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 8-14 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 TSP to education coordinator
15 weeks before defence Final TSP to education coordinator
After graduation Exit questionnaire to executive secretary

Find all templates, forms and downloads here

Proposal or Literature survey

WIAS PhD candidates have to submit a project proposal to WIAS in the first 6 months of their project. Writing a proposal should create ownership of the project: a WIAS PhD proposal should have a good but short literature summary, and ample attention for a workplan. Even in cases when a peer reviewed project proposal is available we ask the PhD candidate to write a project proposal as the available proposals often do not contain a detailed work plan. In exceptional cases, when an extensive project proposal is already available, we ask the PhD candidate or his/her supervisor to contact the chair of the Research Committee to discuss the option of writing a literature survey. The chair of the Research Committee will then decide if a proposal or literature survey should be submitted.
The proposal is sent to three reviewers 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 reviewer. In many cases, these suggestions lead to further improvement of the project proposal. The revised project proposal is submitted again to WIAS if required. Once approved a letter of approval is sent to PhD candidate and 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:
In exceptional cases an extensive peer reviewed proposal is already available at the start of the PhD project. If the PhD candidate did not write this proposal, the candidate or the supervisor must contact the chair of the Research Committee to determine if a literature survey or a research proposal is to be submitted. 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 literature survey and supporting documents must be submitted with the first six months of the start of the PhD project. The submitted survey is refereed by two members of the research committee of WIAS. The PhD candidate will be invited for an interview by these two research committee members.


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. The TSP focusses on both, the personal as well as professional and disciplinary learning goals. At the start of the PhD study, the candidate composes a TSP based on:
1) the personal learning goals, which are formulated in a discussion with the PhD advisor. To support the PhD candidate in developing the personal 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 MyTalent assessment is sent to the PhD candidate and the PhD advisor for further discussion.
2) the professional and disciplinary learning goals that are formulated in a discussion between the PhD candidate and the supervisor(s).

The first TSP documents contain a summary of these discussions and a first draft of 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.

Wageningen University PhD Guide

For the Wageningen University PhD Guide, please check here.