Overview of Procedures along a timeline

Starting from your PhD application to the final phase; you will find all the steps to take on this page.


Action Who
Orientation:Before applying for a PhD position it is important to have thoroughly read the information about the PhD programme. Aspired PhD candidate
Reply on a PhD Vacancy application Aspired PhD candidate
PhD candidates with their own funding approach a Graduate School, which facilitates contact with a potential chair group. Aspired PhD candidate
The application to the Graduate School should include: Aspired PhD candidate
1. Cover letter describing your motivation to apply.
2. Preliminary research proposal (approximately two pages), containing:
• problem definition
• research questions
• proposed methodology linked to the research questions
• up-to-date literature references
3. References from at least two supervisors or professors. The references must contain information regarding your performance during the Master programme and should contain a reflection on your capacity to finish a PhD in the area of application.
4. Curriculum Vitae, including information on education, research experience and, if applicable, list of publications.
5. Scans of passport and Diploma’s, please read this page for more information about which documents are required.
6. If the applicant is not Dutch, from a non-Anglophone country and has not completed a higher education with English as the language of instruction, an internationally recognised Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language must be submitted. See the English language requirements for more information.
7. Information on funding. The university and the Graduate Schools will usually not assist in finding funding sources. There is a much higher chance of being accepted if funding is secured.
8. For Sandwich PhD candidates: proof of commitment from the home institute
Evaluation of the application. If the proposal meets the Graduate School's conditions they will forward it to a prospective supervisor for further evaluation. Applications will be evaluated using the following criteria: Graduate School
• Education level (at least at MSc)
• Experience as an independent researcher
• The publications already published
• The scientific quality of the preliminary proposal
• The originality of the preliminary proposal
• The strategic fitting of research topic in the area of interest of the supervisor and in the research field of supervisor's research group
• The capacity and expertise that the Graduate School and research group have available
• Fluency in English
• The available funding
For Sandwich PhD candidates the university will also evaluate:
• Financial support from the home institute
• Academic supervision at the home institute
• The curriculum vitae of the supervisor in the home country
Receiving a response may take some weeks as Wageningen receives many PhD applications.
The supervisor has to consult a HR advisor. Together they will check that all fellowship finances comes from outside Wageningen University & Research (tax requirement). The only exceptions are labour contracts for Sandwich PhD candidates. Chair group and HR advisor


Action Who
The Chair group / PhD candidate submits the registration form (downloaded from the Graduate School website) to the Graduate School. Documentation that must be included with the application form depends in the PhD category and where the PhD candidate did his/her previous research. More information about which documents should be submitted can be found here. Chair group / PhD candidate
The PhD candidate is registered in PROMIS (the university’s PhD registration system). Graduate School
Contract or employment agreement with the department is signed, and tuition fees are paid when required. PhD candidate / HR
The PhD candidate contacts Graduate School for an introduction meeting PhD candidate / Graduate School
The PhD candidate must be registered as a student via the Graduate School, if BSc or MSc courses need to be taken. PhD candidate

c) FIRST PHASE of the PhD trajectory

When Action Who
Within 3 months 1. If applicable and still necessary: The proof of English proficiency must be approved and registered in PROMIS by PhD services PhD candidate/ PhD Office
2. Submission of a TSP to the Graduate School. PhD candidate
Within 6 months Submission of the project proposal to the Graduate School (this may not apply to external PhD candidates). PhD candidate / supervisor(s)
Within 12 months (18 months at the very latest) PhD candidate must have obtained full admission to the PhD programme. Full admission is obtained once the following criteria are met:
1. If required, the result of the qualifying exam must be approved and registered in PROMIS by PhD office. Supervisors/ PhD candidate/ PhD office
2. The TSP and research proposal (if applicable) must be approved and registered in PROMIS by the Graduate School. Graduate School
3. Positive Go/No-Go evaluation by supervisor. Note: communicated by supervisor to the Graduate School and registered in PROMIS by the Graduate School. Supervisor should download the evaluation form, from the “overviews” page of PROMIS. Supervisor/ Graduate School
4. Letter stating formal admittance to the PhD programme (when all requirements mentioned above have been met). Dean on behalf of the academic board


Action Who
The PhD candidate must re-register as a student via their Graduate School (only if MSc courses still need to be taken) PhD candidate
Annual progress and development evaluation (called "R&O" meeting for employees of Wageningen UR). Supervisor/ PhD candidate


When Action Who
12 to 6 months before desired date of public defence Supervisor downloads the “Application letter for the public defence of a PhD thesis at Wageningen University & Research” from the “overviews” page of PROMIS; PhD candidate submits that letter to the PhD Office. PhD candidate
From 6-7 months before desired date of public defence After approval of the application letter, a tentative date for public defence can be booked PhD candidate / Supervisor
6 to 3 ½ months before the desired date of public defence 1. Supervisor(s) approve(s) the thesis and the propositions and submits a PDF version of the thesis, the approval letter, the propositions (in a separate file), see guidelines here and the authorship statement (also in a separate file) to the PhD office. This version of the thesis must contain: Supervisor
-Table of Contents;
-General Introduction;
-all Chapters;
-General Discussion/synthesis;
-List of References;
-and English Summary.
2. PhD candidate requests a Training and Education Certificate at the Graduate School. PhD candidate/ Graduate School
3. Thesis committee needs approval. Dean on behalf of the academic board
At least 12 weeks before the desired date of public defence Propositions must be approved by the Academic board. If the propositions have not been approved 12 weeks before the public defence, the defence will be postponed. Academic board
After approval of the thesis by the committee (approximately 9 weeks before the date of public defence) 1. After approval of the draft thesis, the PhD candidate submits cover, the first four pages and the last inside page of the thesis (i.e. the page with acknowledgements of financial support) to the PhD Office. PhD candidate
2. The PhD Office approves the cover, the first four pages and the last inside page of the thesis. Final date for public defence is confirmed. PhD Office
At least 2 weeks before the date of public defence PhD candidate submits: PhD candidate
-15 copies of the thesis to the PhD office
-1 copy and 1 PDF file of the thesis and an abstract in Word to the library
Just before the date of public defence PhD candidate meets with Rector Magnificus or his representative. PhD candidate
Information about the ceremony (programme, dress code) PhD Office/ PhD candidate
After the public defence Information about legalisation PhD Office