Step 1: Find a subject and a supervisor
When you wish to start a PhD, you must first find a supervisor in the discipline/study area on which your PhD focuses. Together with this supervisor you will then define the subject of your doctoral thesis.
If you do not have a supervisor in mind yet, you can check this overview of the different research groups at the UA. Or use the expertise tool: Expertise can be found by searching for (a part of) the name of a researcher, or (a part of) a keyword. If you click on the name of the expert, you can find all the personal information.
Upon finding a possible suitable supervisor, it is best to contact him/her directly.
If you are doing a PhD in the framework of the Antwerp Association, you can also contact Barbara Tan of the Research Department, to find a suitable supervisor together.
Step 2: Find financing
Discuss possible assistantships or scholarship opportunities with the supervisor. Ask in how far he/she is willing to support your possible scholarship application and how he/she sees your chances of getting a scholarship. You can also acquire information yourself on the available scholarships and their application procedures. More information on the different financing options and contact persons can be found on the website of the Research Department.
Remember that since the application procedures for scholarships can take several months to complete, it is important to start in time.
Step 3: Send application file to the central student administration
After the completion of the above steps, the application form "Foreign PhD-student" and the required documents (mentioned on the form) need to be sent to the Central Student Administration. The latter will then get the document to the competent faculty/department/institute, which will decide about your admission and which will compose your individual doctoral committee (3-4 members).
The faculty strives to process the application within a reasonable time period, preferably in the course of 6 weeks. This time period cannot be guaranteed between the 20th of July and the 31st of August.
After a positive decision you will be invited to further complete your enrolment.
New PhD-students can register every academic year until the end of May. For more information on fees: http://www.ua.ac.be/main.aspx?c=.ENGLISH&n=33427
Any questions can be directed to the Central Student Administration (firstname.lastname@example.org 03 265 56 32 or 03 265 56 22 ; via http://webhost.ua.ac.be/helpdesk/inschrijvingen) or to the central DSP-coordinator.
The forms to start this procedure can be found on the website of the Antwerp Doctoral School.
2. Arrange aspects secrecy
If there is a collaboration with external partners (for instance a company, other universities,…) for the preparation of your PhD, then it is best to make some agreements about publications, secrecy and property rights on the results of the research. Pascale Redig of the Interface service of the Research Department will provide the support needed and will draw up the appropriate agreement.
Also contact the Interface service if you think that certain research results from your PhD might be valorised and/or applied commercially, in which case it might be better to protect them with a patent application.
The Doctoral Study Programme (DSP) is obligatory at the University of Antwerp. From the moment you enrol as a PhD student, you are automatically enrolled in the DSP. You will receive a welcoming mail from the doctoral study programme after your enrolment. |
Centrally organised activities
PhD students of the UA can participate for free in a number of non-disciplinary activities, which are organised by the Antwerp Doctoral School (ADS). These are listed on the ADS-website. Registration can be completed through the website and should be done as soon as possible, since the waiting list for certain courses is of considerable size. The registration for the courses is processed after the registration deadline. In the week after this deadline you can therefore expect an email from the DSP-coordinator with further information (for example if you can participate or if you are on the waiting list). If you are on the waiting list, you will have priority for the next session.
Activities organised by faculties/departments
Next to the centrally organised activities (by the university or the faculty), individual members of the academic staff and PhD students can organise discipline related activities under the doctoral study programme of the UA. The faculties/department have a specific budget for this. To apply for this budget, the faculty or departmental coordinator (link in Dutch only) has to agree with the activity. The actual application for reimbursement is put in motion with the “aanvraagformulier facultair docop-krediet” (form in Dutch only).
Activities on own initiative (educational credit and educational bonus)
Next to the participation of activities organised by the university, the faculty or the department, the PhD student can also participate in study weeks, summer school, congresses, etc. at home and abroad. To encourage and support this initiative, PhD-students can apply for the educational credit and the educational bonus. The actual application for reimbursement is put in motion with the application form “educational credit”. However, check on the ADS-website if you are eligible for reimbursement before applying. Any question on this subject can be directed at the central ADS-coordinator, Kim Huyge.
Keeping proof of activities
The doctoral study programme can only be completed if and when a sufficient amount of credits have been collected and when a complete file including evidence of done activities has been turned in. It is the responsibility of the PhD student to keep the DSP-file up to date, which should be done on a regular basis, for instance after attending an activity.
Proofs can include participant lists, programmes, certificates, copies of the first page of articles or letters confirming the start of not yet published articles, the academic bibliography, registration forms, a short report for research stays, etc. When there is no proof of certain activities available the signature of the supervisor suffices.
PhD-students of the UA are required to report every year about the progress of their PhD and DSP. In most faculties this will be done in the period April-May-June (more details on contacts persons and deadlines see also here (only in Dutch). In the faculty of Law a different schedule is followed. Contact the faculty coordinator for more information.
PhD-students will be invited to turn in their report through an email, which will contain the appropriate forms to do this and more information about the contact persons. The forms can also be found on the ADS-website.
The individual doctoral commission will focus on the part of the report that deals with the progress of the research. A faculty/departmental DSP-(peer review)-commission will look at the activities of the DSP.
After the assessment of your file you are notified of the results of this evaluation.
PhD students at the UA are required to re-enrol every year. They will be invited to do this every year and the re-enrolment can be completed electronically. More information about the modalities of re-enrolment can be found on this website. Any questions can be directed with the central student administration or the central ADS-coordinator.
