1 Regulation concerning the attainment of doctoral degrees at the KU Leuven, including Particulars for the Faculty of Social Sciences In advance 1. Communication with potential legal significance must be submitted in writing (preferably by ). If so desired, communication with the ombudsperson can be verbal. 2. In principle, the committees concerned decide collectively. If a collective decision cannot be reached, the majority vote decides. In the event of a tie the chair decides. Subsection 1. Preliminary provisions Article 1. Scope 1. This regulation concerns the general requirements for attaining the academic degree of doctor at the KU Leuven. The following topics are addressed: (1) preliminary provisions, (2) doctoral school and doctoral committee, (3) admission and enrolment, (4) supervision and progress, (5) doctoral programme, (6) doctoral thesis and public defence, (7) joint degree and double degree, and (8) ombudsperson, appeal procedure and disciplinary regulation. 2. Within the framework of this general regulation, executive committees can draft supplementary regulations on the advice of the respective doctoral schools. A supplementary regulation lays down more specific provisions (hereinafter called Particulars ). The Particulars are supplementary to the general provisions but shall in no case be incompatible. The executive committee proposes a supplementary regulation to the Executive Board which will then be ratified by the Academic Council. Whenever the term research group is used in the context of the Faculty of Social Sciences, either in this general regulation or in the Particulars, this refers to the research units as defined in Chapter 4 of the Faculty of Social Sciences Internal Regulations ( Huishoudelijk Reglement ).
2 Article 2. Concept The purpose of preparing a doctoral thesis and the doctoral programme at the KU Leuven is to train a researcher who can contribute independently to the development of scientific knowledge. The thesis must demonstrate the capacity to create new scientific knowledge on the basis of independent scientific research. The learning outcomes in the doctoral preparation, leading to the PhD, are laid down in the Codex Hoger Onderwijs Art.II : (1) the systematic understanding of a discipline and the ability to master skills and research methodologies in that discipline, (2) the ability to design, develop, execute and adapt a wide-ranging research process with the integrity expected of a researcher, (3) a contribution to moving the frontiers of science by performing original research in the shape of a wide-ranging body of work, part of which is worthy of a nationally or internationally peer-reviewed publication, (4) the ability to critically analyse, evaluate and synthesise new and complex ideas, (5) the ability to communicate with colleagues in the same discipline and in the wider scientific community both nationally and internationally and in society as a whole about the area in which one has expertise, (6) the ability to deliver an innovative contribution within an academic and professional context, leading to technological, social or cultural advances in a knowledge society." The Faculty of Social Sciences awards the degrees of Doctor in Social Sciences and Doctor in Social and Cultural Anthropology. Article 3. PhD researcher The PhD researcher is expected: (1) to conduct original and scientific research under the supervision of a supervisor and optionally one or more co-supervisors (see Subsection 4). (2) to successfully complete the doctoral programme (see Subsection 5) with the aim of (i) expanding and deepening the knowledge of the PhD researcher within the research domain and (ii) acquiring various skills that will advance the quality and efficiency of doctoral research and promote the future professional career of the PhD researcher, within or outside the university. (3) to write and successfully defend a thesis in public (see Subsection 6).
3 (4) to adhere to the rules of scientific integrity (see Subsection 5). (5) to comply with the general provisions laid down in this regulation and its Particulars (see art. 1. 2). PhD researchers are responsible for maintaining their own records and must keep themselves informed of all relevant matters as communicated by the faculty, in particular by the unit Doctoral Programme and Research Support Social Sciences. Subsection 2. Doctoral school and doctoral committee Article 4. Doctoral school Each executive committee sets up a doctoral school at the group level. The responsibilities of the doctoral school include: (1) attracting research talent, (2) organising and assuring the quality of the doctoral programme in partnership with the doctoral committees (see Subsection 5). (3) ensuring doctoral efficiency, (4) concluding partnership agreements in the context of joint degrees and double degrees (see art. 21), (5) monitoring the activities of the ombudspersons (see art. 22), (6) increasing the visibility and recognisability of doctoral research at the KU Leuven. The Faculty of Social Sciences facilitates and provides support for PhD research through the unit Doctoral Programme and Research Support Social Sciences; the vice dean for research is ex officio academic coordinator of this unit and is assisted by an administrative coordinator. In consultation with the Doctoral School of Humanities and Social Sciences and with the faculty s doctoral committee, the unit Doctoral Programme and Research Support Social Sciences helps to implement the responsibilities outlined above within the Faculty of Social Sciences. It regularly reports hereof to the faculty s doctoral committee; at least once a year it reports on its activities to the Faculty Board and the Faculty Council.
