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Applying for a phd programme at wageningen university.

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Applying for a PhD programme at WUR can be a tad confusing. At least it was for me when I started reading about it. There are many ways of becoming part of this high-ranked university and research institution. But that only means there are many opportunities to be part of significant research around the world!

The four-year PhD programmes at Wageningen University & Research mainly consist of conducting research and writing a final dissertation. It is also possible to spend 10% of the time on teaching and up to 15% of the time on training,  participating in courses, competence and skills training, seminars, conferences and workshops.

In this blog, I will introduce you to the basic steps of applying for a PhD programme at Wageningen University & Research.

The first thing you need to know is that there different types of PhD candidates:

a. Employed candidates.

Graduate schools recruit research assistants through vacancy announcements and interviews. You can find an overview of current research assistant vacancies on the PhD vacancies page . These PhD candidates have an employment contract with Wageningen University. The candidates have four to five-year temporary contracts for a trajectory directed to a PhD graduation. They do not need to pay a tuition fee. They actually get paid for doing their PhD (getting paid for researching? Count me in!). WUR also has research employees who do not yet have a PhD. In this case, arrangements are made designed to help them complete a doctoral research project.

b. Scholarship candidates.

Scholarship PhD candidates have received a fellowship without an employment contract. These include PhD candidates in a sandwich construction who are not employed by an institute in their home country. By sandwich construction, WUR means that these PhD candidates have a home institute which takes care of funding. However, it goes beyond funding. The aim of the Sandwich PhD Programme is capacity building, building international scientific networks, facilitating exchange and reinforcing the knowledge basis of their PhD candidates’ home institution. If you would like to know more about these programmes click on this link .

c. Externally financed candidates.

These PhD candidates are employed by an institute/organization other than WUR. The main relation with WUR is via the supervisors. They can be PhD candidates appointed at an external research institute or employees appointed at an external research institute, with the possibility to follow a PhD trajectory in addition to the regular tasks connected to the employment contract.

d. External candidates

External PhD candidates do not have any funding or employment contracts with a research institute. These candidates do their research on their own time. And just like the externally financed candidates, the main relation with WUR is via the supervisors.

As you may have guessed by now, each type of candidacy has its own timeline. The differences rely on the type of funding, the kind of research you would like to pursue, as well as your geographical location. However, there is a basic process to follow for applying to the PhD programme at WUR:

  • Orientation: thoroughly read the information about the PhD programme.
  • Applying: a. Reply on a PhD vacancy application. Just like applying to any other job, you can reply to PhD vacancies at WUR. Each vacancy has a detailed description of the research and the supervisors. You can find vacant positions here . b. Approach a Graduate School. WUR has six Graduate Schools, that have three main tasks: to coordinate, develop and facilitate doctoral education and training; to stimulate and coordinate the development of a coherent research programme within the mission of the graduate school; and to safeguard, monitor and stimulate the quality and progress of research by staff, postdocs and PhD candidates. You can find more information about the graduate schools on https://weblog.wur.eu/trail-of-tears-essay/ .
  • First evaluation: if the application meets the Graduate School’s requirements and conditions, the committee will send it to a supervisor for further evaluation.
  • Second evaluation: during this second evaluation, the supervisor will evaluate the candidate using specific criteria which you can find castle essay introduction . Afterwards, the supervisor has to consult an HR advisor in order to check that fellowship finances some from outside WUR.
  • Registration:The laws of life essay examples informs the Graduate School about the intended registration of the PhD candidate. The graduate school opens registration in Hora Finita and the PhD candidate is in charge of uploading the required documents.
  • Admission: the PhD candidate signs the contract or employment agreement with the department, and the tuition fees are paid when required. The PhD candidate has an introduction meeting with the Graduate School. If the PhD candidate needs to take courses at a BSc or MSc level, the Graduate School must register the candidate as a student.

As they say “good things take time”, WUR may take some weeks to respond, as Wageningen receives many PhD applications. If you want to know more details about applying, the specific requirements and the timeline of the PhD programme at WUR, you can find it at the https://weblog.wur.eu/example-of-an-interview-essay-format/ .

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Starting as VLAG PhD

Prospective phd candidates.

