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Humanities PhD: Arrangements and Supervision

The Graduate School of Humanities forms the larger context in which you, as a PhD candidate, work and is glad to offer you a position within their community. The GSH considers your well-being, development and work-progress of fundamental importance. To this end, PhD tracks include several assessments and contact meetings.

Training and Supervision Plan

At the start of their track, each PhD candidate writes a Training and Supervision Plan (TSP).  The Training and Supervision Plan is a standard agreement between the PhD candidate and the supervisory team and is approved by the coordinator of the Graduate School. The TSP is a contract that protects your right to proper supervision, as well as appropriate training and education during your PhD journey. Part of the TSP is the mandatory educational programme of 30 ECTS developed by the Graduate School. The TSP must be submitted to the PhD coordinator within 3 months after the start of the PhD journey.


After 10 months, a stop/go assessment follows on the basis of a first report of the results and an updated work plan. See the stop/go form here. At this assessment the following persons are present: the PhD candidate, the supervisor(s), the director of the Graduate School and the PhD coordinator. In the following years, there will be annual assessments between the supervisor(s) and the PhD candidate. The stop/go assessment for self-funded PhD’s are scheduled by mutual agreement between the PhD candidate, the supervisory team and the GSH. There are no annual assessments for external PhD candidates. Each year, they will submit a succinct annual report to their supervisor(s) and to the Graduate School. For the format of this report, see form annual assessment external PhD candidates.

The Golden Rules for PhD Supervision

The Graduate School of Humanities supports adequate and beneficial supervision and promotes healthy and sustainable PhD-supervisor interactions.  To this end, and aligning with the four principles of the VU’s Art of Engagement, the GSH has adopted the ‘Golden Rules for PhD Supervision’ of Leiden University and adapted them to the VU’s Faculty of Humanities. Part of the Training and Supervision plan is a discussion of the VU’s GSH Golden Rules for PhD Supervision.