Universiteit Leiden

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Graduate School of Humanities

PhD Supervisors

As a supervisor, you are responsible for the supervision of your PhD candidate. Read here about your duties as supervisor and the procedures relating to this as well as which forms you will need.

“Supervising PhD candidates” course

The success of a PhD candidate depends in part on the guidance he or she receives from the supervisor. Members of staff who are supervising a PhD candidate for the first time are required to follow the Supervising PhD candidates course. This course offers insight into what supervisors can do to get the best out of their PhD candidate.

Starting a PhD

If you have been asked to act as supervisor, you are responsible for the following at the start of a PhD trajectory:

  • If you have been asked in writing to act as supervisor and have agreed, you have to draw up a study and supervision plan in consultation with the PhD candidate within three months.
  • If there are two, or even three, supervisors, determine among yourselves who will do what and record this in writing, providing copies for the PhD candidate.

Completing the PhD

As supervisor, you are responsible for the quality of the dissertation. If the candidate has almost finished his or her dissertation, you will evaluate whether the manuscript meets the requirements for a PhD. You will evaluate any changes that you agree on.

Approval of the dissertation

If you believe that the manuscript is ‘proof of competency in the independent conducting of scientific research’, you approve it. If there are other supervisor(s), this approval may only be issued once the other supervisor(s) have been consulted.

You must then send form 3 to the PhD candidate within six weeks of receipt of the manuscript. This states whether the manuscript has been approved. The dean and the Doctorate Board must receive a copy of this. Once the manuscript has been approved, the candidate will send you various propositions. If these meet the requirements, send them and your verdict on them to the dean.

The doctorate committee

You also have to ask the dean (using form 5a) to establish a doctorate committee. This is accompanied by a proposal of who should be a member of the committee. Also send sufficient copies of the dissertation for the members of the committee. As supervisor, you cannot be a member of the doctorate committee.

Within six weeks of receipt of the dissertation, the committee will inform you whether the candidate will be allowed to defend it.

The opposition committee

After the approval of the dissertation by the doctorate committee please use form 8a to submit a written proposal to the dean on who should be a member of the opposition committee. As supervisor, you cannot be a member of the opposition committee. The Rector and dean (or their appointed deputies) are the chair and secretary respectively.

The dean approves (or rejects) the proposed composition of opposition committee and also informs the supervisor, secretary of the Opposition Committee, secretary of the Doctorate Board and the beadle.

The beadle will determine the time and date of the PhD ceremony in consultation with you, the candidate and the dean.

Within 6 weeks of receipt of the dissertation, the committee will inform you whether the candidate will be allowed to defend it.

For more information and questions about the PhD defence, please contact the secretary of the Dean.

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