To apply for a PhD position we would like to refer you to PhD Programme of Wageningen University .

Registration as PhD candidate at the VLAG office

Before the start of your PhD project, your supervisor/chair secretary needs to register you at VLAG Graduate School. For registration use the VLAG registration form . The form needs to be send to VLAG office . Make sure to check the registration proces of Wageningen University and the checklist before registering .

Your starting point to find the information you need as WUR PhD candidate is the WUR PhD Programme webpage, where you can find information on Rules & Regulations, Overview of Procedures along a timeline, Moving to & Living in Wageningen, etc.

Educational Programme - Training and Supervision Plan

PhD candidates should spend 15% of their PhD research contract on their education programme . The arrangements regarding the contents of the educational programme are formalised within a Training and Supervision Plan (TSP). The TSP is an instrument providing statutory rights and obligations to the PhD candidate and the supervisors. The TSP contains:

A description of the educational programme of the PhD candidate. This part of the document should be seen as a declaration of intent and should be formulated upon consultation with the thesis supervisor.

  • A description of the teaching responsibilities of the PhD candidate. Teaching duties consist of assistance during laboratory practicals and supervision of undergraduates.
  • An agreement concerning the supervision provided by thesis supervisor and co-supervisor.

All PhD candidates are obliged to submit the TSP within 3 months after the start date.

For additional information on the TSP, click here .

Submitting PhD research proposal

As part of the formal admittance procedure a research proposal has to be submitted within 6 months. The template, procedure and review feedback form can be found below.

PhD research proposal documents:

VLAG PhD research proposal PROCEDURE

VLAG PhD research proposal TEMPLATE



For new VLAG PhD candidates we organise the VLAG PhD week . This course is a compulsory part of the VLAG education programme.

If you have any questions about the information above, please contact Yvonne Smolders or Cornelia van Bree-Evers .

  • Project Proposal

You are here

  • Registration at PE&RC
  • Introduction meeting
  • Training and Supervision Plan (TSP)
  • Go / No-go evaluation

PhD project proposal

As part of the formal admittance procedure of the graduate school PE&RC, a full PhD project proposal needs to be handed in within 6 months after the start of a new PhD project. This proposal needs to be written by the PhD candidate and signed by the candidate, their promotor, and the head of the chair group. To ensure that all aspects of the proposed research are being dealt with, a PhD project proposal form has been created.

The general PE&RC Project Proposal form can be found  here .

A specific PhD Project Proposal form for PhD candidates of Naturalis can be found here .


The PE&RC PhD Project Proposal procedure was last changed on 27 May 2016. PhD candidates benefit from a well-conceived proposal that includes their ideas and ambitions, provides a quick start, and offers flexibility when needed. The PE&RC PhD proposal is written by the candidate with consultation and feedback from the supervising team prior to submitting it. Even when a peer-reviewed grant proposal (such as NWO-granted projects) is already available at the start of the PhD project, we expect the PhD candidate to work out their take on the matter and develop this into a PE&RC PhD proposal which is subsequently submitted (accompanied by the original peer-reviewed proposal plus reviewer reports and replies, plus the official acceptance letter of the funding agency) to PE&RC for evaluation. These projects will be evaluated on those aspects that have not (sufficiently) been subject to peer review yet. PhD candidates who are registered with PE&RC while already in an advanced stage of their PhD project do not need to submit a full PE&RC PhD proposal but a proposal in which the following should be addressed: outline of the project, what has been accomplished so far and intended research activities in PE&RC.

Aim and Procedures

The main objective of the Graduate School is to safeguard quality of PhD projects with respect to scientific quality and originality, feasibility and intellectual challenge. When the proposal is completed and approved by the supervisors, the proposal is submitted in digital form (PDF) to the secretariat of the graduate school ( [email protected] ), together with four to five suggestions for independent reviewers. The graduate school selects 2-3 independent reviewers and sends the proposal out for review. The reviewers are asked to evaluate the proposal on:

