Finishing your PhD

When you are nearing the end of your PhD project, there is a lot you will have to take care of. This list below will help and guide you through this process, and has pointed out the most important things you need to know.

During your PhD

  • Sign up for Hora Finita: www.horafinita.eur.nl
    • Full Hora Finita manual can be found here: www.eur.nl/en/media/2019-05-manual-phd-candidate11
  • Write a Training and Supervision Plan (TSP), work on your portfolio (30 ECTs) and have progress interviews with your supervisors (after 6, 9 and 12 months, and 2, 3 and 4 years).
    • Update your TSP each year
    • For the progress interviews, it is good to have notes of each
    • meeting and send it to the person responsible for this within HR of your department, so that they can add it to your portfolio.
    • The format for the TSP can be found on intranet

PhD requirements

  • Erasmus MC policy:

The quality of the thesis should be satisfactory. An important indicator for academic quality is the publication of all or various parts of the PhD research in academic journals or an equivalent academic publication.

The guideline is that the thesis should contain at least four peer-reviewed international academic publications (accepted or published), at least two of which should be first-author works, and at least two in the first quartile of the scientific field concerned.

  • 4 peer-reviewed international academic publications (accepted or published)
  • 2 first-author works
  • 2 in the first quartile of the scientific field concerned.

This guideline allows, for example, scope for high-risk research, for differences in publication policy, and for differences in publication opportunities in a range of fields.

The thesis should deal with one single topic and be coherent.

The PhD student should have made an essential personal contribution to the PhD research. (please note: contribution, not be solely responsible!)

The thesis should contain a portfolio (30 ECTs are required), which specifies all the courses and conferences the candidate has attended and the teaching he or she has done.

Note: In some fields 4 publications during your PhD is rare and a big stress factor for many. When your promotor finds your work sufficient you can promote, even without meeting these guidelines.

Process surrounding defending your PhD

  • You get to pick two paranymphs
    • They will help with the practical stuff around your defense
    • They can help you fold booklets, distribute invites, manage the crowd and speak at your defense party
  • A plagiarism scan takes place when you have submitted your full thesis manuscript to Hora Finita.
  • Subcommittee
    • Composition: 4 people (including promotor)
    • Documents required to be handed in to the subcommittee
      • Introduction, Discussion, Summary in English + Dutch and propositions
    • Defense date will be approximately 5 months after sending the manuscript to the subcommittee
  • After approval from subcommittee, you will compose the full committee (minimum of 6, maximum of 8 people)
  • Set a defense date
    • Contact the beadle
    • Check if all your supervisors + the whole committee are available
  • When you have a defense date, you will be invited by the beadle to have a walkthrough of the big day
  • Mock-defense: Try to organize a mock defense to practice answering questions and all the stress that comes with it
    • Choose friends and/or colleagues that have sufficient expertise to make you sweat
    • Schedule this at least 2 weeks before your defense date, so you have plenty of time to make adjustments/study.

The full document will all information regarding Doctoral Regulations can be found below: www.eur.nl/sites/corporate/files/EN_promotiereglement_2015.vastgesteld_door_CvP.jan16.pdf

  • Printing your thesis (see www.proefschriftmaken.nl/en/ for more information)
    • Number of booklets: the beadle always wants a specific number, your department, and don’t forget to ask your supervisory team if they want some extra

PhD defense day (The Big Day!!)

  • The defense is 1 hour (15 minutes “Lekenpraatje” and 45 minutes questions from the committee)
  • Try to enjoy it, you have worked so hard the last couple years; this is YOUR day!
    • Remember: your thesis already got approved so relax and enjoy!

After your PhD defense

  • Dr. and then?
    • What do you want to do after your PhD?
      • Start thinking on time
      • Use help if available (career advisor etc.)
      • Plan a visit with the career centre to get help for career orientation (loopbaancentrum @erasmusmc.nl)

Tips and Tricks

  • Keep your Hora Finita up to date during your PhD trajectory
  • Make plans regarding your thesis concrete in an early phase of your trajectory (which chapters etc.)