Information for WIAS PhD Candidates

This page is especially for current PhD candidates of the graduate school WIAS. Here you can find information about the requirements from us and the forms. Please contact us if you have questions/suggestions.

Timetable PhD candidates

The general timetable for WU PhD candidates can be found here.
The specific WIAS timetable and forms can be found below.

WIAS PhD requirements
Before start of PhD WIAS registration form to executive secretary
Language Test and/or Diploma approved by PhD services
Within 3 months Introduction interview WIAs executive secretary
Introduction interview WIAS education coordinator
Within 6 months Project proposal to executive secretary
First plan TSP to education coordinator
Within 18 months Go/No-Go decision: send the result (not the form) to WIAS. Send the form to HR for employed PhD candidates
Within 24 months Midterm progression form to executive secretary
Midterm TSP to education coordinatr
15 weeks before defence Final TSP to education cooridinator
After graduation Exit questionnaire to executive secretary

Find all templates, forms and downloads here

Proposal or Literature survey

A PhD project proposal is written by the PhD candidate self, unless the project has been externally refereed previously (e.g. NWO). The project proposal is submitted to WIAS in the first 6 months of the PhD project.
The proposal is then sent to three independent referees (usually from outside the Netherlands) by the WIAS secretariat, who assess the scientific quality and the feasibility of the proposed research. The PhD candidate and the supervisor are informed of any suggestions made by the external referees. In many cases, these suggestions lead to further improvement of the project proposal. The project proposal is submitted again to WIAS and when approved a letter of approval is sent to the supervisor.
If the proposal is not approved within a year of the official start date of the PhD candidate, the final TSP of the PhD candidate will not be approved by WIAS. Consequently, a chair group will receive less PhD compensation ('promotievergoeding')

Literature survey:
A PhD candidate with an already available peer reviewed proposal at the start of the project that was not written by the candidate himself submits a literature survey within the first 6 months of the PhD project. The literature survey (including an abstract and conclusions) provides an overview of the relevant literature and discusses the consequences of the analysis of literature for the execution of the project of the PhD candidate, with a maximum length of 10,000 words. The submitted survey is refereed by two members of the research committee of WIAS.


WIAS PhD candidates are encouraged to pass through an education and training programme during their PhD period. The programme aims to transfer the skills and competences needed by a PhD candidate to become a professional animal scientist at the highest academic level. The programme consists of a variety of courses and activities which focus both on an in-depth training in the scientific domain of the PhD study, and on the professional skills and competences of the future PhD graduate.

To facilitate and balance the selection of courses and activities for a newly enrolled PhD candidate a Training and Supervision Plan (TSP) is developed. In the first weeks of the PhD study, the candidate composes a TSP based on learning goals which are formulated together with his/her PhD study advisor and his/her supervisor(s). To support the student in developing these learning goals, LTP (an external professional coaching organization) will invite the candidate to complete an online personal efficacy assessment in the first 4 weeks after start of the PhD study. The report of this assessment is sent to the PhD candidate and the PhD advisor for further discussion.

The TSP must be approved by the graduate school within the first 6 months after start of the PhD study. After 2 years, the PhD candidate submits an updated version of his/her TSP to the graduate school.

Confidential advisor

WIAS confidential counsellors are available for PhD candidates, postdocs and fellows on queries and issues within the mandate of a graduate school: research, publications, PhD process and supervision.
Activities of WIAS confidential counsellors:

- Counselling PhDs on issues of research, their learning process and supervision. The basis for all counselling is the generally known fact that change of behaviour of the PhD candidate will encourage change in behaviour of the supervisor. Apart from encouraging the PhD candidate to change his/her behaviour, the role of the co-promotor(s) can be discussed as to how they can help to solve the problems. Leading for all counselling activities are the wishes and possibilities of the PhDs.

- Counsel to fellows and supervisors whenever they come to WIAS on confidential matters concerning research, publications or supervision of PhDs.

If problems or issues are outside the mandate of the graduate school, for instance (sexual) harassment, unwanted behaviour or scientific integrity, WIAS refers the PhD candidate, postdoc or fellow to the management, the company doctors, the relevant general advisory and/or confidential persons within Wageningen University.

Wageningen University PhD Guide

For the Wageningen University PhD Guide, please check here.