  • Scientific quality and originality Originality of the subject, methodology, relevance / importance / scientific perspectives
  • Feasibility Can the proposed research be executed in the proposed time frame? Are the proposed methods / techniques correct, is the work plan adequate, are logistical issues adequately covered, is there sufficient supervision, is cooperation with other groups required and, if so, has this been initiated, and is there sufficient funding for this project?
  • Intellectual challenge in the context of a PhD project Opportunity for broadening insight and activities to other levels of aggregation, systems, or situations, interdisciplinary options and implications of the research

In many cases, the suggestions of the reviewers lead to further improvement of the project proposal. In some cases major revisions are needed before the proposal is approved. In rare cases a proposal is rejected, which means that the project must be rewritten or the candidate may not continue at the time of the GO / NO-GO decision. The decision regarding the approval of the project proposal lies with the Scientific Director of PE&RC and is based on the reports of the reviewers, the rebuttal of the candidate and their supervisor(s), and potential amendments to the project proposal. Full project proposals must be sent to the graduate school in the requested format within 6 months after the start of the PhD study . The PhD candidate and/or their supervisor(s) should contact the graduate school office a.s.a.p. in case of special conditions why this term cannot be met. The graduate school then takes this into consideration and may allow a fixed-term extension of the deadline for submitting the PE&RC PhD proposal.

Selection of reviewers

The project team plays an important role in the selection of independent reviewers. A list of potential reviewers willing to review the project proposal is the most important aspect determining the speed of the review process. We stress that the most important task of the reviewers is to critically reflect on the proposal to safeguard and further improve quality and feasibility of a PhD project and that therefore it is not a problem that potential reviewers are contacted by the project team to check their willingness to review prior to submission of the project proposal to PE&RC. Subsequently, PE&RC will select the actual reviewers from the proposed reviewers, and will send them the project proposal and an evaluation form. Preferably, a mix of reviewers from inside and outside the organisation is proposed.

Without the approval of a PhD project, a PE&RC education certificate will not be granted (in the case of WU a PhD graduation is still possible but in that case the chair group will not receive the full output financing). Secondly, all WU PhD candidates need to pass a GO / NO-GO evaluation within 18 months after the start of the PhD Project. An approved project proposal is one of the prerequisites for receiving a GO decision, and the graduate school cannot register a GO decision in the WU PhD registration system PROMIS if the project proposal has not been approved yet.

Standard procedure and timeline for the approval of PE&RC PhD projects

  • PE&RC PhD proposals (approved by the supervisors and in the PE&RC format (see www.pe-rc.nl/pe-rc_forms ) have to be submitted to the Graduate School within 6 months after the start of the PhD project. In case of projects that already underwent a scientific peer review prior to submission to PE&RC the original proposal plus reviewer reports and replies, plus the official acceptance letter of the grant agency need to be sent along. In these cases the PE&RC office will determine how the review procedure will look like.
  • Outline of the project (actually outline of the thesis)
  • What has been accomplished so far
  • Intended research activities to be performed to finalise the PhD research.
  • The PhD candidate can submit a motivated request to the graduate school for a fixed-term extension of the deadline for submission of the PE&RC PhD Proposal. This request should always be supported by the supervisor(s) of the project.
  • Once received, the PE&RC PhD proposal is sent to 2-3 independent reviewers, selected and approached by PE&RC office within 1 week after receipt of the proposal. The selection of reviewers is mainly based on the list of 4-5 potential reviewers put forward by the applicants. It is allowed to involve reviewers that are part of other collaborations under the condition that these reviewers are able to provide an independent review. It is recommended to provide a mixture of reviewers inside and outside the university where the defence will take place. It is also recommended that the applicants check in advance the reviewers’ willingness to review the proposal. Please note that reviewers need to have ample experience to be able te review the proposal. When a reviewer does not have PhD degree we ask you to provide us with a motivation for this reviewer. 
  • The selected reviewers are asked to return their review within 3 weeks after acceptance of the review request and receipt of the project proposal. When a reviewer has agreed to review the proposal they will receive a reminder within a week after the deadline for submission of the review. A minimum of 2 completed reviews is required.
  • Within two weeks after receipt of the last reviewer report, the scientific director of PE&RC will consider the reports and they will be sent, together with the comments of the director, to the applicants.
  • When applicable, the applicants are asked to return their rebuttal digitally to the secretariat of the  graduate school ( [email protected] ),  within 1 month after receipt.
  • When applicable, the rebuttal of the applicants will be assessed by the director. He may then approve the proposal or send the revised proposal to one or more additional reviewers. In all cases, the applicants will be informed within 2 weeks after receipt of the applicants’ rebuttal.
  • The procedure is finalised by an official approval in Hora Finita or in case of Non Wageningen PhD, a letter that is sent by the director to the applicants. A CC of this letter, with the rebuttal and/or final version of the PE&RC PhD Proposal is also sent to the reviewers, for their information.

