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Radboudumc guidelines for a doctoral thesis
Types of PhD candidatesThere are different kinds of PhD candidates at Radboudumc, differing in the length and type of contract, as well as additional (sideline) functions. The requirements for a doctoral thesis are identical for all PhD categories.
PhD thesis recommendationsThe doctoral thesis is a proof of the ability to perform independent scientific research. The requirements for a PhD thesis are defined by the doctorate regulations of the Radboud University.
It should be emphasized that the quality and not the number of chapters determines the assessment by the manuscript committee. Because of this focus on quality instead of quantity, we hesitate to recommend a minimum or a maximum number of empirical data-based (or conceptual) chapters. For example, even one or two publishable chapters of high quality may be enough to pass the quality criteria. To avoid the wrong focus on quantity, it is not recommended to include more than 3 publishable chapters.
Apart from the core chapters, based on the candidate’s own empirical research, the thesis should include:
- An introductory and concluding chapter
- A summary
- A short CV
- A page describing research data management referring to the FAIR principles. The requirements and examples for the research data management page can be found here.
- A portfolio (including a report of the doctoral education, e.g., courses, workshops, seminars, international conferences) as outlined by the respective research institute
Research data management Requirements and examplesRequirements Research Data Management
Please note: this information will constantly be updated.
The term data management refers to collecting, handling and storing data in a transparent and reliable manner. The data management page should contain information about how the research data were handled during research, from creation to long term preservation. The Radboudumc research institutes endorse the importance of facilitating reuse of research data as underlined by the FAIR-principles 1, which are guidelines to enhance and improve Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability and Reuse of research data.
Currently, RTC Data Stewardship, together with the Radboudumc research institutes and the Radboud University Research Support, are developing various tools, training and support to enable our researchers to comply to these FAIR principles.
A research data management SOP and working instruction, as well as a Data Management Planning (DMP) tool will be launched at a later stage.
For questions you can contact RTC Data Stewardship.
Informative link from the Dutch Techcentre for Life Sciences here.
1. Wilkinson, Mark D., et al. "The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship." Scientific data 3 (2016)
Examples Research data management page
The primary and secondary data obtained during my PhD at the Radboud university medical center (Radboudumc) have been captured and stored on Labguru, a digital lab book client which is centrally stored and daily backed-up on the local Radboudumc server. Data was additionally backed-up on university servers belonging to the department. All data archives (view only) are stored on Labguru and accessible by the associated senior staff members. Mouse studies described in Chapter 2, 3 and 5 were approved by the Central Animal Laboratory and the Animal Ethics Board of the associated universities. Published data generated or analyzed in this thesis are part of published articles and its additional files are available from the associated corresponding authors on request. All raw and processed chIP-seq data described in Chapter 2 is available through the public functional genomics data repository GEO (gene expression omnibus). The RNA-seq data displayed in Chapter 4 will be available in GEO after publication. To ensure interpretability of the data, all filenames, primary and secondary data, metadata, descriptive files and program code and scripts used to provide the final results are documented along with the data.
This thesis is based on the results of human studies, which were conducted in accordance with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki. The medical and ethical review board Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects Region Arnhem Nijmegen, Nijmegen, the Netherlands has given approval to conduct these studies.
This project is stored on the Radboudumc, department server: (H:)DEPTdata$(\\umcfs083) under DEPT ARCHIEF. The study in chapter 3 was co-funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development and stored on the Radboudumc, department server (H:)DEPTdata$(\\umcfs083) under DEPT\Alpha\Validatie.
In our studies patients received questionnaire booklets containing the written informed consent during the physical examination moment, after two weeks and after three months. The participating physicians filled in the research form on paper. The paper data were stored in the department archive (Radboudumc, room M999.04.424), closet number 9. The data of chapter 3 is stored in the bunker (Radboudumc, room M999.02.210) under archive number 43, closet E. All paper data were entered into the computer by use of Castor EDC. Data management and monitoring were also performed within Castor EDC. An audit trail was incorporated to provide evidence of the activities that has altered the original data. The privacy of the participants in this study is warranted by use of encrypted and unique individual subject codes. This code correspondents with the code on the patient- and physicians booklets. The code was stored separately from the study data. Data where converged from Castor EDC to SPSS (SPSS Inc., Chicago, Illinois, USA).
