Doctorate Framework Regulations - Biomedical Sciences Group Final version. New Doctorate Framework Regulations

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1 New Doctorate Framework Regulations Article 1. These regulations describe the general procedures for the doctoral programmes within the Biomedical Sciences Group which lead to the following degrees: - Doctor of Kinesiology or - Doctor of Biomedical Sciences or - Doctor of Pharmaceutical Sciences or - Doctor of Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy The regulations are supplemented by a practical phased plan for each doctoral programme. Article 2. The PhD student 1 1. To gain admission to the doctoral programme within the Biomedical Sciences Group, candidates must: hold a Master s degree (or an equivalent higher education degree) that is relevant for the doctoral research; have distinguished themselves either during or after their Master s studies. The latter must be supported by high-quality scientific publications or equivalent professional achievements. If these conditions are not met, the candidate may be admitted with provisional status or predoctoral status. Provisional status means that the candidate is admitted to the doctoral programme provisionally for a maximum period of 12 months. Predoctoral status means that the candidate follows a predoctoral course beforehand for a maximum period of 24 months. Foreign candidates must also complete the administrative procedure for the International Office. On the basis of the candidate s curriculum vitae the Doctoral Committee will judge whether the candidate is admitted to the doctoral programme directly or provisionally or is accepted for the predoctoral training programme. 2.The PhD student is expected to carry out the following activities: To carry out original scientific research under the guidance of a promoter. The doctoral research must result in the writing and public presentation and defence of a doctoral thesis. To follow a doctoral training programme with the aim of acquiring skills that will help the PhD student to complete the doctoral project successfully, and that will provide added value to the PhD graduate in a professional context both within and outside the University (see Doctoral Training Regulations). 1 The term PhD student refers to both male and female students. He should be read as he/she where it refers to the PhD student, (co-)promoter, etc.

2 3. Each PhD student must enrol at the university annually. 4. If the majority of the research is conducted outside K.U. Leuven, the Doctoral Committee must give its permission for this. 5. Predoctoral students and PhD students with provisional status are expected, as a minimum, to carry out the following activities: To conduct scientific research in the promoter s research unit; To write a scientific report or manuscript on the research carried out (minimum 25 and maximum 50 pages containing the following parts: summary, introduction, aim, methodology, results, discussion, references and figures); To make an oral presentation and defence of the scientific report before an Examining Committee assembled on the recommendation of the chair of the Doctoral Committee and approved, via the research director, by the Executive Committee. The Examining Committee must, as a minimum, include a chair, who is also a member of the Doctoral Committee, the promoter, and an expert. If necessary the Doctoral Committee may require additional tasks, such as giving a literature seminar in the field of research or following a number of course units from relevant Master s courses. Article 3. Article 4. Article 5 If the work presented is approved by the Examining Committee, the following will take place: The provisional status will be converted into full status, in the case of a PhD student with provisional status; A predoctoral test certificate will be awarded in the case of a predoctoral student. If the certificate is awarded cum laude, the candidate will be eligible for admission to a doctoral programme. The promoter 1. The promoter carries final responsibility for the scientific training of the PhD student and serves as the contact vis-à-vis the Doctoral Committee. He must be a faculty member (full-time or part-time) of the Biomedical Sciences Group of K.U. Leuven. 2 The promoter must endorse the profile of a good promoter as drawn up by the University and undertakes to comply with the obligations ensuing therefrom The promoter must ensure that recruitment of a PhD student takes place in accordance with the relevant rules and regulations. 4. If a promoter is accorded emeritus status, he may continue to act as promoter for PhD students whose final doctoral plan has already been approved or will be approved during the calendar year in which he acquires emeritus status. A new promoter will be appointed for PhD students who are still at an earlier stage of their doctorate. The professor emeritus may then become a co-promoter. The co-promoter To ensure the best possible day-to-day supervision or in the case of interdisciplinary research, it may be appropriate to involve one or a maximum of two co-promoters in the doctoral project. A co-promoter must hold a doctorate based on a thesis. In the case of co-promoters outside K.U.Leuven, the doctorate qualification may be replaced by equivalent scientific expertise. The Educational Committee (EC) for doctoral training programmes 1. The EC for doctoral training programmes is an umbrella body for all doctoral programmes within the Biomedical Sciences Group. 2 See