4 Article 5. Doctoral committee The executive committee or the faculty council assemble a doctoral committee at the level of every faculty. The doctoral committee consists of members of the senior academic staff and representatives of the PhD researchers. The membership must represent the various research domains within the faculty. The responsibilities of the doctoral committee include: (1) authorising the enrolment of PhD researcher (see art. 6 and art. 8), (2) authorising the enrolment of predoctoral students, stipulating the content and scope of the predoctoral test, and evaluating whether the predoctoral test has been passed (see art. 7), (3) approving the composition of the supervisory committee (see art. 12) and giving advice about the composition of the examination committee (see art. 17), (4) monitoring the progress reporting (see art. 13), (5) deciding whether the doctoral programme has been completed successfully (see Subsection 5), (6) authorising a collaboration leading to the awarding of a joint or double degree (see art. 21), (7) taking note of the anonymised report from the ombudsperson (see art. 22). The faculty s doctoral committee consists of the vice dean for research (chair), the administrative coordinator of the unit Doctoral Programme and Research Support Social Sciences (secretary), the coordinators of the faculty s research groups and five representatives of the PhD researchers. Of the latter, four members belong to junior academic staff (AAP/BAP), with one representative appointed by the PhD researchers from each of the faculty s four sections (anthropology, communication sciences, political sciences and sociology). The fifth representative is an external PhD researcher who is not a member of junior academic staff (AAP/BAP). The representatives are elected under the supervision of the current doctoral committee on the initiative of and by each of the sections. They are elected for a two-year term, renewable once. A representative of the PhD researchers seeking a second term must not participate in the doctoral committee s supervision of the election in which he/she is a candidate. The doctoral committee regularly discusses and evaluates the activities of the faculty unit Doctoral Programme and Research Support Social Sciences. In particular, the doctoral committee monitors the quality of the faculty s doctoral programme (see Section 5), both in general and in individual cases.
5 The doctoral committee meets at least five times per academic year. In addition, the chair convenes the doctoral committee whenever individual doctoral researchers or their supervisors raise specific concerns. In individual dossiers, the doctoral committee can hear the supervisor and/or the PhD researcher involved; the supervisor and/or the PhD researcher can also request to be heard by the doctoral committee. The doctoral committee can handle assigned tasks by and delegate to the chair. In case of delegation, any member of the doctoral committee has at any time the right of evocation with regard to an individual dossier; moreover, the chair commits him/herself to put every dossier for which no straightforward decision can be taken on the basis of these regulations to the doctoral committee for consideration. Members of the Faculty Board have access to all doctoral committee documents via Sharepoint. Subsection 3. Admission and enrolment Article 6. Admission requirements Together with the future supervisor (see art.11) the candidate requests admission from the doctoral committee to enrol as a PhD researcher. The candidate must meet the following requirements: Either (1) the candidate must hold a Flemish Master s degree relevant to the doctoral research or an equivalent higher education degree, and also have obtained at least a distinction or have distinguished him/herself with high-quality scientific publications or design-oriented achievements, Or (2) the candidate must have passed the predoctoral exam with the degree of distinction (see art. 7). The candidate must also have sufficiently mastered the language of the discipline in order to be able to participate actively in the research. Candidates elucidate their reasons for applying, prior education, competences, knowledge of the language of the discipline and financial resources in the Faculty s application form; the application file also contains written confirmation that a supervisor agrees to supervise the PhD project.
6 English is regarded as the language of the discipline; proficiency in English is proven either by a sufficient score from an internationally recognized language test, or by prior education or one or more courses completed during prior education. The proposed supervisor can assess the candidate s knowledge of the language of the discipline during an intake interview and report on this in the application file. Further to a reasoned request and after examination, the doctoral committee may allow that a different language of the discipline than English is chosen. Article 7. Predoctoral period and predoctoral exam A candidate can be invited to take a predoctoral exam if there is insufficient proof of relevant academic and professional suitability and/or prior knowledge, and it may be necessary for the candidate to obtain additional qualifications before being allowed to start the doctoral programme and doctoral research. 1. The predoctoral exam assesses the suitability of the candidate to obtain the degree of doctor. The predoctoral exam is taken after a predoctoral period in which the candidate can acquire further skills by following specific course components, and developing a research project. The doctoral committee decides on the content and scope of the predoctoral period and the predoctoral exam. 2. During the predoctoral period the candidate must enrol as a predoctoral student. 3. For candidates from EEA countries (European Economic Area) the predoctoral period lasts a maximum of one year. For candidates from non-eea countries, the predoctoral period lasts a maximum of two years. 4. The predoctoral period ends with a predoctoral exam. The doctoral committee decides whether the candidate has passed the predoctoral exam. Candidates who pass the predoctoral exam with distinction are authorised to enrol as a PhD researcher. Candidates who do not pass the predoctoral exam with distinction can obtain a certificate of research specialisation for the course components that were successfully completed. A predoctoral exam can be proposed either by the supervisor, who makes this recommendation in the candidate s application file, or by the doctoral committee on the basis of the application file and information obtained after eventual further inquiries. If the supervisor thinks that a predoctoral exam is appropriate, he/she submits a proposal regarding its content and scope in consultation with the coordinator of the research group involved; if the doctoral committee thinks that a predoctoral exam is appropriate,