Data Management Support

PE&RC attaches great importance to well managed research data. At Wageningen University, all expertise in relation to Data Management support is represented at the Data Management Support Hub . Here, you can find information on a wide range of topics like data management planning, managing your source code and publishing your final data. Data Management Support also offers a course on data management planning.

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Event November 13: AI in the food system: (how) can we ensure AI contributes to sustainability?

  • #agriculturalsciences
  • #computerscience
  • #environmentalscience
  • #technology

On November 13 , the ELSA lab " AI for Sustainable Food Systems " at Wageningen University & Research is organizing an event where innovative software developers and hardware suppliers, researchers, policy makers and supply chain partners will discuss the latest trends and developments in AI. Topics of discussion are the opportunities and risks of AI applications in the food system .

During this event, software and hardware developers can learn about the new AI Act and also have the chance to experience an ELSA Scan demonstration. Furthermore, there will be ample opportunity to network with other key players in the AI agri-food system.

For researchers and funders, this event offers the opportunity to learn more about new AI developments from the field, such as autonomous tractors or picking robots. Furthermore, the working group on Agriculture & Food of the Dutch AI coalition (NL AIC) will give a presentation about new AI developments in agri-food systems in the Netherlands and the ELSA hub will share its vision with participants.

What? Event about trends in research and practice about ELSA in the food system

When? November 13, 2023, 09.30 – 17.00 (drinks afterwards)

Where? Wageningen Campus, Omnia building

For who? Software and hardware developers, financers, researchers and others active in AI in the food system

Please visit this webpage for more information about the event, a detailled programme and registration.

Wageningen Graduate Schools Sandwich PhD programme

  • #biologicalsciences

The aim of the Wageningen Graduate Schools (WGS) Sandwich PhD Programme is capacity building: a way for the university to reach out to like-minded scientific institutes to build international scientific networks, to facilitate exchange and to reinforce the knowledge basis of these institutes.

Content of the programme

A sandwich PhD candidate spends the first part (around nine months) of the PhD project at Wageningen University. During this time the research proposal is expanded and a tailor-made education and training programme is started up. Where possible and applicable, research is also started.

The next thirty months are spent conducting research in the home country of the candidate under the supervision of a local supervisor who is also the copromotor. Sandwich PhD candidates have regular (online) contact with their supervisors at Wageningen University. Sandwich PhD candidates often return to Wageningen for short visits, and a Wageningen University supervisor will, during critical times of the research, visit the PhD candidate’s home institute.

After the research in the home country is finished, the candidate returns to Wageningen University to finish the PhD thesis, which takes approximately nine months. The local supervisor will act as copromotor at the graduation ceremony.

Information for candidates

The call for the WGS sandwich PhD programme opens once per year, usually in spring. The calls are published on this website. The WU sandwich scholarship is a personal grant. Applications are submitted by the intended promotor of a PhD project. Proposed PhD candidates should:

be suitable for achieving the aim of capacity building

have a convincing Curriculum Vitae for a PhD position at WU

have a strong motivation and an original and innovative research idea

fulfil the  entry requirements  of the WU PhD programme (recognised master diploma, English proficiency) and be a national from one of the selected countries for this programme

be employed at the home institute during the entire PhD trajectory.

To apply for a WGS sandwich PhD position, you will have to find a promotor from Wageningen University who will endorse your innovative research idea (list of chair groups and contact information can be found  here ) and would like to be your promotor. A promotor can submit one WGS sandwich PhD proposal per round. In addition, you will need to provide proof of commitment from your home institute.

Your intended promotor has to submit the application form plus all the required annexes (in one compiled file).