3 2. The EC for doctoral training programmes consists of the following members: The chairs of the Faculty Doctoral Committees; An additional faculty member for each faculty; Three PhD student representatives, one for each faculty; The administrative coordinator of the Doctoral School (or deputy). The Executive Committee will appoint the faculty members of the Educational Committee on the recommendation of the research director and in consultation with the relevant faculty, and will appoint a programme director. The mandates of the PhD student representatives will end when they complete their doctorate. 3. The EC for doctoral training programmes has the following responsibilities: Development and monitoring of the Doctorate Framework Regulations including conformity of the practical phased plans; Monitoring of the efficient conduct of the doctoral process; Content, organisation and monitoring of the doctoral training programmes including the regulations; Organisation of the functioning of the Doctoral Committees. Article 6. Article 7. The Doctoral School Biomedical Sciences 1. The Doctoral School is an umbrella structure for all doctoral programmes within the Biomedical Sciences Group. All PhD students in the Biomedical Sciences Group belong to the doctoral school. 2. The organisation of the Doctoral School consists, as a minimum, of the following: A director appointed by the Executive Committee; An administrative coordinator; A Doctoral School Committee including at least the director, the administrative coordinator and the programme coordinators who are responsible for the thematic programmes. 3. The Doctoral School Committee has the following responsibilities: External visibility of the doctoral programmes within the Biomedical Sciences Group; Organisation of international recruitment of PhD students; Organisation of thematic programmes within the doctoral training programme; Activities to promote career perspectives for PhD graduates The Doctoral Committee 1. The following Doctoral Committees are appointed: - A Doctoral Committee for the Faculty of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Sciences, which is responsible for the following programmes Doctor of Kinesiology Doctor of Biomedical Sciences (code FABER) Doctor of Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy

4 Article 8. Article 9. - A Doctoral Committee for the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, which is responsible for the following programmes: Doctor of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Doctor of Biomedical Sciences (code FFW) - A Doctoral Committee for the Faculty of Medicine, which is responsible for the following programme: Doctor of Biomedical Sciences (code MED). 2. A Doctoral Committee consists of a minimum of four faculty members belonging to the Biomedical Sciences Group, and the administrative coordinator of the doctoral programme. The Executive Committee will, on the recommendation of the research director and in consultation with the relevant faculty, appoint the faculty members of the Doctoral Committee and a chair. The mandate of a faculty member of the Doctoral Committee and the function of chair will last for five years and may be renewed without limitation in consultation with the persons concerned. 3. The Doctoral Committee has the following functions: - Granting admission to the doctorate as described in Article 10 1; - The Doctoral Committee may make recommendations on (co-)promotership. The Doctoral Committee may ask the promoter to appoint a co-promoter. - Assessment and approval of the provisional doctoral plan as described in Article 10 2; - The Doctoral Committee decides on the awarding of the Doctoral Programme Certificate. - The Doctoral Committee makes recommendations to the Executive Committee on the composition of the Thesis Advisory and Examining Committees. - If desired, the Doctoral Committee may invite the PhD student representative(s). 4. The Doctoral Committee reports to the Executive Committee through the research director. The Thesis Advisory Committee 1. A Thesis Advisory Committee is appointed for each PhD student, consisting of the promoter, co-promoters, if any, and a minimum of two experts in the PhD student s field of research, but who belong to a different research group from the PhD student and the promoter. The composition of the Thesis Advisory Committee is decided on the proposal of the promoter and the PhD student and, following a recommendation from the Doctoral Committee, is submitted to the Executive Committee for ratification, at the latest by the start of the research seminar (= progress report in the second year). 2. The Thesis Advisory Committee attends the research seminar and the presentation of the final doctoral plan, and gives feedback to the PhD student as described in Article 10 3 and 4. The PhD student or the promoter may also contact the Thesis Advisory Committee for further discussions. 3. The Thesis Advisory Committee may, for the purpose of assessing the research seminar or the final doctoral plan, also include one or more representatives of the Doctoral Committee (extended Thesis Advisory Committee). 4. The extended Thesis Advisory Committee also serves as a disputes committee as described in Article The Thesis Advisory Committee reports to the chair of the Doctoral Committee. The Examining Committee 1. An Examining Committee is appointed for each PhD student, consisting of a chair, at least one representative of the Thesis Advisory Committee, at least one external expert who does not belong to K.U. Leuven, the promoter and the co-promoter(s). Apart from the promoter and the co-promoter(s) the Examining Committee consists of at least 4 members. Any person possessing the

