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Education The Faculty Graduate Schools Graduate School of Behavioural and Social Sciences PhD programme

Part-time PhD programme

Sometimes, PhD candidates are not employed at the University of Groningen and they don’t have their own scholarship, but they are employed elsewhere and receive time and/or money from their employer to work on a PhD project. These so-called external PhD candidates don’t have a formal employee or student relationship with the university. For these candidates, the option exists to work on a PhD project part-time.

The PhD programme for an external PhD candidate has a duration of 6 years. As a PhD project typically takes 3 years full-time work at minimum, this implies that the programme requires minimally 20 hours per week investment of the PhD candidate during the 6 years. The programme consists of the following four phases.

Phase 0: Exploratory meetings with potential supervisors.

The candidate discusses research interests and plans with prospective (co-)promotors, to see whether a fruitful PhD project can be set up. If the supervisory team and the prospective PhD candidate agree, the prospective PhD candidate applies to the Graduate School BSS, as aspirant PhD candidate.

Phase 1: Preparation of PhD project proposal, preliminary course work (1 year).

The aspirant PhD candidate prepares in collaboration with the (co-)promotors a PhD project proposal. The proposal includes a description of the proposed research (including the research topic and approach, time plan, motivation of feasibility, and planned output), outline of the training plan, the PhD candidate’s C.V., the supervisory team, research setting, and financial details.

The proposal needs to include a budget indicating possible research costs, conference visits, training etc. It is highly preferred that the budget is covered by external sources.

The PhD proposal will be assessed by the BSS PhD project committee and will be judged on scientific quality, research approach, and project feasibility in approach and time schedule. If the proposal is not approved, the aspirant PhD candidate receives one opportunity to revise and resubmit the proposal.

During the first year, the aspirant PhD candidate takes preliminary course work, with a load of 10 ECTS (or equivalent, i.e. 280 hours of course work). The courses are selected such that they comply with the background of the candidate, are at the PhD candidate level and of relevance for the PhD project planned. Costs for the course work are covered by the research group of the promotor involved and/or the aspirant PhD candidate.

After the approval of the PhD proposal and successful completion of the preliminary course work, the PhD candidate is admitted to the GS BSS as a full member.

Phase 2: Start of the PhD project (1 year).

The PhD candidate starts with the PhD project, as formulated in the PhD proposal. The project is evaluated after 12 months in a formal go/no-go evaluation by the (co-)promotor(s), similarly to internal PhD students. In the evaluation the process and realized output play a role, with as planned output typically a first paper (almost) in submission. (Note that the go/no-go evaluation is at a later moment than internal PhD students to accommodate part-time research work)

Phase 3: Continuing and finalizing the PhD project (4 years).

The PhD project will be continued resulting in the PhD thesis, similarly to the projects of internal PhD candidates. Each year, a Result & Development meeting takes place, to discuss the progress and mutual collaboration in the PhD team.

Last modified:27 January 2023 12.35 p.m.