It is a plus if you remain employed at your home institute after completion of your PhD programme. If no clear link between you and your home institute exists, your application will not be taken into consideration.

Selection criteria

Collaboration WU and home institution Including quality and infrastructure of supervising groups, institutional support and quality of the relationship between home institute and WU.

Quality of the candidate Including motivation, CV and link with the home institute.

Quality of the proposal Including originality, clarity, feasibility, and strategic contribution to the WU graduate school and chair group(s).

The grant of the WGS sandwich PhD programme covers living allowance for a total of 18 months in Wageningen, (partial) travel costs of candidate and WU/local supervisors, visa application costs and use of facilities.

Wageningen University will ensure supervision, education and training. The education budget and the costs for printing the thesis are not included in the budget. The chair group at which candidates conduct their research are expected to pay these costs.

Click here for more information and application form. 

Traineeship Integrale Gebiedsaanpak bij Wageningen University & Research

  • #informationscience

Ben jij ambitieus en op zoek naar antwoorden op de uitdagingen waar Nederland voor staat op het gebied van stikstof, klimaatverandering, duurzame landbouw en de inrichting van onze leefomgeving? Help jij mee om innovatieve oplossingen te vinden vanuit een multidisciplinaire aanpak en binnen de Integrale Gebiedsaanpak? En wil je ondertussen je eigen ontwikkeling in een stroomversnelling brengen? Lees dan snel verder! Wageningen University & Research (WUR) start op 1 maart 2023 een traineeprogramma op het thema Integrale Gebiedsaanpak (IGA) met een 15-tal net afgestudeerde MSc-studenten. Als trainee krijg je een 2-jarig programma aangeboden, waarin werken, innovatie en professionele, persoonlijke en groepsontwikkeling centraal staan. De inhoud van het werk speelt zich af binnen het brede thema Integrale Gebiedsaanpak, waarvoor de WUR een Taskforce heeft opgericht en een leidende rol speelt binnen het onderzoek in Nederland. De taskforce IGA ontwikkelt een WUR-brede aanpak voor integraal en gebiedsgericht werken, met aandacht voor duurzame bedrijfssystemen in de landbouw . Dat is ingegeven door de stapeling van problemen rond stikstof, water, klimaat, natuur die de komende jaren in de beperkte ruimte van Nederland moeten opgelost worden. Binnen het traineeship zoeken we enthousiaste mensen met verschillende achtergronden . Van ecologen tot economen, en van wiskundigen en modelleurs tot bestuurskundigen. Na afloop van het IGA kan je als trainee bij goed functioneren doorstromen naar reguliere functies binnen de onderzoeksinstituten, de universiteit of eventueel naar andere onderdelen binnen de WUR. Lees hier hoe het traineeprogramma werkt, wie wij zoeken en wat wij bieden! Reageren kan tot en met 12 december.

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Submit your best practice on the University of the Future!

Do you know a great example of an (educational) institution that has an effective and innovative organizational structure, educational initiative, research strategy, or any other interesting example that you would envision to be of added value in the University of the Future? Let us know by sharing your best practices.

  • Open the form

CDIO 2023: A week full of activities and inspiration!

Straight from the TEE conference in Boston, we challenged our jetlag and visited the CDIO 2023 conference in Trondheim, Norway! The conference, organized by NTNU, consisted of inspiring keynotes, presentations, roundtables, and workshops from higher education institutions from all over the world. Additionally, this was also the stage where we presented our paper 'Visualizing Extracurricular Student Teams Learning at TU/e innovation Space with CDIO Syllabus’, hosted our workshop ‘Enabling Learning and Competence Development of Students in Extracurricular Environments’, and organized our first full-day and in-person session for our international working group ‘Designing the University of the Future’. We cannot wait to share the results with you and follow-up with our working group in the coming months! 

  • Working Group Future Univeristy
  • Workshop EC learning and competence development
  • Paper on extracurricular student learning

phd timeline wur

TEE 2023: Taking the University of the Future abroad!