The patient data for the analyses of the studies as presented in chapter 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7 is stored on the departments’ H-drive (H:\Dept\Research\ProjectXX\Investigators file\Database lock) in SPSS format: (chapter 2) ProjectXX_PDQ_B_NL_Anonymous, (chapter 4,5, 6 and 7) projectXX database 2014, (chapter 7) ProjectXX database + Cx_QST 2014. The data for chapter 3 is stored on the departments’ H-drive (H:\Dept\ResearchUnit\ARCHIEF\STUDIE ARCHIEF\Dept ARCHIEF).
The data will be saved for 15 years after termination of the study (July 1, 2013). Using these patient data in future research is only possible after a renewed permission by the patient as recorded in the informed consent. The datasets analyzed during these studies are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
Specific guidelines for a doctoral thesis per research institute
a research institute
RIHS logo for thesisIn order to promote training, while simultaneously increasing the visibility of the Institute, the Radboud Institute for Health Sciences sponsors your thesis for an amount of € 250 (gross). This amount comes on top of the printing costs for which you can be reimbursed by your department. Please see 'Graduation' > 'Financial bonuses' > 'Extra bonus' > 'RIHS Graduate School'.
RIMLS logo for thesisPlease adhere to the following points:
- For the back cover of your thesis please use the RIMLS logo that can be downloaded below. Please make a small white band with a height of 20 mm at the bottom, covering the booklet from left to right. As an example, please view the picture below. The original RIMLS logo can be downloaded from http://radboudumc.cicontrol.nl/page/view/510 (z-number login needed).
- At the side of your thesis please add RIMLS, the year of publication and the chronological number that you can request at the RIMLS secretary. (i.e. RIMLS 2017-43). Please use the Radboud blue color: RGB: #006991, 0/105/145. The font can be adapted to the thesis lay-out. The height of this item should be 20 mm, same as the white band on the back cover (see also 1). The width of this item can be adjusted to the thickness of your booklet. As an example, please view the picture below.
- In the thesis (e.g. inside of the front cover) the following text needs to be mentioned. "The work presented in this thesis was carried out within the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences"
- See for the cover bonus: link.
> more on coporate identity RIMLS (z-number login)
To have uniformity in the PhD theses that are produced at the Donders Graduate School, PhD candidates completing their program at our research center initiated the so-called Donders Series: dissertations that are in line with the institute's visual identity. Detailed information about logo use and what the thesis should look like can be found on our intranet (login needed).
> go to Donders thesis series
The education certificate differs per graduate school. Therefore, please check out the information regarding your graduate school.
a research institute
The KNAW accredited Radboud Institute for Health Sciences strives for excellence in research and education. The institute considers a tailor-made training of PhD candidates as one of its most important tasks. Together with your supervisors you should formulate a Training and Supervision Plan within three months from the start of your appointment as a PhD candidate. Your TSP will be reviewed by the Institute's TSP Committee. After this evaluation, you may receive some tips, advice or recommendations in order to make your education as a PhD candidate a success. After successful completion of an approved TSP, the PhD candidate will receive a RIHS PhD education certificate.
The RIMLS institute promotes on-the-job training and rewards PhD candidates with a certificate who developed several competencies and transferable skills during their PhD. Completed courses, workshops, attended lectures and symposia should be included in a portfolio at the end of your thesis.
RIMLS thesis portfolioThe aim of the RIMLS thesis portfolio is to summarize all of your learning activities throughout your PhD-track. To qualify for a RIMLS certificate and/or a bonus, you are required to add the portfolio to your thesis. Here you can find an example and template of the portfolio.
What you need to qualify for a certificateTo qualify for an RIMLS PhD certificate the following conditions should be met:
- The PhD candidate must be enrolled in the RIMLS PhD program from the start-date of the PhD research period*.
- The PhD candidate must have demonstrated sufficient on-the-job learning including attendance at (minimally):
- attendance RIMLS course "In the lead"
- two RIMLS PhD retreats, including the final year
- two New Frontiers symposia
- an integrity workshop
- The PhD candidate has obtained 30 EC points.
