VDS CoBeNe PhD Life Cycle

All participants of the VDS CoBeNe - both PhD fellows and supervisors - are obliged to adhere to the Code of Good Practice for Doctoral Schools and the VDS CoBeNe guidelines, e.g., to support the three-level monitoring system, based on i) student self-assessment, ii) supervisor support and mentoring and iii) the Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC).

The TAC is composed of the supervisor and two additional researchers (one of which should be a VDS member) and meets 2-3 times during the PhD period, evaluating the PhD candidate’s progress, giving external advice and support to student and supervisor, and helping to resolve possible conflicts between the student and the supervisor.

The PhD life cycle is structured in three phases with milestones to reach and to be evaluated in the TAC meetings. 

  • Phase 1 Induction: writing thesis proposal, giving open presentation to faculty, signing the doctoral thesis agreement. 
  • Phase 2 Consolidation: presentation of results at meetings, draft of first paper(s). 
  • Phase 3 Finalization: writing thesis, planning career.


The required educational program for each research area will be negotiated between the PhD fellow and his/her supervisor and stated in the doctoral thesis agreement. 

For each phase, the VDS offers seminars in transferable skills (e.g., how to get started, good scientific practice, career development, scientific writing, and scientific presentation), which are strongly recommended for VDS CoBeNe PhD fellows.

Regarding to funding, the VDS offers paid research opportunities, grants (e.g., research related seed grant, completion grant for 6 months in order to finalize the written thesis), and hands-on experience in organizing summer schools and student conferences.