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The Graduate School of the Faculty of Behavioral and Movement Sciences is responsible for the quality of Research Master’s education and for the Training Plan Template of PhD-candidates.

This page provides information about Research Master's programmes and gives general and specific information for both PhD-candidates and their promotors. 

FGB-specific information for PhD candidates can be found in the dropdown menus below. Further university-wide information is available on the VU PHD portal, where everything from available training courses to information about the doctorate regulations to a general PhD FAQ can be found. 

Graduate School


    The Doctorate Regulations of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (last amended on 15 July 2021) officially establish the rules to which the PhD trajectory is bound. These regulations are applicable to all individuals conducting PhD-research under the supervision of a VU-based promotor and who intend to defend their thesis at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

    Here you will also find the FGB implementation of the doctorate regulations. On behalf of the Faculty of Behavior and Movement Sciences, the PhD Education Committee (PEC) is the decisive authority about Training and Supervision Plans.

    All PhD candidates must be registered in Hora Finita. The initial registration of a PhD candidate in HF will be done by the secretariat of the faculty board (Bestuurssecretariaat), upon the request by the supervisor or department manager. All planned training activities can be registered in Hora Finita under the heading ‘Training plan’ in the field ‘plan first year’ and ‘plan subsequent years’ and must include ECTS. If necessary, a PDF may be uploaded with the planned training activities. Information about Hora Finita can be found in the user manuals. Some additional information about the Hora Finita registry and procedures. Please add this filled out template during the registry process.

    Additionally, see the FGB specific guidelines for the dissertation (conform article 17 of the doctorate regulations).


    PhD candidates at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam not only do research, but they also follow training courses for professional and personal development. FGB has set out compulsory themes that have to be covered, and courses within these themes are chosen by the candidate in agreement with the supervisor (promotor). Further details can be found in the ‘Doctorate Regulations at the Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences’. The PhD Education Committee (PEC) approves the quality and quantity of the selected training in advance.

    All candidates within the faculty, both internal and external, must complete training amounting to 30 ECTS (1 ECTS = 28 hours). All courses offered by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam can be found in the university’s study guide, including their number of credits. PhD candidates are free to incorporate courses from other universities in their TSP. The PhD candidate should contact the corresponding course coordinator to clarify if there are any doubts on the level and number of credits for the course. All course attended should at least be on MA-level to be approved. Examples of courses that will be approved can be found in the list of sample courses. Please note that this list contains a suggestion for courses; Updated information can be found on the course organizer’s website. 

    It is the responsibility of the PhD candidate to keep track of the courses s/he has completed during the trajectory, and to upload a portfolio in Hora Finita with certificates and any confirmations of activities that corresponds with the courses outlined in the Training and Supervision Plan. Deviations from the original plan are accepted as long as these have been approved in advance with the supervisor, and as long as the candidate ultimately completes at least the required 30 ECTS. Major alterations should also be approved by the PEC. The supervisor approves the training the PhD candidate has registered, and towards the end of the trajectory the PEC verifies that the candidate fulfils the requirements stipulated by the faculty. The PhD candidate will receive a training certificate by the supervisor during the graduation ceremony.



    Tuition fee
    PhD applicants can enroll in the FGB Graduate School in exchange for a yearly tuition fee, to cover costs of

    • Supervision
    • ICT (e.g. VUnet-id, email, access to library and scientific work available on Internet, access to computer software with reduced price)
    • Office space VU, including use of a computer

    The FGB Graduate School tuition fee is waived for:

    • Internal PhD candidates employed at FGB
    • External PhD candidates within programs for which waivers have been negotiated (CSC, Academic Workplaces, …)
    • Tuition fees may be (partly) waived in case of special circumstances, to be determined by the head of the Department hosting the PhD candidate.

    Tuition fee for PhD enrolling in 2019 or later: € 10.000/year. 