- EC points
- Competencies and transferable skills
- Portfolio (example, template)
- A typical PhD programme
* For RIMLS PhD candidates, the start of research period is taken to be the start-date of the PhD work contract. If an alternative start-date is to be used, this should be clearly stated in the Training & Supervision Plan.
The Donders Graduate School offers PhD candidates a vibrant and challenging international research environment. The institute strongly encourages PhD candidates to develop a tailor-made training program that promotes both research and personal skills. Completed courses, workshops, attended lectures and symposia should be included in a portfolio and added to your thesis. The Donders Graduate School rewards PhD candidates who fulfil all requirements with a Graduate School certificate.
What you need to qualify for the certificateTo qualify for the Donders Graduate School certificate the following conditions should be met:
- The PhD candidate must be enrolled in the Graduate School and registered in PhD Track from the start-date of the PhD trajectory.
- The PhD candidate has submitted a Training and Supervision Plan (TSP) that has been accepted by the TSP evaluation committee (TSP has been submitted within 3 months from the start of the PhD trajectory)
- The PhD candidate must attend the compulsory courses offered by the Graduate School*:
- The PhD candidate has obtained 30 EC points
- courses for developing competencies and transferable skills (18EC)
- attending local lectures, (inter)national lectures, workshops, conferences, etc (12EC)
- The PhD candidate has published his/her thesis in the Donders Thesis Series
How to obtain your certificateAt the end of you PhD trajectory sent your portfolio, containing an overview of the names of the courses, lectures, workhops and conferences, the number of ECs and proof of attendance to the Donders Graduate School Secretary (email@example.com) The overview should be signed by your primary supervisor/Principal Investigator. The certificate will be presented to you after your successful PhD defence.
End of contractFour months before the end of your contract you can contact the career advisors of the Radboudumc for support in finding a new job. This advice is free of charge.
We can support you with:
- Application letter
- Resume (CV)
- Use of Social Media
- Application conversation
You will receive a reply within 2 weeks for an appointment.
- Monique Kropman
- Shira Hurenkamp
- Gerda Nachtegaal
Radboudumc training regulation
as set forth in Article 17.4 UMC of the CLA for researchers in training
ln this regulation, the terms below shall be defined as follows:
- Radboud university medical center: the university medical center that operates as an independent subsidiary (without legal personality) of Stichting Katholieke Universiteit (SKU) in Nijmegen.
- Director: the director of the Radboud university medical center's research institute with which the Graduate School is affiliated.
- Training and Supervision Committee: the Training and Supervision Committee referred to in Article 5 of this regulation.
- Researcher in training: the employee seeking to obtain a doctorate and employed to this end by Radboud university medical center, as described in Article !7 .3 (2) of the university medical center's CLA.
- Doctoral thesis supervisor a professor or professors appointed to play a supervisory role, pursuant to the Doctorate Regulations of Radboud University.
- Doctorol thesis co-supervisor: an individual holding a doctoral degree who is involved in the preparation of a dissertation, pursuant to Article 6 of Radboud University's Doctoral Degree Regulations.
- Daily supervisor a postdoctoral researcher tasked with supervising the researcher in training on a daily basis. This may be the doctoral thesis (co)-supervisor .
- Mentor: the individual with whom the researcher in training can consult for questions about non-content aspects of the training.
This regulation applies to researchers in training, as referred to in Article 1 of this regulation. This regulation will also apply by analogy as far as possible to employees who are enrolled in a PhD track but are not employed by Radboud university medical center as researcher in training.
The prevailing Doctorate Regulations and all associated guidelines shall apply during the PhD program.
- Based on Article 2.4.4 of the CLA, Radboud university medical center will offer the researcher in training a fixed employment contract for the duration of the PhD track.
- The duration of the PhD track as determined by the Training and Supervision Plan constitutes a maximum of four years based on full-time employment.
- lf the researcher in training receives pregnancy, maternity or parental leave during the PhD program, the program may be extended by the duration of the received leave period.
- The PhD track can be extended by up to six months in the event of illness lasting eight consecutive weeks or more. This extension will only be granted if there are reasonable grounds to believe that it will contribute to the successful completion of the PhD track, as determined by the doctoral thesis supervisor.