7 it requests the supervisor and the coordinator of the research group involved to submit a proposal regarding its content and scope, possibly with suggestions from the doctoral committee. In both cases, the following rules apply: (i) if the supervisor is also the coordinator of the research group involved, the proposal is drawn up by the supervisor and the programme director of the discipline involved; (ii) if the supervisor is not only the research group coordinator but also the programme director of the discipline involved, the doctoral committee appoints a member of senior academic staff (ZAP) with relevant expertise to draw up the proposal together with the supervisor. For each specific course that forms part of the predoctoral exam, the lecturer-in-charge decides on the mode of assessment. If this differs from the assessment mode specified in the ECTS course description, this is clearly communicated to the candidate; moreover, the actual mode of assessment is documented by mail or in writing. If the predoctoral exam also involves the writing of a PhD research proposal, the doctoral committee will determine the weight of this component in ECTS-credits; this component is evaluated by the supervisor and the coordinator of the research group concerned. If the supervisor is also the research group coordinator, and possibly also the programme director of the discipline concerned, the rules set out above are applicable. To be admitted to the doctoral programme, the candidate must pass the predoctoral examination with at least distinction and must not fail any components. To determine whether a candidate has successfully completed the predoctoral examination, an ad hoc doctoral committee is composed, with the following members: the vice dean for research (chair), the supervisor, and all examiners involved. Article 8. Enrolment The PhD researcher is obliged to enrol every year. The initial enrolment can go ahead once the doctoral committee has given authorisation (see art. 6) 1. A PhD researcher with a doctoral scholarship or a research and teaching assistant position with doctoral finality, must enrol at the latest on the day that the scholarship or research and teaching assistant position begins. The PhD researcher enrols for: (1) the doctoral programme: at the start of the doctoral research and thereafter every year at the start of the academic year until the doctoral programme has been completed, (2) the doctoral degree: once the doctoral programme has been completed and thereafter every year at the start of the academic year, or if the PhD researcher is exempted from the doctoral programme,
8 (3) the doctoral degree with defence: in the academic year in which the thesis is defended. The PhD researcher pays course fees at the first enrolment and at the enrolment for the doctoral degree with defence. The interim enrolments are free of charge. The number of enrolments is restricted to seven; from the eighth enrolment onwards permission is required from the doctoral committee. For non-eea researchers permission is required every year from the International Admissions and Mobility Unit from the fifth enrolment onwards A PhD researcher who fails to enroll for the doctoral programme during two consecutive academic years can be dismissed from the faculty s doctoral programme by the doctoral committee after due warning. Article 9. Start of the doctoral period The doctoral period starts at the beginning of the doctoral scholarship or the research and teaching assistant position with doctoral finality, and for others on the date of the first enrolment as a PhD researcher (see art. 8). Article 10. Duration of the doctoral period A PhD researcher with a full-time research assignment obtains the doctoral degree in principle within a period of four years. The PhD researcher may request a two-year extension of the doctoral period twice, by submitting a reasoned request to the chair of the doctoral committee, who will consult the supervisor and the eventual co-supervisor(s). When a second extension is requested, the committee s advice explicitly mentions the estimated completion date of the PhD project. Subsection 4. Supervision and progress Article 11. Supervisor and co-supervisors 1. The supervisor is a member of the senior academic staff (ZAP) of the KU Leuven and is affiliated to the faculty in which the doctoral degree is procured. The supervisor can request a motivated exception from the executive committees in question. An
9 exception can be given ad hoc (applicable to one PhD researcher) or structurally for a certain period limited in time (applicable to several PhD researchers of the same supervisor). The following points also apply: (1) ZAP members with provisional appointment can be a supervisor if the suspected duration of their appointment is at least four years from the start of the doctoral period, (2) tenure track ZAP are equivalent to permanent ZAP and can therefore be a supervisor. (3) persons with the title special guest professor in the arts can act as supervisor of PhD researchers in the arts, (4) for emeriti the terms and conditions for being a supervisor are described in the emeritus professors policy of the KU Leuven, (5) if a supervisor leaves the KU Leuven during the doctoral period, a new supervisor is appointed. 2. In addition to the supervisor, one or more co-supervisors can be appointed. In principle, co-supervisors have a doctorate. The doctoral committee may allow an exception to this on the basis of certain competences. 