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UG to extend ius promovendi to assistant professors

29 February 2024

From now on, assistant professors at the University of Groningen are able to act as primary supervisor when supervising PhD students. This was decided by the PhD Board on 14 February. Assistant professors can obtain the ius promovendi under certain conditions.

Ius promovendi

The ius promovendi is the right to award an academic a PhD, i.e. a doctorate. All professors have this right by law. This means that they can act as primary supervisor for a PhD student conducting independent academic research leading to a PhD thesis. Since 2017, individual associate professors with the correct qualifications can also request the ius promovendi through their dean. This will now also apply to assistant professors.

Recognition and Rewards

The extension of the ius promovendi to assistant professors implies that the PhD supervision work can be shared between a larger number of staff members within the departments. ‘Assistant professors have always been involved in the supervision but were not allowed to act as primary supervisor in the past’, explains Jacquelien Scherpen, Rector Magnificus. ‘This new possibility is a recognition of and reward for the responsibilities that are also carried by assistant professors that supervise a PhD student.’ This change does not lead to any concessions being made to the quality of the PhD supervision, which will remain the number one priority.


The decision for this extension was made by the PhD Board, which comprises the deans of all faculties and is chaired by the Rector Magnificus. During PhD ceremonies, assistant and associate professors with ius promovendi will wear a gown, just like professors do. The title of Professor will remain reserved for the positions of professor, deputy professor, or professor by special appointment.

More information about the decision can be found in the memo ‘Policy regarding the granting of the ius promovendi to assistant and associate professors’.

Last modified:05 March 2024 11.25 a.m.
View this page in: Nederlands

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