- lf the PhD track is not completed within four years or after the extension period referred to in sections 3 and 4 of this Article, the program may be extended by up to one additional year. This extension is only possible on the recommendation of the doctoral thesis supervisor, based on a plan to complete the track as discussed by the researcher in training and the director. Such an extension will only be granted pending sufficient funding. The decision to extend the PhD track will be made by the director and documented in the Training and Supervision Plan which will also be determined by the director.
- Each Graduate school at Radboud university medical center has their own Training and Supervision Committee.
- The Training & Supervision Committee is responsible for:
- advising the candidate about the proposed activities based on the candidate's resumé and the project description;
- approval and evaluating the Training and Supervision Plan for the researcher in training;
- appointing a mentor for the researcher in training;
- monitoring the progress of the PhD track and the quality of the supervision and advising the director as necessary.
- The director is responsible for the composition and operation of the Training and Supervision Committee.
- The Training and Supervision Committee reports all conclusions, recommendations and other matters to the director after each meeting.
- Within three months of commencing employment, the researcher in training must draft a Training and Supervision Plan in consultation with the (daily) supervisor. This plan will be discussed with and finalized by the Training and Supervision Committee.
- The Training and Supervision Committee will discuss the plan twice during the PhD program (at the three month mark and the two year mark). lf necessary it will be revised.
- The Training and Supervision Plan template as established by the Radboud university medical center must be used.
- The Training and Supervision Plan must include the following:
- the duration of the PhD track;
- a brief description of the research project;
- the doctoral thesis supervisor's name;
- the mentor's name and tasks;
- the daily supervisor acting on behalf of the researcher in training (i.e. the individual tasked with supervising and directing the researcher in training);
- if the daily supervisor does not act as the doctoral thesis supervisor, the researcher in training must be given the opportunity to meet with the doctoral thesis supervisor at the start of the PhD track and during key moments of importance to the research progress at least twice a year to discuss the PhD research;
- the knowledge and skills the researcher in training is expected to acquire and how these should be acquired;
- the number of teaching hours the researcher in training will conduct;
- the possibility of terminating the training prematurely;
- the way the researcher in training is assessed and the criteria on which this assessment is based.
- The research mandate is at least 75% of the average number of working hours ascribed to the researcher in training. The research results will be incorporated in the dissertation. The researcher in training may also be expected to use his or her research results as the basis for scientific publications.
- Researchers in training shall devote no more than 25% of their annual working hours to teaching and education. ln general, years one and two will be reserved for following classes and years three and four will be reserved for teaching. Researchers in training must teach classes that align with their own research topic (e.g. by participating in classes offered by the daily supervisor or the department). This may include tutorials, seminars, laboratory work, practical/skills training sessions or colloquia. Researchers in training may also opt to supervise students during the dissertation process, provided the subject matter is in line with their own research topic.
- During the training, progress meetings will be held with the doctoral thesis supervisor, the daily supervisor and the researcher in training. The frequency of these meetings will be determined in the Training and Supervision Plan.
- During the progress meetings, the doctoral thesis supervisor and the researcher in training shall discuss and document the topics referred to in Article 188.8.131.52 of the CLA at least once per year.
- Progress meetings will be held with the doctoral thesis supervisor, the daily supervisor and the researcher in training throughout the program. The first meeting will take place nine months after the start of employment.
- During these meetings, the doctoral thesis supervisor will evaluate the researcher in training based on the criteria outlined in the Training and Supervision Plan.
- The doctoral thesis supervisor and the daily supervisor will determine whether the researcher in training is capable of completing the training within the timeframe specified in the Training and Supervision Plan, taking into account any extensions as referred to in Article 4 of this regulation. Should the doctoral thesis supervisor find that the researcher in training is unable to complete the training in time, s/he will terminate the program prematurely. This will also terminate the employment contract, pursuant to the provisions outlined in Article 17.5 (1) of the CLA. Should the doctoral thesis supervisor reach this conclusion, s/he will document his or her findings in writing.
- All researchers in training are assigned a mentor by the Training and Supervision Committee. Researchers in training may submit their preference for a mentor in advance to the Training and Supervision Committee. The mentor is responsible for:
- helping the researcher in training develop a critical attitude in terms of results and personal and scientific development during the PhD track;
- mediating between the researcher in training and the doctoral thesis supervisor/daily supervisor should disputes arise regarding the training, the supervision or the assessment.