3. The supervisor and any co-supervisors are jointly responsible for the intrinsic monitoring of the doctoral project. As such each of them separately endorses the profile of the good supervisor. The supervisor functions as a contact point, bears final responsibility for the doctoral project and coordinates the supervisors team. The doctoral committee will consider whether the topic of the presented doctoral research is within the proposed supervisor s field of expertise. If this is not the case, the committee asks the candidate to propose another supervisor. On the proposal of the supervisor, the doctoral committee may appoint one or more cosupervisors. Co-supervisors are appointed for their relevant expertise for the PhD research. The principles outlined above also apply if the doctoral researcher requests the doctoral committee to appoint a new supervisor or one or several new co-supervisor(s). Article 12. Supervisory committee The doctoral committee appoints a supervisory committee for every PhD researcher at least one month before the first progress report (see art. 13). The supervisory committee consists of the supervisor, any co-supervisors and at least two other
10 members. The doctoral committee ensures that the supervisory committee is sufficiently diverse, and doesn't consist exclusively of members of the same research group. The composition can be changed during the doctoral programme. The responsibility of the supervisory committee is to monitor the progress of the doctoral research by means of the annual progress report (see art. 13). The PhD researcher or supervisor can also appeal to the members of the supervisory committee for additional discussion. No later than two months before the PhD researcher s first progress report is due, the supervisor and the coordinator of the research group involved submit a proposal for the composition of the supervisory committee to the doctoral committee. If the supervisor is also the research group coordinator, the proposal should be drawn up by the supervisor and the programme director of the discipline involved; if the supervisor is not only the research group coordinator but also the programme director of the discipline involved, the doctoral committee will ask a member of senior academic staff (ZAP) with relevant expertise, who is not a possible member of the supervisory committee, to draw up the proposal together with the supervisor. Both members of senior academic staff (ZAP) of KU Leuven and other universities and lectures at university colleges, staff at scientific institutions and other experts may be appointed as members of the supervisory committee. At the time of the composition of the committee, all members of the supervisory committee hold a PhD. In addition to the supervisor and any co-supervisor(s), the supervisory committee should comprise (i) at least one member who is also part of the Faculty of Social Sciences; (ii) at least one member who is not in the supervisor s research group. The rules outlined above also apply if a reasoned request is submitted to recompose the supervisory committee. If a new supervisor is appointed, he/she can submit to the doctoral committee a proposal to recompose the supervisory committee in accordance with the rules above. Article 13. Progress reports The first progress report takes place at the latest one year after the start of the doctoral period and consists of an oral or written presentation on the research undertaken or still to be done. The results determine whether the doctoral programme and the preparation for the thesis can be continued or not. The evaluation takes place on the basis of two criteria: (1) the progress made in the doctoral research, and (2) the advances made in academic ability and research maturity by the PhD researcher.
11 Subsequently the PhD researcher reports on an annual basis on the progress of the doctoral research, and in addition, if required, when applying for or extension of a scholarship or mandate. Every progress report is validated by the supervisor and any co-supervisors, and assessed by the other members of the supervisory committee. The result is substantiated and recorded in writing and sent to the PhD researcher and the doctoral committee. In principle, the first progress report consists of a PhD research proposal (max. 20 pages), explaining the further planned research on the basis of the work already undertaken. This proposal includes the provisional title of the dissertation, a problem statement, a clarification of the selected theoretical and methodological approach, and a work plan. The supervisory committee will discuss the proposal as soon as possible after its submission, in principle in an oral review attended by the PhD researcher, and decide whether it can be approved, with or without amendments. A well-founded report is drawn up of this meeting, signed by the members of the supervisory committee and by the doctoral researcher, and sent to the doctoral committee, together with the PhD research proposal. If the supervisory committee believes that in view of the doctoral student s research activities or self-supporting status a different mode of reporting and/or of assessing is more appropriate for the first progress report, the doctoral committee will be informed in good time by a reasoned letter. The doctoral committee will build up its own jurisprudence regarding the exceptions on the expected first progress report. If the doctoral researcher wishes to depart substantially from the approved research proposal during the work on his/her dissertation or wishes to change the subject of the dissertation, the supervisor again convenes the supervisory committee. In the case of a significant change to the accepted research proposal, the supervisory committee determines whether the drafting and evaluation of a new research proposal is appropriate. In the case of an intended modification of the dissertation s subject, the PhD researcher submits a new PhD proposal to the supervisory committee. The supervisory committee assesses a new PhD proposal in accordance with the procedure outlined above.
