Doctoral Schools measures in response to COVID-19

Last updated: 3/12/2021, 19:00.

PhD defences

At a glance:

On-campus public PhD defences

On-campus public PhD defences follow the guidelines for events as described on the university's "back to work safely" page (updated 30/11/2021).

Note that from 4 December (and until further notice) receptions after PhD defenses won't be allowed, neither indoors nor outdoors. In the week of 20 December 2021, the Consultation Committee will again evaluate the epidemiological situation. 

If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact us at .

Digital PhD defences: videoconferencing and live-streaming

Videoconferencing (online internal defence)

An internal defence can take place in digital format as a regular video-conference. Ghent University provides support for videoconferencing through Microsoft Teams and Starleaf (Dutch).

Other options such as Skype are available, but note that there is no UGent support for these options.

On the advice of Ghent University's IT department, its Data Protection Officer, and the chair of its Privacy and Data Protection Committee, the use of Zoom for internal doctoral defences is prohibited. This decision was made due to serious security and GDPR-related concerns.

Live-streaming (public defence only)

Online public defences and on-campus public defences with audience restrictions (i.e. if the corona capacity of the venue is lower than the expected turnout) must be live-streamed in order to preserve the public defence's (legally required) public character. Below is an overview of one way in which you can live-stream your public defence in a way that complies with that legal requirement, using the infrastructure that is available at Ghent University. Alternatives are available but note that there is no UGent support for these options.

The live-stream for an online public defence must be clearly advertised (e.g. in the invitation to the doctoral defence, or by requesting that includes the URL to the live-stream feed in the appropriate UGent agenda item).

Please note that doctorates where limitations and/or confidentiality has been imposed to protect research results that can create value, cannot avail themselves of this option for their public defence (cf. Education and Examination Code for Doctoral Matters (EECD) art. 30 §9). If you are a PhD candidate working on a doctorate where limitations and/or confidentiality has been imposed, and wish to defend your work in the near future, please contact us at .

What Explanation Manual for organisers Manual for audience members
Microsoft Teams

Ghent University's Microsoft Teams environment, accessible via browser or via the app.

FAQ: English

More information and manuals can be found here. A Dutch-language video-tutorial can be found here.

Make sure that you include instructions in the invitation you send out, and/or in the relevant item in the UGent agenda so people know how they can attend your defence digitally (see next column).

Nb: make sure to test this out in advance!

The link to participate in the doctoral defence will be shared with you by e-mail.

After clicking on the link you will be placed into a waiting room.

Only the members of the Examination Committee are allowed to activate their microphone and camera. Other attendees will be on ‘mute’. Questions during the defence can be asked via chat.

 

PhD defences: Exceptions to regulations due to corona virus

Doctoral candidates may defend via videoconferencing (both internal & public defence). As such, a partial exemption from EECD art. 28, §2 is made, and specifically from the cumulative conditions outlined as bullet points at the bottom of §2. This measure also implies that defences may take place entirely via videoconferencing, since members of the Examination Board may attend via teleconference as a matter of course. The Rector has decided that PhD candidates will have this option to defend digitally until at least the end of the 2021-2022 academic year.
Please note that doctorates where limitations and/or confidentiality has been imposed to protect research results that can create value, cannot avail themselves of this option for their public defence (cf. EECD art. 30 §9). If you are a PhD candidate working on a doctorate where limitations and/or confidentiality has been imposed, and wish to defend your work in the near future, please contact us at .

Note that faculties may have additional measures in place - check your faculty's website, and contact your faculty's dean's office to inform yourself.

Submitting your dissertation

Check with your faculty's dean's office to see how you can submit your dissertation under the faculty's measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

COVID-related exemptions for (compulsory) doctoral training programmes

If you are scheduled to defend soon, and you are unable to complete the curriculum for your doctoral training programme because of the measures taken to help slow the spread of corona virus, you may be eligible for a (partial) exemption, provided that you can show that due to the corona virus measures,

  1. an activity for which you had registered has been cancelled or rescheduled to a date which is later than the date scheduled for the submission of your dissertation; and
  2. there are no suitable (digital) alternatives available to you.

If you meet those two conditions, you may submit your motivated request for a (partial) exemption using this form. Send the completed form to

Frequently asked questions 

  1. Do I need to comply with the latest government guidelines if my public defence was planned before the change was announced?
    Yes, irrespective of when the event was planned, the measures in force at that time must be respected. Plan for how you would manage a short notice change in room capacity or a format change (from on campus to digital or vice versa).

Questions?

 If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact us at .