Quality assurance of doctoral education in an interfacultary Graduate School

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1 Quality assurance of doctoral education in an interfacultary Graduate School Utrecht University Graduate school of Life Sciences Utrecht, The Netherlands Saskia Ebeling PhD Administrative Secretary to the Board of Studies General PhD coordinator /

2

3 Utrecht University facts & figures - Founded in faculties - 6 Graduate Schools - 3 Professional Schools - 2 Liberal Arts and Sciences honors colleges - 30,000 BA and MA students - > 2,500 international students / > 130 nationalities - > 3,000 PhD candidates / 7,500 staff members - Europe s largest Summer School (2,500 students) - Rankings: ARWU: nr. 53 world, nr. 12 Europe, nr. 1 in NL THE: 67 world, 18 Europe, 2 NL

4 Graduate Schools and Professional Schools (2009) Graduate Schools (MA + PhD) - Geosciences - Humanities - Law, Economics & Governance - Social & Behavioural Sciences - Natural Sciences - Life Sciences (scientists) Professional Schools (BA + MA) - Medical School (doctors) - School of Pharmacy (pharmacists) - Veterinary School (veterinary surgeons)

5 Graduate School of Life Sciences Faculty of Medicine (UMC Utrecht) 14 Master s programmes ± 850 MA students Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Faculty of Science (Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy, Mathematics, Physics) 15 PhD programmes ± 1,600 PhD candidates

6 Research-oriented education Focus area of research Master s programme PhD-programme Neuroscience & Cognition - Neuroscience & Cognition - Cognitive Neuroscience - Clinical & Experimental Neuroscience Cardiovascular Research - Biology of Disease - Cardiovascular Research Drug Innovation - Drug Innovation - Drug Innovation Earth & Sustainability - Environmental Biology - Environmental Biology Epidemiology - Epidemiology - Epidemiology postgraduate - Epidemiology Growth & Differentiation - Toxicology & Environmental Health - Cancer, Stem Cells & Developmental Biology - Regenerative Medicine & Technology - Toxicology & Environmental Health - Cancer, Stem Cells & Developmental Biology - Clinical & Translational Oncology - Regenerative Medicine Infection & Immunity - Infection & Immunity - Infection & Immunity Life Sciences & Biocomplexity - Molecular & Cellular Life Sciences - Biomedical Image Sciences - Molecular Life Sciences - Biomembranes - Computational Life Sciences - Medical Imaging - Science & Business Management

7 A PhD candidate in The Netherlands - is usually an employee of the university / university medical center, - has a 4-year employment contract, - primarily performs research, - is expected to teach (supervision of Master s students), - is expected (but not obliged) to take courses (20 EC / 4 years).

8 Doctoral Education in The Netherlands - Dutch law on higher education specifies the basic rules on doctoral education. - Every university has a Board for the Conferral of Doctoral Degrees and a set of regulations governing admissions, supervision and conferral of doctoral degrees. - Doctoral candidates are supervised by a full professor, though daily supervision usually is in the hands of an associate professor (Master Apprentice).

9 Admission to the PhD track - Advertisement of a vacancy for a PhD position in the media, usually on a research grant. - Candidates apply in open competition. - The supervisor(s) and daily supervisor(s) carry out the selection procedure. - The selected candidate is employed by the faculty involved. - The Board for the Conferral of Doctoral Degrees approves entry of the candidate into the PhD track.

10 Enrolment into the Graduate School - Selection of the (most) appropriate PhD programme (together with supervisor). - Intake by the programme coordinator and signing of a Training & Supervision Agreement (TSA).

11 TSA : Training Requirement - Minimum of 20 EC / 4 years - Minimum of 8 EC within their own PhD programme - 8 EC in other PhD programmes ( shopping!) - Minimum 4 EC of transferrable skills, professional development Training Certificate Types of education Courses, seminars, master classes, retreats, conferences, journal clubs, etc.

12 Professional skills - Minimum 4 EC of transferrable skills, professional development. - Each PhD candidates has a budget of 1,600 to spend on transferrable skills.

13 PhD training certificate

14 TSA : Supervision Requirement - Each PhD candidate has at least one supervisor, one daily supervisor and a Supervisory Committee (1-2 members). - Supervisor: min. 1 hrs. / month, daily supervisor: min. 4 hrs. / month. - 1 x / year monitoring of progress by supervisor and daily supervisor in an Assessment Interview and adjustment of TSA, if necessary. - Supervisory Committee: min. 1 x / year and at least at the go/no go decision after 1 year: interview with supervisor, daily supervisor and PhD candidate.

15 QC by the Graduate School of Life Sciences Faculty of Medicine (UMC Utrecht) Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Faculty of Science Shared responsibilities Individual responsibilities QC of training QC of supervision QC of research

16 Evaluation of the PhD track Fac. Med. Research + Supervision Training Dean Fac. Vet. Med. Research + Supervision Dean Fac. Science Research + Supervision Dean Thematic PhD programmes Training Supervisor Training Supervisor Thematic PhD programmes Supervisor Thematic PhD programmes PhD candidate PhD candidate PhD candidate

17 QC of the PhD programmes - Annual reports by the PhD programme leadership. - Annual report by the PhD Council. - Internal Evaluation Committee: site visits of the PhD programmes (programme leadership + PhD candidates).

18 Challenges - Management of training of large numbers of PhD candidates: PhD programmes and professional skills. - Management of three faculties with different organisations, cultures, sizes, budgets. - How to convince (medical) supervisors of the need of training when it is not required to obtain a doctoral degree. - Usefulness of the Training Certificate for PhD candidates. June 20, 2013

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