EUA Council for Doctoral Education

EUA-CDE invites member universities to share good practices

30 March 2020

In these difficult times, doctoral schools and similar structures are revising their current practices and joining common efforts to stop the coronavirus from spreading. Given that the current situation has implications for the regular functioning of doctoral education in Europe, EUA-CDE invites its members to share their experiences and good practices. Social media platforms are a resource that EUA-CDE members can use to show how their working methods are changing, in particular the EUA-CDE LinkedIn group. EUA-CDE also encourages members to follow the EUA-CDE twitter page and use the hashtag #DocEdtogthr. The aim is to create a compilation of practices that will be of use today, as well as in the future. Below is a list of examples, which will be regularly updated.

Examples of good practices:

The Free University Brussels (VUB) adopted new regulations about doctoral defences. The university decided to postpone doctoral defences taking place in the coming weeks. As long as all parties involved (supervisor, doctoral candidate and jury members) agree on this, the period (of one month after a successful internal defence) as foreseen in the Central Doctoral Regulations can be extended.

In specific circumstances (VISA expiration, arranged return to the home country, need of doctor’s title for future job, etc.) a public defence is possible and needs to be arranged in a fully digital manner. The relevant faculty body decides upon the relevance of the circumstances called upon by the supervisor or doctoral candidate.

KU Leuven developed new measures regarding interim evaluations for doctoral research and preliminary and public doctoral defences. It also provided a dedicated website informing doctoral candidates and other interested parties on up-to-date information.

The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU Amsterdam) International Office has also been active in developing a series of online activities for doctoral candidates.

Every Thursday a PhD lunch session is organised to engage with the doctoral community and keep it informed about the current status of doctoral studies, research and help answer any questions. All doctoral candidates at VU can also receive regular updates via the Facebook groups VU PhD Gatherings and VU-Your PhD News.