12 Subsection 5. Doctoral programme Article 14. Doctoral programme 1. The doctoral programme is obligatory and must be successfully completed before the PhD researcher is permitted to submit the thesis and defend it publicly. 2. The doctoral programme consists of a truncus communis (see art. 15) and a supplementary part (see art. 16). The PhD researcher can only complete the doctoral programme if all the elements of the truncus communis are completed. The doctoral committee can on an individual basis grant a (partial) exemption of the doctoral programme or set a substitute assignment, on the basis of a motivated application by the PhD researcher and in consultation with the supervisor. If the doctoral research is multi- and/or interdisciplinary, the doctoral committee can give permission for elements of the truncus communis (see art. 15) to be replaced by course components from another doctoral programme, on the basis of a motivated application by the PhD researcher in consultation with the supervisor. 3. The PhD researcher reports to the doctoral committee on the progress made within his/her doctoral programme. On the basis of this report, the doctoral committee will decide whether the PhD researcher has completed the doctoral programme. In his/her annual progress reports (see Article 13), the doctoral researcher reports on the progress made within the doctoral programme. Article 15. Content of the truncus communis The truncus communis consists of at least the following elements: (1) the writing of at least one scientific publication at an international level or a similar achievement at an international level. By a publication at international level is meant: a peer-reviewed contribution (journal article, contribution to a book, conference proceedings, patent, design) about his/her own research and written in the language of the discipline. The contribution is aimed at an international audience. In order to be able to successfully complete the doctoral programme, the contribution must be published or be accepted for publication, (2) giving at least two seminars, either about his/her own research, or on a more general theme, (3) giving at least one oral or poster presentation at an international scientific conference,
13 (4) following at least one seminar series or course component specifically organised for PhD researchers, (5) following the course component Scientific integrity for starting PhDs during the first year of the doctoral programme. Following the course component Scientific Integrity for starting PhD is mandatory for PhD researchers whose doctoral period started during or after the academic year. (6) reporting on the progress of the doctoral research as specified in art. 13. The executive committees can add more specific provisions or additional components to the truncus communis in their Particulars (see art. 1 2). Each research group possibly in collaboration regularly organizes the seminars referred to under (2) above, in which the PhD researchers of the research group give presentations on their own doctoral research or on a more general topic. The coordinator of the research group supervises the academic quality of these seminars and informs the doctoral committee after every seminar about the presentations given. Each PhD researcher follows, within or outside the Faculty, one course or seminar series organized specifically for PhD students. Participation in shorter events, such as workshops, lectures, etc. may count for partial credit. The doctoral committee will build up its own jurisprudence in making credit decisions. As a rule, a completed seminar series is equivalent to a Summer School of at least one week, while a course is equivalent with at least 6 ECTS-credits. Article 16. Content of the supplementary part The supplementary part consists of additional activities and training that the PhD researcher follows as part of the doctoral research and/or as a preparation for a career within or outside the university. The PhD researcher is ultimately responsible for the supplementary part. The supplementary part should not be in conflict with the status of the PhD researcher and must not hinder the progress and quality of the doctoral research. Upon completion of the doctoral programme, the PhD researcher can request to receive a certificate documenting the activities undertaken within the supplementary part and any teaching support activities. For this purpose, the PhD researcher should maintain a portfolio, to be approved by the supervisor upon completion of the doctoral programme and subsequently submitted to the chair of the doctoral committee.
14 Subsection 6. Thesis and public defence Article 17. Examination committee The rector appoints an examination committee for every PhD researcher on the recommendation of the doctoral committee. The chair of the examination committee belongs to the ZAP of the KU Leuven and is affiliated to the faculty that will award the doctoral degree. The chair does not belong to the same research group as the supervisor and the PhD researcher, and is not a member of the supervisory committee. The chair does not act as a direct evaluator and only in the event of a tie does the chair decide. At least one member of the examination committee is external to the KU Leuven. The responsibilities of the examination committee include: (1) evaluating the thesis (see art. 19), (2) taking part in the public defence (see art. 20), (3) deciding whether or not to grant the doctoral degree after the public defence (see art. 20). The examination committee comprises the members of the supervisory committee and at least two additional members. These additional members may include senior academic staff from KU Leuven and other universities as well as lecturers at university colleges, staff at scientific institutions and other experts. At the time of the composition of the committee, all members of the examination committee hold a PhD. At least two members of the examination committee must be external to the Faculty of Social Sciences, and at least one must be external to KU Leuven. As soon as the PhD researcher is in the final stages of thesis writing, the supervisor in consultation with the coordinator of the research group involved submits a reasoned proposal on the additional members. If the supervisor is also the research group coordinator, the proposal should be drawn up by the supervisor and the programme director of the discipline involved; if the supervisor is not only the research group coordinator but also the programme director of the discipline involved, the doctoral committee will ask a member of senior academic staff (ZAP) with relevant expertise, who is not a possible member of the examination committee, to draw up the proposal together with the supervisor.