5 Article 10. necessary scientific expertise, as evidenced by their curriculum vitae and publications, to form a well-founded opinion on the doctoral thesis, may be appointed as a member of the Examining Committee. 2. The Executive Committee shall, on the recommendation of the research director and after consultation with the chair of the Doctoral Committee, propose the Examining Committee for ratification by the Rector. No later than two months before submission of the draft of the manuscript, the promoter shall submit a proposal to the chair of the Doctoral Committee regarding the composition of the Examining Committee. 3. The Examining Committee has the following functions: - Assessment and approval of the thesis as described in Article ; - Assessment of the public defence of the thesis as described in Article 10 8 Progress of the doctorate The target duration of four years applies to a PhD student with a full-time research assignment. Departures from this timetable are possible, in consultation with the Doctoral Committee. 1. Registration No later than two weeks before the start of the doctoral project, the PhD student must submit a registration pack to the administrative coordinator of the doctoral programme. This pack must include: (i) a registration form containing the personal details, the envisaged doctoral degree, the provisional title of the doctoral project and the signatures of the promoter and co-promoter(s) (ii) a curriculum vitae stating the degrees obtained, (iii) a copy of the latest degrees. In the case of foreign PhD students a check will be carried out to ensure that all formalities have been completed at the International Office. In consultation with the Doctoral Committee and on the basis of the registration pack, the administrative coordinator of the doctoral programme will grant permission to enrol at the University. If the candidate fails to meet the conditions for admission to the doctoral programme, the Doctoral Committee may impose provisional status or a predoctoral test. It may also refuse access in accordance with the procedures set out in Art Provisional doctoral plan (progress report year 1) No later than six months after commencement of the doctorate, the PhD student even where the student has provisional status must submit a provisional doctoral plan to the administrative coordinator of the doctoral programme. The provisional doctoral plan must comprise a concise description of the doctoral project in a maximum of 1000 words and must be approved by the promoter and the copromoter(s). The Doctoral Committee will assess the provisional doctoral plan on the basis of the content of the doctoral project and the proposed supervision. In the event of comments on the content of the doctoral plan, the Doctoral Committee may request a revised version of the provisional doctoral plan. If necessary, the PhD student and the promoter may be invited to provide further explanation. 3. Research seminar (progress report year 2) During the second year the PhD student presents the doctoral project. The presentation is followed by a feedback discussion between the PhD student and his Thesis Advisory Committee. A brief report is compiled which is submitted to the chair of the Doctoral Committee. 4.Final doctoral plan (progress report year 3)

6 During the third year the PhD student submits a final doctoral plan to the administrative coordinator of the doctoral programme, which has already been approved by the promoter and co-promoter(s). The final doctoral plan consists of a comprehensive description of the doctoral project in a maximum of 10 pages, with an updated curriculum vitae and publication list. The PhD student defends the final doctoral plan before the extended Thesis Advisory Committee. The Thesis Advisory Committee gives its opinion on the content of the final doctoral plan and on the PhD student. It may decide as follows: (i) approval; (ii) conditional approval; (iii) non-approval. In the event of conditional approval, specific additional conditions are imposed on the PhD student such as clarifying the results obtained and the associated interpretations and conclusions, carrying out additional experiments or rewriting the final doctoral plan. In the latter case the PhD student must submit the amended version of the final doctoral plan to the chair of the Thesis Advisory Committee. If the changes made are in accordance with the comments from the Thesis Advisory Committee, the chair will approve the final doctoral plan. If the Thesis Advisory Committee does not approve the content or the presentation of the final doctoral plan, the PhD student may submit a new version of the final doctoral plan. If this second version is not approved, this will result in cessation of the doctorate. If, after approval of the final doctoral plan, more than two years pass before the thesis manuscript is submitted, the PhD student will be asked for an updated version of the final doctoral plan. If the Thesis Advisory Committee considers the PhD student s performance to be very unsatisfactory, this may also result in cessation of the doctorate. 5. Completion of the doctoral training programme The doctoral training programme must be completed before the manuscript is submitted. The reporting on the doctoral training programme and the follow-up by the Doctoral Committee must take place as described in the doctoral training programme regulations. 6. Submission of the manuscript The conditions for the submission of the manuscript are as follows: (i) final doctoral plan approved; (ii) doctoral training programme completed; (iii) at least one scientific article (co)authored that covers the doctoral research and which has been published (or accepted for publication) in an international peer-reviewed journal. The PhD student must clearly indicate his share in the work on these publications. The Examining Committee will check whether the proposed contribution is of adequate quality and quantity for a doctorate. The manuscript must formally satisfy the relevant requirements (see below) and must be approved by the promoter and the copromoter(s). If the PhD student includes already published material (articles, figures etc.) in the thesis, he is expected to comply with the rules concerning copyright, in particular concerning the right to integrity and acknowledgement of co-authors. If more than short excerpts are taken from books (but not from journal articles), prior written consent from the co-author must also be submitted. For the structure of the thesis, there are two acceptable formulas. Formula 1: Original, continuous text. The thesis consists of a text with illustrations according to the traditional structure (introduction, aim of the research, methodology & materials, results, discussion and general conclusions, summary and list of references (limited to 200 references). The length of the thesis is limited to 150 pages, including illustrations and the list of references.

