisor of the PhD Program and leads the PhD Intensive courses.
Dr. Frank Boons coordinates the Program and the advising of the candidates.
Mrs. Yneke Steegstra manages the Secretariat of the Program.

Applicant acceptance procedure

After the prospective candidate's preliminary application forms are received by our staff, the Erasmus University Application Committee performs the first evaluation, using the following criteria:

  • The candidate has a MSc degree in an appropriate field or discipline, comparable to Dutch standards. The copies of diplomas and transcripts (list of grades) must be certified by an appropriate university seal. It is preferable if the transcripts are sent from the "home" academic institution to Erasmus University in a closed envelope;
  • An up to date Curriculum Vitae;
  • A writing sample of 4 pages to be reviewd by the academic board
  • Birth certificate or copies of relevant pages of the candidate's passport with her/his personal data;
  • A list of Publications;
  • A minimum of 5 years of professional work experience;
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Download your application form

If an applicant's academic background does not include a formal MSc, the Advisor of the Council of Deans will determine whether the educational level combined with the applicant's work and scientific output (articles, books) are sufficient for admission to the PhD Program.

  • Be sure that all documents are clearly readable and suitable for copying.
  • For the formal approval, by the Erasmus University's Council of Deans, the selection criterion must have been met and the applicant's documents must be complete.
  • After receiving all documents, the Erasmus staff will evaluate them and send them to the Council of Deans having the task as the Ph.D. Examination Committee of the University. This Committee has to ask advice of an independent organisation (NUFFIC) on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Education. This organisation evaluates all diplomas with respect to the entrance requirements of PhD Programs.
  • After an applicant has been approved, s/he will receive an official letter of notification of acceptance from the Rector Magnificus as chairman of the Council of Deans.
  • Please note that the total procedure can take several months before the final decision is made.
  • Program design and progress reports

  • The International Off-Campus PhD Program is designed on the basis of an ideal-type situation as a three-year program with an annual 2-week PhD INTENSIVE and self-study with interactive communication with the PhD supervisor(s). In practice, Off-Campus PhD candidates need 5 to 6 years in average to complete their PhD thesis.
  • The candidate is responsible for submitting quarterly progress reports via email to her/his advisor and the Program Management at Erasmus University. Other communications may also include telephone, Skype communication, and face-to-face meetings in the candidate's home research facilities or at Erasmus University.


After approval and support of the Board of Deans of Erasmus University each PhD candidate can consider an advisor for her/his PhD research during the PhD Intensive. Donald Huisingh, Wim Hafkamp, and JanJaap Bouma can be the advisor of the candidate (in Dutch promotor). Their scientific disciplines and environmental fields of interest and specialisation are:

Donald Huisingh:

Bio-Chemistry & Pathology; Cleaner Production, Cleaner Products, Industrial Ecology, Sustainability, Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainability Education;

Wim Hafkamp:

Environmental Economics; Environmental Management in Industry, Total Cost Accounting, Industrial Environmental Chain Management, Government - Industry Interface; Sustainability Management;

JanJaap Bouma:

Business Economy; Integrated Water Management Policy, Environmental Management Systems & Environmental Total Cost/Benefit Accounting;

Leo Baas:

Industrial Sociology & Business Management; Cleaner Production, Industrial Ecology, Organisational Learning processes for Sustainability, Multi-Actor Sustainability Policy, Sustainable Communities;

Frank Boons:

Organisational Sociology, Industrial Ecology, Organisational Theory, Networks, Product Policy

Relation with other disciplines and regional universities

The PhD Program reflects and builds upon the synergy among different scientific disciplines with regard to Cleaner Production, Cleaner Products, Industrial Ecology and Sustainability. In the PhD research guidance team, a combination of a professor with the holistic approach and a professor with specific scientific expertise is considered optimal. Three constructions can be involved during the research:

  • An advisor of the Erasmus PhD Program is supervisor;
  • An advisor and a co-advisor of the Erasmus PhD Program are supervisors;
  • An advisor of the Erasmus PhD Program and a University professor in the candidate's region are supervisors.

In the last option the University professor in the candidate's region will function in the position of co-advisor at an individual level. During the first year, an official bilateral agreement with Erasmus University will be established after reciprocal approval. The defence of the PhD dissertation is organised at Erasmus University in all constructions.


As pointed out earlier, several means of communication can be used for regular information exchange between candidates and the Erasmus University co-ordinators. Official documents such as, letters of acceptance of a person as a PhD candidate will be sent to the person via Airmail.

We use an Email list-service both for information exchange bilateral as well as for the whole group. Each participant will receive a Participants list. The number of PhD participants that use Skype for discussions, is growing.

We strive to publish newsletters four times a year.


The tuition fee is €11.000 for per academic year. This fee is paid during the first three years of participation. After the first three years, candidates pay an annual fee of €1720. (This amount might change a bit every year) Candidates are required to pay fees no later than in September of each study year.

The fee includes the costs of food and lodging during the annual intensive. The travel costs to the intensive are the responsibility of the PhD candidate. There are no dedicated scholarships available. However, Erasmus University's staff assists candidates in identifying possibilities for funding. They also provide assistance in applying for funding.

Specific items

Questions pertaining to items not addressed in this overview should be directed to the Coordinator of the International Off-Campus PhD Program on Cleaner Production, Cleaner Products, Industrial Ecology & Sustainability at:

Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Mandeville Building, Room T17-12
P.O. Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam
The Netherlands

T +31 10 408 2146
E Mrs. Yneke Steegstra: or Dr. Wim Hafkamp:


Rotterdam, Summer 2015