- All researchers in training are assigned a mentor by the Training and Supervision Committee. Researchers in training may submit their preference for a mentor in advance to the Training and Supervision Committee. The mentor is responsible for:
- The researcher in training may be entitled to receive compensation for layout and printing costs.
- This compensation amounts to a maximum of €2200,-
- In order to qualify, the researcher in training must request compensation from the head of the department within three months of incurring the costs.
- The following documents must be submitted along with the compensation request:
- the final invoice made out to Radboud university medical center, which specifies the layout and/or printing costs;
- a statement signed by the registrar, confirming that s/he received the required number of dissertation copies.
- Should a dispute arise between the researcher in training and the doctoral thesis supervisor regarding the training, the supervision or the assessment, both parties will first attempt to resolve the issue with the help of the mentor. lf no solution can be reached through mediation, the researcher in training can present the dispute to the director.
- After hearing both parties, the director will submit a substantiated decision in writing within four weeks of first hearing the dispute.
- The researcher in training may appeal the director's decision, as described in point 2 above, by submitting an objection to the Executive Committee in accordance with the procedure outlined in Article la.12 of the CLA.
- This regulation shall enter into force at 1 March 2016 and will replace all previous regulations for researchers in training adopted by the Executive Committee or the departments.
- This regulation applies to all PhD tracks that commence after the date this regulation entered into force. Existing individual agreements will not be affected by this regulation.
- This regulation may also be applied on a voluntary basis to on-going PhD tracks.
- The doctoral thesis supervisor has the authority to decide on all issues not covered in this regulation or the individual training plan.
- This document is referred to as: Training regulation for researchers in training at Radboud university medical center.
- This regulation will be published on Radboud university medical center's intranet site. All of the officials mentioned in this regulation will receive a copy of this document upon appointment and a revised version as applicable.
Radboudumc Training regulation is an addendum of the UMC CAO.
Graduation bonusA graduation bonus for researchers in training at the Radboudumc is included in the collective labor agreement for university medical centers. An OIO who successfully graduates with a doctoral degree during the period of employment is awarded € 750. See the CAO UMC 2018-2020, Article 17.4.4. download collective labor agreement
The bonus regulation differs per graduate school. Therefore, please check out what your graduate school has to offer you.
a research institute
The KNAW accredited Radboud Institute for Health Sciences strives for excellence in research and education. The Institute considers a tailor-made training of PhD candidates as one of its most important tasks. In order to promote this training, while simultaneously increasing the visibility of the Institute, the Radboud Institute for Health Sciences sponsors your thesis for an amount of € 250 (gross). This amount comes on top of the printing costs for which you can be reimbursed by your department. The condition for this sponsoring by the Institute is that you fulfill the following requirements:
- You have a Training and Supervison Plan (TSP) that is approved by the institute's Training and Supervision Committee.
- You have finalized your training as defined in your TSP.
- You have mentioned in your thesis (e.g. inside of the front cover) "The work presented in this thesis was carried out within the Radboud Institute for Health Sciences".
- You have listed your itemized training portfolio according to a predefined format in your thesis. The portfolio must contain the Institute's logo and the combined Radboudumc / Radboud University logo.
- You have placed the institute's logo on the back cover of your thesis (as shown in the cover example, so including the white bar at the bottom).
- Please make sure that you send the concept thesis to us (firstname.lastname@example.org) for approval before it is being printed.
The RIMLS Graduate School strives for excellence in research and education, and encourages PhD candidates to complete their projects within the defined project period, often 4 years or less (FTE). To promote these features, while simultaneously stimulating the visibility of our institute, the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences can sponsor your thesis as outlined below. The corresponding bonus comes on top of the printing costs for which the PhD candidate can be reimbursed by the department. For PhD candidates who fulfil the following criteria a coverbonus of € 200 and / or a certificate on time bonus of € 300 gross will be paid.
What do I need to qualify for the € 200 cover bonus?To qualify for this bonus the following conditions should be met:
- The thesis contains an itemized training portfolio according to a predefined format.