15 The guidelines above are also applicable if a reasoned request is submitted to recompose an examination committee. The vice dean for research ex officio chairs the examination committee. If the vice dean for research is a member of the examination committee or is part of the supervisor s and PhD researcher s research group, the dean will stand in for him/her. If a conflict of interest continues to exist, the dean submits a reasoned proposal for stand-in to the doctoral committee. During the public defence, the chair of the examination committee may be replaced by another member of senior academic staff (ZAP) or an emeritus professor of the Faculty of Social Sciences. Article 18. Thesis The thesis is an exam piece that must allow the examination committee to assess the quality of the doctoral research. The regulations with regard to PhD thesis copyright must be respected. The regulations on intellectual property rights on research results including copyright applies, and nonsalaried PhD researchers must sign a written agreement at the beginning of their doctoral research as specified in this regulation if the results of the doctoral research have to be protected. The PhD thesis is either a monograph, or a series of at least four journal articles and/or book chapters, of which the PhD researcher is the first author; two or more PhD researchers may be the joint first author, if this is explicitly indicated. If admitted to the doctoral programme prior to 1 May 2015, the PhD researcher is the main author of the articles or chapters included in the thesis. If the PhD thesis consists of a series of journal articles and/or book chapters, at least three journal articles and/or book chapters are accepted in at least two different highquality journals (= Lirias category IT) or by high-quality publishers (= Lirias category IHb). The other article(s) and/or chapter(s) is/are at the peer review stage. The articles and/or chapters collected in the thesis form a coherent whole, as shown by the introduction and a synthesis. The PhD thesis is written in Dutch, English or French. The doctoral committee can grant a reasoned exception to this rule. In any event, all members of the examination committee should have sufficient knowledge of the language in which the thesis is written.
16 Any PhD thesis not written in English includes an English abstract, while a thesis not written in Dutch contains a Dutch abstract. The thesis complies with the formatting guidelines set by the Faculty of Social Sciences and available from the unit Doctoral Programme and Research Support Social Sciences. It should be clearly stated that responsibility for any views expressed in the thesis lies solely with the author, not with the Faculty. Article 19. Evaluation of the thesis On the basis of the thesis the examination committee can take the following decisions: (1) the thesis is approved, possibly on condition that minor changes are made: the PhD researcher is permitted to publish the thesis and defend it publicly. (2) the thesis is approved on certain conditions: the PhD researcher must make changes to the thesis taking into account comments made by the examination committee and ensure that the adapted version is given to the examination committee for final approval. (3) the thesis is not approved: the PhD researcher can submit a new or thoroughly amended thesis for evaluation by the examination committee in line with the above procedure. If the thesis is not approved after the second evaluation, it can be permanently rejected. The evaluation period starts the day after the PhD researcher has submitted the number of bound copies required for the examination committee as well as an electronic version of his/her thesis to the unit Doctoral Programme and Research Support Social Sciences with the approval of his/her supervisor and any co-supervisor(s). The submitted thesis is immediately provided to the members of the examination copy. Within six week, they submit a detailed written report to the chair of the examination committee; if the thesis is submitted between 1 July and 15 August, the assessment period is eight weeks. In assessing the PhD, the examiners consider whether it testifies of an autonomous practicing of one of the social sciences. Both general and specific criteria apply. General criteria include the following: clarity of the problem statement, originality of the approach adopted, scientific level of the structuring, analysis and processing of the data, balanced structure of the thesis and clarity of style. Criteria specific to the social sciences include the following: development of new insights and views relevant to the social sciences, soundness of the social-scientific methodology used, critical evaluation of the findings
17 against existing social-scientific theories, societal relevance (where appropriate) and a creative approach to the topic dealt with in the thesis. At the end of his/her detailed written report, each member of the examination committee assigns one of the following assessment categories: approved, approved on condition that minor changes are made, approved on certain conditions, or not approved. If approved on condition that minor changes are made, the changes to be made should be clearly specified. On the basis of the individual assessments of the members of the examination committee, the chair concludes in accordance with the rules below that the PhD thesis has been approved, approved on condition that minor changes are made, approved on certain conditions or not approved. The thesis is approved if all members have selected the assessment category approved or if not at least two members of the examination committee have selected the category approved on condition that minor changes are made, approved on certain conditions or not approved. The thesis is approved on condition that minor changes are made if at least two members of the examination committee have selected this assessment category or if one member selects this assessment