    In addition to tuition fee, applicants need to budget for:

    • Training budget: Courses, conferences in fulfillment of the education requirements (training budget with a minimum of €5000 for the whole project; see below)
    • Contribution to lab costs, as set by the host department or project (e.g., for use of equipment, data, technical support)
    • Other material costs for conducting the planned research

    Training budget
    As per May 1, 2017, all PhD candidates have a training budget. This is to cover possible costs of the required PhD training, e.g., course admission and congress visits up to a total of 30ECTs. The training budget should comprise at least €5.000, i.e. €1.250 or €1.667 per annum for a 4-year or a 3-year PhD project, respectively. 

    • For primary funded (1e geldstroom) PhD candidates, the department is responsible for providing a training budget;
    • PhD candidates on secondary funding (2e geldstroom), the corresponding grants (by, e.g., NWO, ZonMw, KNAW) include a so called benchfee that should serve as training budget;
    • For PhD candidates funded by industry, charity organisations, ERC or EU-funded projects (3e geldstroom), the promotor  is responsible for guaranteeing a training budget through the financing party.
    • For PhD candidates without a funding party (i.e. any of the above), the promotor1 is responsible for making an agreement with the candidate about the PhD training budget. The training budget (minimum €5.000) must be available at the outset of the PhD trajectory. 
    • If no (implicit) agreements have been made regarding the training budget, e.g., for projects with one of the above funding that started before the introduction of the new Doctorate Regulations on April 1, 2015, the department (c.q. the promotor1) must provide the necessary finances for the necessary training. 

    The expected training costs and the corresponding funding have to be detailed prior to the start of the training, together with the training plan in Hora Finita. 

    By default, training costs will be charged to the corresponding project budget number. In the case of financial support through the department, business control will supply the PhD candidate with a budget number for his/her training at the start of the project, to guarantee a training budget of up to €5.000. Any unused funds will be returned to the faculty.

    In all cases, the promotor* is responsible for specifying funding and monitoring its use for training throughout the PhD project.

    *The promotor can delegate this to the co-promotor(es): The person(s) who supervises the PhD candidate in the process culminating in a dissertation and performs the conferral of the doctorate.

    PhD Reimbursement
    As of 1 January 2017, the PhD defence reimbursement will be paid by the Faculty (i.e. FGB). All FGB PhD candidates that have provided the University Library with a licence for non-exclusive publication of the dissertation in electronic form, if necessary with a temporary publication embargo, are entitled to a PhD defence reimbursement of € 500,-. Read more on the application for the PhD Reimbursement

    If an (external) PhD candidate meets all of the following requirements, they may also qualify for an additional expense allowance of €300 in addition to the standard expense allowance of €500 (bringing the total expense allowance to €800): 

    • The PhD candidate is employed by Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam or is an external PhD candidate with their own time-dependent scholarship or stipend;
    • The (external) PhD candidate meets the timeliness requirement of their contract (full time max 4 years, part time max 5 years at 0.8 fte). The date of admission to the dissertation defense, signed by the dean, must therefore be before the end date specified in the training and supervision plan at that time. 

    Travel fund
    PhD-candidates who want to pursue part of their training/education abroad, can be partly funded by the faculty (c.q. graduate school), to compensate for extra expenses related to the period abroad. There are two submission rounds annually, May 1 and November 1, and applications are only considered when the application form is completely filled in. The PhD candidate may submit the application, ensuring that the department head is included in the CC. The PhD-Education Committee (PEC) has the final decision as to whether a request for funding will be endorsed. 

    FGB Junior Career Award
    The faculty (c.q. the PEC) annually awards the FGB Junior Career Award to a talented PhD student who have recently defended their thesis or are in their final stages of preparing their thesis. The award of €500 is granted to the candidate as an appreciation of his/her contribution to the scientific field of study and as encouragement in the early stage of an academic career. The nomination must be put forward by the head of the department, and every department may nominate one candidate per year by sending the application to the PEC. The PEC will evaluate the submitted applications and interview invited candidates. The department head and the PhD candidate will be informed of the outcome within 6 weeks of the deadline.

    The FGB Junior Career Award was first awarded in 2017. The names of the winners can be found below and will be updated annually.

