TU/e tightens up doctoral procedure

The fraud issue concerning Tilburg professor Diederik Stapel has led TU/e to intensify its quality control for dissertations. Starting 2013, new doctoral candidates should have a second supervisor next to their main supervisor. On top of that, every member of the PhD committee has to present a written assessment. Today, only members of the smaller core committee do so.

Earlier this week, the Executive Board notified the Departmental Boards of the upcoming regulation changes regarding the doctoral program. Apart from the obligatory second supervisor and the individual assessments there will be another important change: in the future, the dean of the department involved appoints a member for the PhD committee. This person must be either a full-time professor or associate professor at TU/e, as well as hold an independent position.

This last measure is a TU/e exclusive. Changing the number of supervisors from one to two is in line with national recommendations from umbrella organization VSNU. The new rules will apply to all new doctoral candidates who start their research on or after January 1, 2013. The new rules don’t apply to doctoral programs that started prior to that date. Still, the Executive Board hopes current doctoral programs will already act on the upcoming changes.

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