After our first convergence workshop it was time to take our project to the international stage, the TEE 2023 conference in Boston, USA. This international symposium on problem-based learning was organized by MIT, Harvard and Aalborg University. Next to the numerous instructive guided discussions and workshops that we attended we also took the opportunity to visit the campuses of Harvard, MIT and Olin and meet with inspiring colleagues. The week ended with our own ‘Designing the University of the Future’ workshop. The great input, feedback and attention we got made this last day a perfect ending to a successful visit! 

  • Workshop Future University

Our first convergence workshop is a wrap!

We are very happy to share that our first convergence workshop was very insightful! Colleagues from within the Eindhoven University of Technology, as well as outside stakeholders, joined us in working out the artifacts of the University of the Future in more detail. This was also the first time we could test our newly developed card deck. Both on process and content level we learned a lot from this session, and we are very excited to continue our journey in shaping the University of the Future together! Do you want to see the implementations of the artifacts of the University of the Future that the groups came up with during the session? You can see the inspiring design via MIRO.

  • Open MIRO board

phd timeline wur

We published the University of the Future card deck!

Over the last months we have been working hard to collect and analyze a great amount of input from all of you on the high-level building blocks of your ideal University of the Future. These building blocks will form the basis of the further development of the University of the Future project. To be able to use the outcomes of the divergence workshops and our internal research in an effective way we have created a card deck which we will use during the workshops in the upcoming convergence phase of the project. Are you curious about the collected building blocks? You can find the first version of the card deck in MIRO.

Co-Creation Session with professionals: Life Long Learning through Challenge-Based Learning 

On June 6th, TU/e innovation Space, in collaboration with ECBO, HAN University of Applied Sciences, and Wageningen University & Research, hosted an unique co-creation session that brought together professionals active in Challenge-Based Learning (CBL) as Challenge Owners. The session was a joint initiative of the 'Learning in the innovation hub' project of TU/e innovation Space and a collaborative research initiative of ECBO, HAN, and WUR harmonizing insights from CBL practices and scholarly research.

The TU/e project aims to intensify its collaboration with its ecosystem partners to further develop education, specifically addressing the emergent needs of CBL, thereby promoting continuous learning for professionals and broadening TU/e's accessibility to industry professionals seeking skill enhancement.

An important aspect of this development is the growth of thematic ecosystems, such as sustainable industry, where students, reseachers, industry professionals, societal organizations, policy makers, citizens, and others can collaborate on challenges. The co-creation session focused on the exploration and discussion on the learning opportunities that Challenge-Based Learning offers professionals, and how we can best shape these to enhance Life Long Learning for professionals. 

phd timeline wur

Co-creation sessions on extracurricular learning staff members

We have conducted a co-creation session with staff members at TU/e, including members of the Honors Academy, Extracurricular cluster (TU/e innovation Space), working group personal & professional development (P&PD), and employability chain. The goal of the session was to show the outcomes of the co-creation sessions with student teams, and first ideas/directions for possible educational interventions to help make extracurricular learning more explicit/visible. Next to this, we explored and ideated solutions for their more specific questions, following an institutional perspective: 1) How might we support students in identifying the competences they want to develop? 2) How might we strike a balance between providing students with structured support for learning while empowering them to pursue their individual learning paths? 3) How might we validate EC student learning, while considering the open nature of the learning experience? Next to the ideas gathered with student teams, the outcomes of this session will serve as building block towards the design of educational interventions we aim to pilot as early as September 2023.

We initiated an international working group!

We believe that it is vital to step outside our own bubble during this project. This is why we try to involve all types of stakeholders during every step of the way. An important part of this is getting inspired by, and discussing and brainstorming with, international peers. This is why we took the initiative to set up an international working group. The initial participants of this working group are very diverse with university colleagues from Singapore, India, South-Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, France, Northern-Ireland and the Netherlands. We already had an online meeting to get to know each other, but we will visit the CDIO conference in Trondheim for the official kick-off of this working group with a full-day workshop and hope to continue the collaboration permanently. Are you also interested in joining this working group? Do not hesitate to contact us!

