Submission and assesment

Key dates

  • Request certificate of the doctoral training programme:
    20 working days prior to the decision of the Faculty Council regarding the approval and composition of the Examination Board (more information)

  • Submission of the doctoral dissertation:
    10 calendar days prior to the decision of the Faculty Council regarding the approval and composition of the Examination Board
  • Written appraisals:
    at least 7 working days prior to the first part of the doctoral exam, the Examination Board experts will send their written appraisals to the Faculty Student Administration (FSA), who will deliver these appraisals to the doctoral student at least 4 working days prior to the first part of the doctoral exam.
  • First assessment of the doctoral exam:
    at least 30 calendar days and no more than 90 calendar days after the Faculty Council (please note: if a Christmas recess, Easter recess or summer recess is scheduled within these time limits, these time limits may be extended with the duration of the recess)
  • Public defence:
    at least 5 calendar days and no more than 60 calendar days after the first assessment

Additional publication condition

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on the academic world, the Faculty has decided to facilitate the regulations regarding the "additional publication condition" for academic year 2020-2021: Dissertations are taken into consideration for submission if the doctoral student involved can prove to have at least 1 submitted peer reviewed publication (articles or chapters in a book).

The faculty follows the rule that dissertations are only taken into consideration for submission if the doctoral student has at least one peer reviewed publication (article or chapter in a book). Prior to the submission of the dissertation, the publication should be uploaded to Biblio (Ghent University Academic Bibliography).

  • Joint PhD. For joint doctorates, the arrangements of the university where the dissertation will be defended apply.
  • Own resources. Doctoral students who have financed the writing of their doctorate exclusively with their own resources and who can certify this with a sworn declaration of the supervisor and the student in question, are exempted from the additional publication condition

Submission

Before the appraisal, doctoral students are to officially submit their doctoral dissertation to the Faculty Council. The Faculty Council determines whether or not the submission will be accepted and will assign an Examination Board that will appraise the dissertation. The submission is preceded by a recommendation by the members of your doctoral advisory committee (DBC) and you need to meet the additional publication condition.

Joint PhD. For a joint doctorate, the regulations of the university where the dissertation will be defended are in place. Please note: even if the public defence does not take place at Ghent University, the dissertation is to be submitted to the Faculty Council of Arts and Philosophy before the start of the doctoral examination.

First deliberation

With the exception of the chair, each member of the Examination Board who is qualified to vote will draw up a written appraisal of the dissertation. The (three, four or five) members who were appointed because of their special expertise concerning the dissertation (the ‘reading committee’), will appraise the dissertation in full and will spend extra attention to the chapters that are in keeping with their expertise. In addition, one or two voting members (the ‘rapporteurs’) appointed by the study programme report briefly, based on the expert reports. If two voting members have been appointed by the study programme, they will compile a joint report.

At least seven working days prior to the first part of the doctoral exam, the Examination Board will send all the written appraisals electronically to the Faculty Student Administration and the chair. The report of the ‘rapporteur(s)’needs to be send at least four working days prior to the first part of the doctoral exam to the Faculty Student Administration and the chair.At least four working days prior to the Examination Board meeting, the Faculty Student Administration (FSA) will deliver the written appraisals of the members of the Examination Board to the doctoral student and all the Examination Board members. If one or more reports are not delivered on time, the first meeting may be postponed at the doctoral student’s request.

The first assessment of the dissertation should take place at least 30 calendar days and no more than 90 calendar days after the appointment of the Examination Board. The latter time limit is suspended by the recess periods: if a Christmas recess, Easter recess or summer recess is scheduled within the time limit, the time limit may be extended with the duration of the recess.

The appraisal of the Examination Board occurs behind closed doors. The Examination Board hears the doctoral student during this deliberation and shall appraise the doctoral dissertation of the candidate in question and the merit of his/her research. The deliberation occurs in three steps, of which the doctoral student only needs to attend the second step:

  • The Examination Board members analyse and discuss the written reports drawn up
  • The Examination Board hears the doctoral student. The assessment takes place in Dutch or English, unless otherwise determined by the Faculty Council. All Examination Board members need to be acquainted with the used language. The Examination Board members and the doctoral student discuss the content of the dissertation
  • The members of the Examination Board who are qualified to vote deliberate on the basis of (1) the written reports by each of the members who are qualified to vote and (2) the hearing of the doctoral student.

In order to deliberate legitimately, at least three fifths of the Examination Board members who are qualified to vote must be present, whether or not via video conference. During the entire appraisal, the Examination Board members need to be at least available by telephone. The deliberation decisions of the Examination Board are to be substantiated and recorded in a concise report by the secretary. After its approval by the Examination Board, the deliberation report is communicated tothe doctoral student and the supervisors.

The deliberation will result in one of the appraisals below:

  • Admission to the second part of the examination, after which a date for the public defence will be agreed upon. The Examination Board may request the doctoral student to make some small corrections
  • Admission to the second part, following corrections to the dissertation. The Examination Board will see to it that this revision is feasible within a reasonable time span determined by the Board. The Examination Board will also suggest a date for the public defence
  • No admission to the second part of the examination

In the second case, the doctoral student needs to resubmit his/her dissertation within the period imposed. He/She needs to add a covering letter detailing how and where the requested corrections have been performed (or why certain corrections have not been performed). If the requested corrections do not meet the standards, the Examination Board may yet decide to deny the student access to the second part of the doctoral examination.

In the third case, the doctoral student, in joint consultation with his/her supervisor(s), may decide to continue his/her research and he/she may resubmit a reworked dissertation at a later stage. In this case, the procedure for submitting the dissertation needs to be repeated.

Public defence

During the second part of the examination, the doctoral student puts forward an oral and public defence of his/her doctoral dissertation before the Examination Board. The public defence takes one to two hours. The session starts with a short presentation by the doctoral student. Next, the members of the Examination Board are given the opportunity to each ask one or more questions. The public defence takes place in Dutch or English, unless otherwise determined by the Faculty Council.

The precise date of the public defence cannot be fixed until after the Examination Board has taken a deliberation decision about the first part of the doctoral examination. The public defence shall take place no sooner than five calendar days after this deliberation and within 60 calendar days after this decision. Exceptions to the period of 60 calendar days can be made if the doctoral student agrees to this. In order to deliberate legitimately, at least three fifths of the Examination Board members who are qualified to vote must be present, whether or not via video conference.

If the Examination Board takes a positive decision after the public defence, one of the supervisors may hold a laudatio for the doctoral student and his/her dissertation.

Practical aspects

First deliberation

The supervisor and the doctoral student are responsible for the practical aspects of organising the first deliberation. If certain members of the Examination Board are attending through video conferencing, they should contact the faculty’s ICT services sufficiently in advance.

Public defence

The supervisor and the doctoral student are responsible for the practical aspects of organising the public defence (booking and preparing the room, possible requests for video conferencing, catering, possible reception afterwards, etc.).

Gowns

At the faculty of Arts and Philosophy, it is customary for the Examination Board members to wear a gown (if they are authorised), but this custom is not mandatory. The decision often lies with the doctoral student. To borrow gowns in the colours of the faculty, please contact Tom Goedertier (Blandijnberg, room 100.016). The gowns can be collected in his office. To this end, the supervisor will take the initiative.

Beret and gift from the faculty

The Faculty Student Administration (FSA) will deliver the beret and the gift from the faculty of the doctoral student who has passed, to the chair of the Examination Board.