category and one member selects the assessment category approved on certain conditions or not approved. If this decision is taken, the PhD researcher makes the desired minor changes in consultation with the supervisor and any co-supervisor(s). Subsequently, he/she submits the number of copies required for the examination committee as well as an electronic version of the revised thesis to the unit Doctoral Programme and Research Support Social Sciences, together with an overview of the changes made. The thesis is approved on certain conditions if at least two examiners have selected this assessment category or if one examiner selects this assessment category and one examiner selects the assessment category not approved. If this decision is taken, the PhD researcher revises the thesis in light of the made comments in consultation with the supervisor and any co-supervisor(s). Before the revision process, the supervisor and co-supervisor(s) can ask the chair to convene the examination committee in order to discuss the made remarks in the presence of the PhD researcher. Subsequently the PhD researcher submits the number of copies required for the examination committee as well as an electronic version of the revised thesis to the unit Doctoral Programme and Research Support Social Sciences, together with an overview of the changes made. Both are immediately provided to the members of the examination committee. Within six weeks, they inform the chair of the examination committee whether the thesis can be approved, approved on the condition of minor changes or approved on certain
18 conditions. For the last two categories, a detailed written report is expected. If the thesis is submitted between 1 July and 15 August, the assessment period is eight weeks. The thesis is not approved if at least two examiners have selected this assessment category. The PhD researcher may submit a new or thoroughly revised thesis to the examination committee for assessment in accordance with the procedure outlined above. Before the revision process, the supervisor and co-supervisor(s) can ask the chair to convene the examination committee in order to discuss the made remarks in the presence of the PhD researcher. If the thesis is not approved after the second assessment, the chair will ask the examiners whether or not the PhD thesis is definitively rejected. The thesis is definitively rejected if it is decided so by a majority of the examiners. As soon as the PhD researcher is admitted to the public defence, the copies of his/her thesis for the Social Sciences library (SBIB), the university and legal deposit will be distributed. Article 20. Public defence During the public defence the PhD researcher gives a short presentation about the thesis. Thereafter a discussion follows with the members of the examination committee. At the end the public is given the opportunity to ask questions. The examination committee deliberates immediately after the public session and decides whether or not the PhD can be awarded the degree of doctor. A report is drafted and signed by all members of the examination committee present. The result is announced in public immediately after the deliberation. In principle, the public defence takes place within 30 days of approval of the thesis by the examination committee. If the thesis was approved on condition that minor changes are made, this period starts on the day after the PhD researcher has submitted the revised thesis in accordance with the Particulars in Article 20. Public defences are not scheduled during July or August. At the start of the public defence, the chair of the examination committee reads the report stating that the candidate has met the requirements for admission to the public defence of his/her thesis. The short presentation of the present thesis last maximum 20 minutes. The full defence takes maximum 2 hours.
19 During its closed meeting immediately following the public defence, the examination committee decides whether the candidate passes or fails. No grades of merit or percentages are awarded. The successful candidate is proclaimed Doctor in Social Sciences or Doctor in Social and Cultural Anthropology by the chair. Subsection 7. Joint degree and double degree Article 21. Joint degree and double degree If the PhD researcher prepares the thesis in partnership with (an)other national or international institution(s), the KU Leuven can award jointly with this institution a joint doctoral degree or a double doctoral degree. 1. A joint degree or double degree can be awarded if the partnership complies as a minimum with the following requirements: (1) the PhD researcher conducts research for the thesis for at least six months at the KU Leuven and at least six months in the other institution, (2) one person per institution is appointed supervisor (see art. 11), (3) the public defence of the thesis (see art. 20) takes place in front of a jury which includes, in addition to the supervisors, at least one professor from the institutions concerned. 2. If the institutions in question agree, one institution is appointed as the main institution and the other(s) as partner institution(s). The main institution acts as the contact point for the PhD researcher. (1) If the KU Leuven is appointed as the main institution, the PhD researcher complies with the general provisions laid down in this regulation and its 'Particulars'. (2) If the KU Leuven is appointed as a partner institution, the PhD researcher complies with the regulations and guidelines of the other institution concerning supervision (see art. 12), the progress reporting (see art. 13), the doctoral programme (see Subsection 5) and the thesis and public defence (see Subsection 6). The doctoral committee checks in advance whether the doctoral programme at this institution meets the necessary requirements. The doctoral committee can also make additional demands of the PhD researcher. The other general provisions laid down in this regulation and its Particulars remain applicable.