    YearName WinnerDepartment
    2017Junhui Wu, PhDExperimental and Applied Psychology                                                    
    2018Angelo Romano, PhDExperimental and Applied Psychology 
    2019Bastian Pietras, PhDHuman Movement Science
    2020Yayouk Willems, PhDBiological Psychology
    2021Sanne Bruijniks, PhDClinical Neuro and Developmental Psychology
    2022Ruddy faure, PhDExperimental and Applied Psuchology
    2023Lianne de Vries, PhDBiological Psychology



    The PhD Education Committee (PEC) comprises members from the various department of the faculty, view the names of the committee members

    Please contact the PEC in case of any further questions about the training plan. Other questions regarding Hora Finita can be addressed to the Gaduate School FGB (mail).

    Information for PhD candidate
    If you have questions regarding your PhD traject, please first contact your supervisor. If you cannot discuss the issues with your supervisor, contact the PEC. 

    In case of more personal problems (with your supervisor), you can contact one of the confidential counsellors of the faculty or get in touch with a counsellor outside you own faculty at the VU. Please find an overview of confidential counsellors, scroll down to page end.

    If this help is not sufficient, you can also get in touch with the ombudsman Lies Poesiat


    Information for supervisor

    Ius promovendi
    On June 6, 2017 a new law has been passed in the Netherlands enabling that the ius promovendi can be awarded to persons with a doctorate other than Full Professors. The law came into effect in September 2017, and required an amendment of the Doctorate Regulations of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.



    Good supervision and mental well-being prevent PhD students from dropping out. Early detection is crucial to prevent (escalation of) problems. Therefore, the PhD candidate advisor acts as an accessible contact point for PhD candidates. They are available to PhD candidates to exchange ideas about the PhD track, discuss problems concerning scientific integrity, inappropriate behavior and general concerns, and to function as a sounding board. The PhD candidate advisor also pays attention to the mental well-being of PhD candidates and keeps track of the PhD research progress.


    The tasks of the PhD candidate advisors are:

    • Visible presence by 1) going to the departments, 2) participating in activities for PhD candidates, such as the introduction for PhD candidates and 3) organizing, together with the Confidential Advisor on Scientific Integrity, an annual informal session for PhD candidates in which dilemmas are openly discussed.
    • Conducting interviews with PhD students at the beginning, halfway and end of the PhD trajectory.
    • Referral to confidential counsellor or others, if necessary.
    • Signaling and, if deemed necessary, escalating issues within the Graduate School. This is done with the consent of the PhD candidate or in an anonymous manner that cannot be traced back to the PhD candidate. The task of the PhD candidate advisor is limited to identifying issues and not checking.
    • Coordinating with the confidential counsellors and PhD representatives about what is needed to increase the well-being and job satisfaction of PhD candidates.
    • Providing feedback to the Faculty Board, for example by means of annual, concise, and anonymous reports.
    • Participation in a central network with PhD candidate advisors to share findings for monitoring and developing the VU-wide policy. The network can then provide feedback (again anonymized) via the Network of Graduate Schools (NoGS) to advise the Board of Deans (CvD).


  • Explore the Graduate School FGB on Canvas

    Explore the Graduate School FGB on Canvas

    Tailored for PhD candidates, supervisors, and Candidate Advisors, this Canvas site is a collaborative effort with insights from the PhD council and PhD candidate advisors. Enrollment is open to everyone interested.

    What to Expect:
    The Canvas site is thoughtfully organized to offer a comprehensive collection of links, training materials, and resources crucial to your doctoral journey. Engage in discussions through the dedicated board for questions and feedback. You can also share events, courses, and proposals.

    Module Overview:

    1. Introduction: Get acquainted with Graduate School FGB.
    2. Start: Essential information for VU employees.
    3. Prepare: Insights into Hora Finita and your TSP.
    4. Plan: Guidance for initiating your research project.
    5. Sign Up: Discover available courses.
    6. Search: Explore the resources at the VU library.
    7. Explore: Learn about travel grants and additional perks.
    8. Reach Out: Access (mental) support and expand your network.
    9. FAQ: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

    Please do not hesitate to reach out should you have any queries or require further clarification. Your engagement with these modules is highly encouraged.