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About us FEB Research / FEB Graduate School of Economics and Business PhD programme



PhD candidates who do not have a research master degree (or equivalent), follow compulsory courses for 35 EC in the first year; a standard part of 10 EC and an individual, elective part of 25 EC. The compulsory courses are:

  1. Research proposal (5 EC)
  2. English writing and presentation courses (5 EC)

In addition the following workshops/activities are mandatory for all PhD students (but no EC’s are granted for these professionalization activities):

  1. Publishing workshop
  2. Scientific integrity workshop
  3. Two presentations at the PhD conference

NB: PhD scholarship students also have to participate in the career perspectives track.

PhD candidates who do have a Research Master (ReMa) degree do not have compulsory courses, but the following workshops/activities are mandatory

  1. Publishing
  2. Two presentations at the PhD conference

Course/workshop Information

Research Proposal (5 EC)
This course
is developed to support PhD candidates in writing their research proposal. In four one-day sessions (November through April) the course focuses on the main elements of a research proposal such as writing an introduction, developing research questions, the use of literature, explaining the methodology, and feasibility of the research. This course is compulsory for PhD candidates who did not complete the Research Master programme. Part-time PhD candidates are expected to take this course in the second year of the course-based phase. Students who have successfully finished this course should have: the skills and knowledge to write a high-quality scientific research proposal (introduction, positioning, theoretical framework, research approach, etc.), the skills and knowledge to present and defend their research proposal, an overview and understanding of alternative research approaches within economics and business, and a basic understanding as to where to position their own research within the various research approaches in economics and business.

English Presentation (2,5 EC)
This CEFR C1 level course consists of 12 contact hours (spread over 3 days). After the first day, with input and orientation activities (What makes a presentation effective? What are the differences between spoken and written academic English?), all participants give two filmed presentations on their research. They receive links to their own videos. The course focuses on presentation skills (structure, delivery) but also addresses language issues when necessary (vocabulary, pronunciation). All participants are involved in question & answer sessions and in giving peer feedback. The groups are small, with no more than 8 participants. A Brightspace site is used, enabling participants to work on individual language problems. This course is compulsory for PhD candidates without a Research Master degree (or equivalent). Part-time PhD candidates are advised to take this course in the first year of the course based phase.

English Writing (2,5 EC)
This CEFR C1 level course consists of 24 contact hours (spread over 6 days). It flexibly covers academic writing issues (word and sentence level, paragraphs, text structure). Additionally, participants submit 6 texts (anything they are working on, approximately 1000 words each) for feedback on language use and structure. Furthermore, a number of authentic articles from the field are analysed. Instructions for Authors and Style Guides will be studied to check specific requirements put forth by journals. A course book and an extensive Brightspace site are used, enabling participants to work on individual language problems. The course aims to help participants improve their English writing skills to a C2 level and familiarize themselves with the styles and conventions of academic publications in their field. It includes writing a title, abstract, introduction and conclusion. This course is compulsory for PhD candidates without a Research Master (or equivalent). Part-time PhD candidates are advised to take this course in the first year of the course based phase.

Publishing Workshop
The workshop aims at showing the way to get your work published in high-quality journals. This workshop is a one-day workshop and uses the experience of senior researchers. Elements like article structure, choice of journals and review processes will be discussed interactively. The Publishing Workshop is compulsory. Part-time PhD candidates should follow this workshop as a part of their research based phase. The workshop includes two parts. In the morning there is a plenary session by an experienced and highly published professor. In the afternoon the group will be subdivided in subgroups. The subgroups will analyse examples of review processes based on cases provided by senior researchers. The specific do’s and don’ts for different fields will be the topic of discussion.

Scientific Integrity Workshop
Every student (both Research Master and PhD level, including part-time PhDs) who enters the graduate school has to follow a mandatory workshop on Scientific Integrity before they graduate. A student within the graduate school has to take the workshop just once, i.e. if a student took it in his or her Research Master programme, he or she will be exempted from the workshop in the PhD programme. The scientific integrity workshop consists of one-day of lectures and the completion of all eight modules developed by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). The course is also part of the curriculum of the Research Master as an element of the Research in Economics and Business course. For PhD candidates the course is added to the course Research Proposal, but separately recorded as a mandatory condition in the Training and Supervision Plan (TSP). The lectures in the course include topics such as general scientific ethics, faculty practices and policies, and data management.

PhD Conference
Every year (in spring) the graduate school organizes the PhD conference. This conference allows PhD candidates to present their work in a friendly setting. PhD candidates are required to submit a paper which is work-in-progress but sufficiently developed for a reviewer to comment on. Each presenter will be assigned to a discussant who reads the paper in depth and provides feedback during the presentation. Each presentation time-slot is 30 minutes, of which 15 minutes can be used for the presentation, the other 15 minutes are for discussion. For every PhD candidate it is mandatory to present at least twice at the PhD conference. Part-time PhD candidates are recommended to present during their research based phase.

Project Management Workshop
The goal of this workshop is to become acquainted with several elements of project management. At the end of the course, PhD candidates will have a solid grasp of the scope of their project and possible pitfalls. The workshop aims to make managing a PhD project easier. Amongst other topics, the following will be addressed: the basics of project management, time management and project planning, defining a project, environmental analysis (the force fields around the project), and risk analysis. This course is not compulsory, however part-time PhD candidates are advised to take this workshop in the first year of their research-based phase.

Courses from the Research Master Programme

  • Research Methods Courses
    The graduate school offers several research methods courses to both research master and PhD students (also for external students from other faculties/universities).Up-to-date information is available at the website of the graduate school.
  • Electives
    PhD candidates can follow electives from the research master. An up-to-date overview of these electives can be found at the website of the graduate school.

Career Perspectives Track
PhD candidates participate in career perspectives activities. A few examples of these workshops and activities are:

  • Inside academia
  • Outside academia
  • Introduction programme RUG graduate schools
  • A beginner’s guide to grant writing
  • From idea to proposal
  • Rubicon training

A full overview can be found here.

Last modified:01 November 2023 5.07 p.m.