  • Send us an e-mail

phd timeline wur

 Feb-April 2023

Co-creation sessions on extracurricular learning student teams

Over a period of three months, we had a series of inspiring sessions with student teams and their members about extracurricular learning. In this sessions, we had the opportunity to discuss the personal interests and aspirations, and how students see/envision that individual learning can be organized within their teams. The sessions followed a three steps were guided by our team members, and canvases designed to support these discussions. The last step addressed the question of how to make extracurricular student learning more visible/explicit, aiming to ideate solutions –by students− for students. The outcomes of these sessions helped us identity important elements/considerations when ideating educational interventions for this learning environment.

Co-creating with stakeholders

We kicked-off the University of the Future project with a vibrant co-creation session with a wide range of stakeholders. Participants from, among others, the TU/e, Brainport, and other Higher Education Institutions provided us with valuable input by sharing the building blocks of their ideal TU/e of 2050. In their article  Dreaming about the university of the future Cursor wrote about this promising kick-off.

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phd timeline wur


phd timeline wur


Introducing the University of the Future project

As the winner of the first Dutch Higher Education Award, and the European Triple E Award, TU/e innovation Space is a front-runner in educational innovation.

The main reason for the leading position of TU/e innovation Space, is our strong connection with all types of stakeholders from the region as well as our (inter)national connections. In the University of the Future project we will envision and concretize the TU/e of 2050. How will this future TU/e be structured? How will the educational journey look like within this university? What role does this future TU/e have in the Brainport ecosystem? These are all questions that we want to answer.

  • Open our project plan

Winning the Higher Education Award

As TU/e innovation Space we are incredibly proud, as it is a huge honor to accept this award on behalf of everyone involved in our community, from students to staff and industry partners from the Brainport Eindhoven Innovation ecosystem. Our goals is to make an impact on both education and societal challenges. At TU/e innovation Space we provide a framework for Challenge-Based Learning (CBL), where students learn while solving real-world challenges, enabling the next generation engineers to develop the skills necessary to thrive in an ever-changing world. We facilitate innovation & entrepreneurship and stimulate our students to start projects to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. 

phd timeline wur

More about the project

Background information, back to the project page.

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  • Postgraduate research (PhD)

Timeline of a PhD

A typical PhD, taken over 3-4 years, is structured as follows:

First three months

During your first 3 months you settle in and prepare an initial research plan with your supervisor.

Your research plan gives a statement of the general topic area, an initial formulation of the issues to be addressed, a list of principal references on which the work will draw, and objectives for the first year of study. Your supervisor may also ask you to attend some of the undergraduate lectures.

You will also need register for the Graduate School's Professional Skills programme . If you are a non-native English speaker you will also have your English language ability assessed.

First six months

You can expect to spend your first 6 months undertaking literature searches and defining your project. You will have regular meetings with your supervisor. You will also meet the personal tutor (a member of staff from a different research group).

Months 7-18

You continue to work on your research project, and will have the opportunity to attend the  Graduate School's Professional Skills courses on advanced writing, career planning, presentation and progressing.

An Early Stage Assessment is submitted by the end of month 9.

This report sets out the main research areas, details of work done so far, and a programme for future work. You attend an interview with one or two assessors and your supervisor. This assessment confirms your suitability to continue with your PhD programme.

You will have also attended some, or all of, the  Graduate School's Professional Skills training   on topics such as professional conduct, project management, and a residential course on research skills and development.

Months 18-24

Late stage review (22 months after registration).

You will be required to submit a report that contains the contents page for your thesis, a statement of expected contributions, achievements to date and a plan for completion of work and thesis. You will be assessed by interview with one or more assessors and your supervisor.

Months 24-36

You continue working on your research project. You will also have the opportunity to attend courses on career planning, and completing your research.

At the end of 36th month, you will complete a Progress Review, which will determine whether you will be moving up to the writing up status or maintain active registration.

Months 36-48

Progress Review ( at 36 months ). It is decided whether you should move to writting up stage or have your acitve registration extended.

Thesis submission ( by the end of 48th month )

Your thesis is your account of the work you have done, which should form a distinct contribution to the knowledge of the subject and show evidence of originality by the discovery of new facts and/or the exercise of independent critical power. The thesis is examined by an oral exam. There are two examiners: one from Imperial College and one from another university. The oral exam usually lasts for 2-3 hours, and you will find out the result immediately after the exam.


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  1. What Percentage of Americans Have a PhD?

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