7 Formula 2: Collection of research articles. In this formula the thesis consists of: A general introduction limited to 30 pages; The aims of the research; At least 2 chapters written in the form of a research article. At least one of these chapters must have been published (or accepted for publication) in an international peer-reviewed journal. If non-published parts of the study are included in the manuscript, these must also be written in the form of an article for publication. A concluding discussion (at least 5 pages); A summary of the research; A list of references comprising a maximum of 100 references relating to the introduction and the final discussion. The following additional formal comments apply regardless of the formula: The text must be written in the Dutch or English language. The title page must be produced in accordance with a compulsory template. The scientific summary must be written in both the Dutch and English languages. The manuscript must include a brief description of the PhD student s professional career, stating the articles already published. 7. Admission to public defence In this stage the Examining Committee acts as a reading committee. The members of the Examining Committee report in writing to the chair (or the representative appointed for that purpose) who gathers together the comments on the manuscript, adds a synthesis and sends it to the PhD student and the promoter. On the basis of the comments from the members of the Examining Committee and the response from the PhD student, the Examining Committee will give an opinion on the content and form of the manuscript. The Examining Committee may decide as follows: (i) the manuscript is approved; (ii) the manuscript is conditionally approved; (iii) the manuscript is not approved. A decision not to approve a manuscript can only be made after an actual meeting of the Examining Committee. In the event of conditional approval, the PhD must amend the manuscript in accordance with the comments and provide the Examining Committee with an amended version for final approval. If the Examining Committee does not approve the manuscript, the PhD student may submit a new manuscript for assessment by the Examining Committee. If the manuscript still does not meet the required quality standards for a doctoral thesis after the second reading, it may be definitively rejected. After approval of the manuscript the PhD student will receive permission to publish and publicly defend the thesis. 8. Public defence The date and time of the public defence will be determined in consultation with the members of the Examining Committee. During a presentation lasting 30 minutes, the PhD student will summarise the key findings and conclusions of the doctoral research. This will be followed by a discussion with the members of the Examining Committee. Finally, the audience will be given an opportunity to ask questions. The public defence will take place in the Dutch or the English language and will take a maximum of 90 minutes.

8 Article 11. Article 12. Article 13 The Examining Committee will deliberate immediately after the public defence session and will decide whether or not the candidate has passed. When awarding the title of doctor, no degrees of merit are awarded. An official report will be drawn up and signed by all members of the Examining Committee present. The result will be announced immediately after the deliberation in public session. Disputes 1. In the event that relations between the PhD student and the promoter are such as to hamper or jeopardise the normal progress of the doctorate, the PhD student or the promoter may approach an ombuds who will mediate between the two parties and who together with them will seek a solution that is acceptable to all parties. The Executive Committee will appoint an ombuds on the proposal of the Doctoral Committee, who is a faculty member of the Biomedical Sciences Group. 2. The promoter may not unilaterally terminate his promotership. 3. In the event that issues relating to content give rise to serious doubts about the feasibility and successful completion of the doctorate, the chair of the Doctoral Committee may ask on his own initiative or at the request of either of the parties involved that the PhD student presents his work to a Thesis Advisory Committee. The same procedure will be followed for this as for the presentation of the final doctoral plan. Doctoral training programme The doctoral training programme is described in a separate set of regulations. Joint Degree or Double Degree 1. PhD students who are carrying out doctoral research partly in Leuven and partly at another university are eligible for a joint degree (1 degree mentioning both institutions) or a double degree (a diploma from each institution) if the following conditions are met: - The candidate must carry out at least six months of research in Leuven, resulting in a minimum of one research article mentioning K.U. Leuven. - A promoter at Leuven must always be appointed alongside the promoter at the other institution. - An official agreement signed between the two institutions must stipulate the institution at which the doctoral thesis will be defended. Professors from both institutions will sit on the examining committee. 2. PhD students seeking to obtain a joint degree or double degree must in any case complete the following administrative steps: - Registration and submission of the provisional doctoral plan, with the reference joint degree/double degree ; - Annual enrolment at K.U.Leuven. Article The specific arrangements for the doctoral procedure and the doctoral training programme are defined for each candidate on the basis of agreements with the other institution. Exceptions The Doctoral Committee may permit exceptions from the regulations following a written and substantiated request that is signed by both the PhD student and the promoter.

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