Doctoral training programme

When registering for the doctorate, all doctoral students are automatically (additionally, but free) enrolled for the doctoral training programme. This means that doctoral students can enrol for the study programme organised by the Doctoral School.

After his/her successful public defence of the dissertation, the doctoral student who – at his/her own initiative or not – passed the doctoral training programme will also receive a certificate of the doctoral training programme. The actual content of the doctoral training programme is determined at the doctoral student’s request and in joint consultation with the doctoral advisory committee (DBC).

The study programme of the Doctoral School has a wide range of course units aimed at developing and broadening knowledge. Course units aimed at developing knowledge are intended to provide more in-depth knowledge about your research field. Course units aimed at broadening your knowledge help you to develop other competencies, which you will need outside the academic world. You have considerable freedom to determine the course units you want to follow and the skills you want to (further) develop through the study programme.

  • However, actually following and completing the doctoral training programme is not compulsory for doctoral students who have a master’s degree that belongs to the field of study of the intended doctorate.
  • For other doctoral students, following and successfully completing a doctoral training programme may be made mandatory. This is done upon the first enrolment of the doctoral student. The Examination Board of the relevant field of study will decide if the doctoral training programme is to be mandatory and may determine the curriculum of this possibly mandatory doctoral training programme.
  • Doctoral students preparing a doctorate in the Arts who hold a master’s degree in the Arts must complete a doctoral training programme before they may be allowed to submit their dissertation. This doctoral training programme consists of 1 specialist course (recognised by the Doctoral School, except language courses), 1 transferable skills course (recognised by the Doctoral School), and 1 presentation (oral or poster) at a national or international conference.

Generally, course units that you follow as part of the doctoral training programme, and that are offered by the Doctoral School or are part of the regular Ghent University programmes, are free. Students who are enrolled for the doctorate may also have their tuition fee reimbursed via the Doctoral School for no more than four courses that are organised by third parties, and this for an amount up to EUR 500 per programme.

More information about the doctoral training programme can be found on the website of the Doctoral School.

Financial support

For the execution of your research, you may benefit from financial support to a greater or lesser degree:

  • As a rule, doctoral students with research projects receive financial support based on the available financial resources of the project.
  • Fellows (FWO PhD fellows, BOF fellows, junior assistants) receive a bench fee from the funding bodies: the FWO (Research Foundation Flanders), the BOF (Special Research Fund) or the faculty, respectively.
  • Students who wish to fund their doctorate with their own resources, will also need to search for resources to carry out the research.
  • If necessary, the faculty may support a doctoral student via mobility grants so that he/she can participate in congresses and/or study abroad.
  • Via the Doctoral School, tuition fees for external training may be recovered.
  • The Faculty Student Administration (FSA) will send the paper versions of the dissertation to the members of the Examination Board. If the doctoral student wishes to send the paper versions themselves, he/she can recover the cost from the Faculty Student Administration (FSA).

Dissertation template

When writing the dissertation, doctoral students may use the dissertation template developed by the faculty’s ICT services. The template makes sure that the text elements are easily positioned in layout when students are finalising the book format of their dissertation. The use of the template will definitely save the students a great amount of work in the final stages of their doctorate.. Dissertations are preferably completed in book format (17 x 24 cm) with a cover in the Ghent University corporate design. A picture or an image may also be added to the cover.

Printing and binding services

Please contact the faculty’s ICT services (in a timely fashion) via When the doctoral student opts for the standard format (17 x 24 cm) in the Ghent University corporate design, the ICT services will design the coverand make sure that the necessary number of dissertation copies will be printed. For the first version of the dissertation (the version that will be submitted to the Faculty Council and delivered to the Examination Board), it is allowed to print a ‘draft copy’ (17 x 24 cm, black & white, paper of 80 g, with a coloured cover). This version is generally cheaper than in a printing office, and can be delivered to the faculty in 1 to 2 working days. The printing of the final version (for the public defence) takes 3 working days.

Psychosocial welfare at work

If you are a new staff member at the faculty, you will be assigned a buddy who will tell you more about the workings of the faculty and the department. In case of problems or questions, you can also contact your colleagues.

The faculty also has three trusted representatives who you can confide in when you encounter certain problems. Trusted representatives are the faculty’s first point of contact for all staff members who are confronted with psychosocial problems, such as stress, burnout, collaboration or communication problems, conflicts and undesirable behaviour at work. They will lend staff a sympathetic ear and provide them with information about possible solutions.

In the event of disputes during the doctoral process, doctoral students may speak to two faculty ombudspersons for doctoral students. The institutional ombudsperson may mediate in this procedure, if necessary.

A good relationship between supervisors and doctoral students is essential. The charter for doctoral students and supervisors lists the good practices that the doctoral students and supervisors can expect from each other.