Apply for PhD Defense

To defend your PhD dissertation, take the following steps:

1. Registering for the doctoral exam

For the submission of your PhD dissertation the faculty uses a new online submission platform:

  1. Optional: fix examination dates for the internal and public defense. Important: if you make use of this option: you're obliged to already take up a chairperson.
  2. Fill out publication criterion window and upload publications. 

    A PhD candidate can only be admitted to the doctoral examination if following internal condition is fulfilled: either 1) being first or second author of an accepted publication in a journal referenced in the Web of Science (A1 publication: research article or review), 2) being inventor, holder or applicant of a patent application or of a granted patent. This research article, review or patent should be linked to the doctoral research. The article needs at least to be in the stage of acceptance; if not yet published, proof of acceptance has to be provided.

  3. Upload your CV and write down a short Dutch summary
  • Check the faculty regulations concerning the composition of the examination board.
  • Make sure you respect the deadlines for submitting this information (see table below) in order for the student administration to timely prepare the agenda for the faculty board meeting. Too late submissions will be handled a month later.

2. Submit your dissertation

  • At the latest one day before the Faculty Doctoral Commission meets (see deadlines below), you have to upload a pdf of your doctoral dissertation + your cv in Plato
  • Hand in  1 hard copy of your PhD at the latest one day before the Faculty Doctoral Commission to the Faculty Student Administration.
  • For the PhD manuscript of the internal defense, please include line numbers on each page. This will facilitate jury members to more easily refer to specific sentences when having comments or questions.
  • After the faculty board : deliver a hard copy of your dissertation to all members of the exam committee (ask if necessary)


3. Internal defense

Counting from the day of the Faculty Board meeting, your PhD examination committee will have at least 30 calendar days to evaluate your dissertation.

Jury members will upload evaluation forms through the Plato platform.

One week before the internal defense, the online Plato Platform will send you the reports of the jury members.

  • Prepare your internal defense based on the review reports
  • The internal defense (3 hours) is dedicated to assessing the originality of your research, to evaluate your knowledge, to clarify technical aspects and to come to a general appreciation of your PhD research and you as a PhD candidate. 
  • The internal exam results in 3 possible outcomes: 
  1. Admission to public defense (no changes or minor changes requested) within 60 days after internal defense
  2. Admission to public defense, provided that specific changes are performed in the manuscript. You should be able to perform those changes within a reasonable amount of time: at least 1 month, maximally 3 months. The examination committee needs to re-assess the modified manuscript and give final green light for admission to the public defense.
  3. No admission to the public defense. Resubmission of a new version of the PhD needs to wait for at least a year. This decision is in principle only taken if the candidate was given a Decision 2 (major revision) in a previous examination committee meeting.

What's next?

The Faculty Student Administration keeps you updated about what to do after the Internal defense,