20 If the institutions in question do not agree to appoint one institution as the main institution, the doctoral committee decides at which institution the PhD researcher must comply with the regulations and guidelines regarding supervision (see art. 12), the progress reporting (see art. 13), the doctoral programme (see Subsection 5) and the thesis and public defence (see Subsection 6). The other general provisions laid down in this regulation and its Particulars remain applicable. 3. Together with the (future) supervisor the PhD researcher requests permission from the doctoral committee to prepare a thesis in partnership. This is done in principle at the same time as the request for authorisation to enrol as a PhD researcher (see art. 6), or else at the latest one year after the start of the doctoral period (see art. 9). 4. The conditions under which the partnership takes place are laid down in a partnership agreement between KU Leuven, the other institution and the PhD researcher. The negotiations about the partnership agreement are coordinated by the doctoral school in question. 5. The application procedure and the conditions that the partnership must meet are further clarified in the practical guidelines concerning the attainment of a joint or double doctoral degree at the KU Leuven (add intranet link). Subsection 8. Ombudsperson, appeal procedure and disciplinary regulation Article 22. Ombudsperson The executive committee appoints one ombudsperson per faculty or per group to deal with disputes and problems related to the doctoral process. The ombudsperson belongs to the ZAP of the KU Leuven, including emeriti with assignment. The ombudsperson is not part of the Board of Trustees and the administrative bodies as defined in the statutory regulations of the KU Leuven. If the ombudsperson is an interested party, an ombudsperson from another faculty or group is contacted. The ombudsperson is the first contact point for all concerned to discuss problems in the doctoral process. The ombudsperson shall mediate between the involved parties and together try and find an acceptable solution with them for everyone. The ombudsperson sends a general and completely anonymised report of its activities to the doctoral committee every year. The doctoral committee discusses this report and sends it to the doctoral school, the executive committee and the Vice Rector for Research Policy.
21 Article 23. Appeal procedure According to the procedure below an appeal is possible against the following decisions of the doctoral committee and the examination committee (Higher Education Codex Art.I.3 69 ): (1) the discontinuation of the doctoral programme, (2) the discontinuation of the preparation of the thesis, (3) the final result of the public defence. A PhD researcher who judges that a decision as mentioned above has breached his/her rights, can launch an internal appeal with the Vice Rector for Student Affairs. The PhD researcher is informed of this possibility. If the Vice Rector for Student Affairs is an interested party, he/she is replaced by the Vice Rector for Research Policy. The PhD researcher must submit the appeal by within five calendar days from the day after which the decision of the doctoral committee or the examination committee was made known. In his/her complaint the PhD researcher includes at least a factual description of the invoked objections. The Vice Rector for Student Affairs hears all parties in question and in each case the PhD researcher. The internal appeal procedure results in: (1) The motivated rejection of the appeal on grounds of unacceptability or unsubstantiated claims. This decision is brought to the attention of the PhD researcher by within fifteen calendar days from the day after which the internal appeal was launched. (2) A new decision by the Vice Rector for Student Affairs. The Vice Rector together with the Research coordinator of the group in question or the ZAP member appointed by him/her tries to find a solution. If no consensus can be reached, the Vice Rector takes an autonomous decision. The new decision must be taken within fifteen calendar days, starting from the day after the internal appeal was launched with the Vice Rector for Student Affairs and is also made known to the PhD researcher within this period. The address which the PhD researcher used to submit his/her appeal is used for this purpose. The internal appeal body can inform the PhD researcher within the time available to them that it will make a pronouncement at a later date. In that case the term for external appeal only starts the day after that date. After exhausting this internal appeal procedure the PhD researcher can appeal the day after the decision of the Vice Rector for Student policy or after the expiration of the term
22 in which the Vice Rector for Student policy could make a decision, to the Appeals Council for Study Progress Decisions in compliance with the Codex Hoger Onderwijs, codified on October In the event of disputes between the PhD researcher and the KU Leuven apart from the Appeals Council for Study Progress Decisions, only the Leuven courts have jurisdiction. Article 24. Disciplinary regulation The disciplinary regulation of the KU Leuven also applies to PhD researchers. The application of the disciplinary regulation applies to the AAP despite the provisions that apply via the Regulation for Academic personnel. In the event of improper conduct, sanctions can be imposed, which if necessary may result in discontinuation of the doctoral programme and thesis preparation. Transitional provisions The Regulation concerning the attainment of doctoral degrees at the KU Leuven as approved by the Academic Council on 25 November 2014 goes into effect on 1 May 2015, with the exception of: (i) Article 3 section (5) applies taking into account the exceptions as mentioned in (ii) to (xi). (ii) Article 6 applies to candidates that submit their admission request from 1 May 2015 onwards. (iii) Article 7 applies to candidates that invited to take a predoctoral exam from 1 May 2015 onwards. (iv) Article 11 applies to (co-)supervisors who are appointed from 1 May 2015 onwards. Article 11 section (5) does not apply to supervisors who at any time before 1 May 2015 possessed the ius promovendi at KU Leuven and later accepted a scientific position elsewhere while continuously remaining affiliated with the KU Leuven as a visiting professor; these retain as long as they are a visiting professor, the ius promovendi. (v) Article 12 applies to supervisory committees who are appointed from 1 May 2015 onwards. (vi) For PhD researchers that enrolled before 1 May 2015, article 13 goes into effect from the academic year. (vii) Subsection 5 applies all PhD researchers who enrolled for the first time (see article 8) from 1 May 2015 onwards, with the exception of following the course
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