- In the thesis (e.g. inside of the front cover) "The work presented in this thesis was carried out within the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences" is mentioned.
- The RIMLS logo including unique thesis number are placed on the cover of the thesis according to a predefined format.
- Please make sure that the concept thesis is submitted to RIMLS Graduate School for approval before it is being printed.
- Please provide the RIMLS Graduate School with 1 hard copy of your thesis when it is printed. Geert Grooteplein 26-28, 6525 GA, Nijmegen, route 259.
- The RIMLS PhD certificate is not required, but encouraged to obtain.
What do I need to qualify for a certifcate on time bonus € 300?To qualify for this bonus the following additional conditions should be met:
The Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience strives for excellence in research and education and encourages PhD candidates to complete their PhD projects within the defined project period, often 4 years (research fte) or less. To promote this, in addition to the €750,- bonus, the DCMN offers a financial contribution of €300,- if the PhD candidate fulfils the requirements set for the “PhD prompt scheme”.
What do I need to qualify for the PhD prompt scheme?
1. You must obtain the Donders Graduate School certificate and publish your thesis in the Donders series.
2. You have a Training and Supervision Plan (TSP) that is approved by the institute's TSP committee.
3. Your thesis manuscript must be approved by the manuscript committee before the end date of your contract (date as it is stated in your employment contract and TSP, without extension).
4. PhD candidates should send two identical letters to request financial contribution to:
- the department (as is described in the CAO for Academic hospitals) to apply for the graduation bonus
- the DCMN management (DCMN@radboudumc.nl) to apply for the PhD prompt scheme
5. In case of doubt about whether you are eligible to receive this additional contribution, please contact Ellen Lommerse. The final decision lies in the joint responsibility of the Head of Department concerned and the Management of DCMN.
Please note that this scheme is only valid for DCMN PhD students (and not for DCN, DCC and DCCN). For questions please contact DCMN@radboudumc.nl
*For PhD candidates that started their project before 1-1-2016 the old regulations apply (PhD prompt bonus of €750,-).
Reimbursement of thesis printing costsFor Radboudumc PhD candidates the Radboud University regulations for the reimbursement of thesis printing costs apply. Hand in requests at your department for reimbursement within six months after the costs incurred. The maximum of reimbursement is € 2,200 for each PhD candidate. go to Radboud University
Transition allowanceYou will only receive a transition allowance if the initiative for dismissal (or non-renewal of contract) comes from Radboudumc. However, Radboudumc does not need to pay transition allowance if the dismissal is the result of serious culpable act or omission of the employee. You are completely free in how you want to use the compensation, for example to follow a course to prepare for your next job or to supplement any benefit. The transition allowance will be paid automatically, you do not have to ask for this. No justification is necessary for this allowance. The transition allowance does not affect the amount of your unemployment benefits (uitkering).
Right of transferThe WWZ law contained a right of transfer for the transition allowance. Therefore, the transition allowance did not apply directly to all groups within Radboudumc. On 1 July 2016, the issues for the last unsolved rights of transfer were worked out. Now, Radboudumc also pays the transition allowance for PhD candidates with ‘onderzoeker in opleiding’ contracts that are terminated after 1 July 2016 without being renewed.
Amount of transition allowanceThe amount of the transition allowance is calculated on the basis of your (gross) monthly salary and length of employment. The main rule is that, for every (full) year of employment, you will receive one third of the month gross salary as a transition allowance. The monthly salary equals your hourly wage at the time of dismissal times the number of hours you work per month. If you work no fixed number of hours, the average working hours of the last twelve months will be considered for the calculation. For the calculation of your monthly salary, furthermore, fixed allowances such as holiday pay and annual bonus will be taken into account.
If you have had multiple contracts with Radboudumc, these contracts are aggregated to calculate the transition allowance. This is true, even if contracts are not directly followed up by each other. However, when the interval between two employment contracts is more than six months, the multiple contracts are not aggregated and counting of the period of employment starts again.
The government has posted a tool in Dutch that can calculate the transition fee. These calculations are indicative. The payroll also takes all relevant fees into account, but you can use the tool to see how much transition allowance you might receive. The transition allowance is a gross amount. Radboudumc keeps payroll taxes in here, which are paid to the tax authorities.