Wageningen University offers several types of training for PhD candidates and Postdocs.
Requirements and the Training & Supervision Plan (TSP)
Focus of PhD training and education is the acquisition of the T-shaped Skills. In general, up to 15% of a PhD candidate’s time is spent on training and education which comes down to 30-32 ECTS (European Credits). PhD candidates can furthermore spend up to 10% on teaching.
In the first three months upon starting the project, a Training and Supervision Plan (TSP) is formulated by the candidate and supervisors. In this plan, the candidate and supervisors agree on a tailor-made training and education programme that matches the aims of the PhD project and the wishes of the candidate with regard to acquiring in-depth knowledge, and developing skills and competences. The TSP expresses the right of PhD candidates to receive training and education as part of their PhD programme. Although the TSP is a formal document it should particularly be seen as a document that allows an open discussion on the needs and interests of PhD training, supervision and other elements of the programme (i.e. co-authorship, teaching duties, progress evaluation, go / no-go decision).
The format and requirements of the TSP slightly vary between the Graduate Schools. This is described on the website of the Graduate School the PhD candidate is affiliated with. Generally, the candidate first has an introduction meeting with the PhD Programme coordinator/manager of the Graduate School. In this meeting the candidate is informed about the PhD programme, procedures to be followed, tasks, responsibilities and details of the TSP. Once the TSP has been filled in and all agree upon the content, it is signed by the candidate and supervisor(s) and submitted to the Graduate School.
The chair group of the PhD candidate provides a budget to support the PhD candidate in financing training and education activities (i.e. courses or travel, boarding and registration expenses for conferences). This budget, the ‘education rucksack’, is a minimum of €3500 for the 4-year period.
When the PhD candidate has completed the training and education activities and these meet the criteria of the Graduate School, a Training and Education Certificate can be requested from the Graduate School. The certificate lists the training and education activities the candidate has performed and is awarded to the candidate together with the PhD degree after public defence. The education activities are also be listed in the thesis. A request for a Training and Education Certificate and the list of education activities to be published in the thesis is done when the reading version of the thesis is submitted for evaluation. Here too procedures and criteria vary between Graduate Schools which are described on the Graduate Schools websites.