1. SEARCH FOR A SUPERVISOR
You must send the following documents to the team leader of the research team
- Letter of application
2. ASSESSMENT PRE-PROPOSAL
The prospective research team will look at your documents, and determine whether the team is willing to supervise. Then, the research team will look for a supervisor for you.
Your prospective supervisor will contact you, and discusses further steps to be taken.
3. OFFICIAL APPLICATION
(click here to find more information about admission requirements and your application)
Fill in your TSP and send it to your supervisor. In your TSP, you formally agree with your supervisor on the planning of your PhD trajectory, including the courses you are going to take and how your supervision will be conducted.
When your supervisor agrees with your TSP and has signed it, you can start with gathering all other necessary documents:
- Letter of Application
Send the documents listed above (in one package) by email to firstname.lastname@example.org (put your supervisor(s) in CC).
4. ACCEPTANCE TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
When all documents are received and in order, the graduate school will send you a letter of acceptance, a signed version of the TSP, and a few other important documents. Please also make sure that you read the VU Doctorate Regulations.
As soon as you have paid your membership fee, you are officially a member of the Graduate School of Religion and Theology! The yearly membership fee is € 500,-, and can be paid via this link. The annual fee must be paid every year before September 1st. Visit this webpage for more information about the fee.
The office of the Graduate School will make an account for you on Hora Finita, the online PhD registration system of VU. You will receive a ‘request for additional information’ to access your account. Here you can check the information that the graduate school already filled in. After your research proposal has been approved by the dean (step 8), your registration as PhD student at VU will be arranged through Hora Finita. Here, you can find a manual for Hora Finita.
5. WRITING YOUR RESEARCH PROPOSAL
You can now start with following your (mandatory) courses and writing your official research proposal. Arrangements made in your TSP (concerning your supervision and the courses which you are going to follow) are leading in this stage.
The Research Design module, which is mandatory for most of our PhD students, is specially designed to help you with writing your research proposal and your PhD thesis. You can subscribe for this course by filling in the application form.
6. RESEARCH TEAMS
When you and your supervisor(s) finalize the draft of your research proposal, your supervisor will see that the proposal is discussed at one of the faculty’s research teams during one of its regular meetings. You will be present during this meeting together with your supervisor. You will have to elaborate the feedback that was given before the proposal can go to the PPAC (see below, step 7).
7. SUBMITTING YOUR RESEARCH PROPOSAL
Use the feedback from the research team to improve your research proposal. Do this in cooperation with your supervisor(s). When you have done this, your supervisor will submit the final version of your research proposal to the PPAC (PhD Proposal Advisory Committee), whose members represent the FRT Professors Board. The PPAC convenes every month to discuss PhD proposals, and advises the dean about acceptance of the research proposal. The dean bases the decision to approve the research proposal on the advice of the PPAC.
You must submit your final research proposal to the PPAC within one year for full time students, or within two years for part time students, after your acceptance to the graduate school.
8. ADVICE FROM THE PPAC
Your supervisor informs you about the advice of the PPAC.
- When the PPAC gives a negative advise about your research proposal, you must improve the proposal by using the feedback from the PPAC. After this, your supervisor can resubmit the proposal (resume at step 7).
9. OFFICIAL REGISTRATION
When your registration has been completed, you will receive an email stating that you are now officially registered at VU as PhD candidate. You can start/resume writing your dissertation and following the remaining courses that you planned in your TSP. Again, the arrangements made in your TSP are leading.
You also get access to your personal dashboard in Hora Finita (click here for the manual). Here, you must upload the courses that you successfully completed in your portfolio. Please fill in all the details of the course, and upload evidence that you successfully completed the course, for example a certificate or email from the coordinator.
Your supervisor or the graduate school must approve all courses individually.
When all 30 ECs are completed and you have uploaded the courses in Hora Finita, you can request the graduate school to approve the portfolio as a whole. The graduate school will compare your portfolio to your TSP, and, when everything is in order, approve it.
10. UPLOAD MANUSCRIPT
Only when your portfolio has been approved, you can upload the final version of your manuscript. You should only upload your manuscript after approval of your supervisor(s). Your supervisors will receive a notification when you have uploaded the document.
(11. ASSESSMENT COMMITTEE)
Your supervisors assess the manuscript, using the relevant FRT criteria, and submit a brief assessment of the thesis. Furthermore, your supervisors will, together with the dean and the dean of research, install the doctorate committee who must assess the dissertation. Your supervisors are not part of this committee.
(12. RECOMMENDATION ASSESSMENT COMMITTEE)
Within 30 days after receiving your manuscript, all reviews of the doctorate committee should be in. Then, the chair of the doctorate committee receives an invitation from Hora Finita to prepare a report with a reasoned assessment based on the reviews.
- If there is enough consensus in the doctorate committee, a positive or negative recommendation will be submitted to the Dean and the Dean of research through Hora Finita.
(13. FINAL DECISION)
The dean decides through Hora Finita about rejection or acceptance of the manuscript, after receiving advice from the dean of research. If the candidate is allowed to revise the manuscript, the dean sets a deadline to resubmit. After resubmission, the process will recommence at step 12.
The decision is communicated by the dean to the doctorate committee and the supervisor. Your supervisor will communicate the decision of the dean to you.
Together with your supervisor, the secretariat of the Faculty of Religion and Theology, and the Beadle’s office, you will plan the defense of your dissertation. You can find more information about your defense here.
You can apply for a reimbursement of €500,- from VU for the costs of your PhD defense. Please contact the faculty secretariat for more information.
 According to the VU Doctorate Regulations, you can only be registered as PhD student at VU when your research proposal has been approved by the dean of the faculty. Therefore, you are not officially registered as PhD student at VU at this stage. However, you are a member of our graduate school, and we treat you similar to our other members. Your official registration will be arranged through Hora Finita, our online PhD portal, after your research proposal has been approved.
 When during your trajectory you decide to follow another course than stated in your TSP, this must be approved by your supervisor and the Graduate School. You can upload the emails with approval in your portfolio as evidence.