Only in the first year and the year of the defence of the thesis does the PhD-student have to pay tuition fees. In the academic year you are planning to finish your PhD, you start by re-enrolling like every year (at no cost). It is only when you announce the defence of your PhD that student administration will invite you to pay the tuition fee for your defence.
With permission of the faculty the thesis may be written in a language other than Dutch. Bear in mind that a Dutch abstract has to be included in the thesis. The permission is not necessary when the subject of the thesis is another language or literature.
This is something you should already consider during the preparation of your PhD. It is best to contact the administrative contact person of your institute/faculty/department (link in Dutch only) to ask how to proceed.
In terms of the layout, it is requested that you use the UA house style. For the text, this means the use of the font Verdana. Logos and examples of covers can be found on www.ua.ac.be/huisstijl.
Here you can find some ideas and guidelines about the layout of a book or thesis.
If certain aspects of your PhD need to be kept secret (e.g. the subject of a patent application, or if your doctoral work is a collaboration with a company, see above, stage 1), then certain aspects connected to the secrecy of your PhD or parts of it have to be arranged before the defence of your thesis (e.g. secrecy clause for jury members, arranging an internal defence). If this is the case, contact Pascale Redig from the Interfaceservice of the Research Department.
Moreover there are a number of elements that are required to be on the title page of the PhD. These can be found on the penultimate page of the “Rules and Regulation for obtaining the academic degree of doctor at the UA”. Be sure to use the correct title of the academic degree of doctor. The titles are listed on the last page of “Rules and Regulation for obtaining the academic degree of doctor at the UA”.
For more tips and help with layout contact Anita Muys and Natacha Hoevenaegel of the New Media Service (Campus Drie Eiken) or Nik Römer (Dep. Communication).
Furthermore, the faculty of Applied Economics has developed a strict format with identical covers and invitations for the doctoral defence. If indeed you are defending the faculty of Applied Economics, please contact Sandra Verheij.
If it appears during one of the yearly evaluation moments that you have fulfilled the conditions of the DSP, you can close down your file. You will have to hand in a full file with proofs. Proof should be clearly matched to the activities in your file.
You will be asked to send in a file with proofs worth minimum 30 points in activities, you need a proof per activity. Proofs can be, e-mails confirming participation or enrolment, copies first page published articles, copies of received certificates, signature of professor responsible for lessons given by the PhDstudent,... You will NOT get this file back, so if there are proofs you would like to keep, send us a copy.
Only files with the proofs clearly linked to the activities listed in a table can be accepted.
Please note: in the faculties of Law and Applied Economics, the faculty contact persons do the follow up on this.
After approval of the file the PhD student will receive proof that the credits have been obtained. This proof needs to be obtained before the jury is composed.
Note that even after you have finished your DSP, you can still participate in DSP-activities and still use the Educational Credit and Bonus. It is simply a closure of the administrative file. This file can be complemented by the PhD student at any time, if there are activities that take place after closure of the file, but which you would like to see mentionned on your diploma supplement, send in the extra proofs before your defense.
Step 1: Handing in the PhD thesis with the individual doctoral commission
The procedure that ultimately leads to the defence of the PhD thesis starts when the PhD student turns in the adequate number of the first version of the thesis to the individual doctoral commission. The doctoral commission then has 4 weeks to deliberate if the PhD student is permitted to send the thesis to the doctoral jury.
When turning in the first version of the thesis you need to fill in the form "Checklist confidentiality doctoral thesis" and send it to the contact persons mentionned on the form.
Do also contact the administrative contact person of your faculty/department (link in Dutch only) to ask out how this works in your faculty/department.
Step 2. Composing the jury and arranging details of defence
Your doctoral jury has to be formally composed by the faculty/department/institute. The same applies to the details concerning your defence (time, date, location). The jury needs to meet a number of conditions, which can be found in the “Rules and Regulation for obtaining the academic degree of doctor at the UA” and the supplementary faculty rules and regulations.
Do also contact the administrative contact person of your faculty/department (link in Dutch only) to ask out how this works in your faculty/department.
Step 3: Turning in the PhD thesis with the jury
If the individual doctoral commission gives a positive advice, the PhD thesis can be sent to the doctoral jury. In most departments and faculties this is done by the faculty/department/institute secretariat. Once it again it is best to contact administrative contact person of your faculty/department (link in Dutch only) to ask out how this works in your faculty/department.
Unless your faculty or department has determined otherwise, you must provide a copy for each member of the jury and two copies for the library.
The jury then has 6 weeks to deliberate whether or not you may proceed to the public defence of the thesis. In some faculties/departments a pre defence will be organised during this period. Consult the faculty rule to see if this is the case in your faculty/institute/department or contact the faculty/department/institute contact person(s).
Step 4: Announcement and organisation defence
The public defence can take place at earliest 3 weeks and at latest 6 weeks after the jury has made its decision.
To announce the defence to the appropriate bodies, this form has to be filled in. After turning in this form you will be contacted by the Central Student
Administration to pay the tuition fee of the defence year. Your defence will also be announced on this webpage.
The form also asks for an abstract of the doctoral work to be able to write a press announcement. All questions concerning the press release can be directed to Jan Dries of the department of Communication. For some guidelines on making the abstract click here (dutch only).
The form "Consent for the publication in microform" needs to be sent to the contact persons mentioned on the form.
For the rest of the organisation of the defence (reservation room, invites, reception, etc.), it is best to contact the administrative contact person of your faculty/department (link in Dutch only) to ask how this works exactly.
The DSP is validated by a certificate. This certificate is accompanied by a supplement that gives an overview of the followed activities. The PhD student is offered the chance in certain study areas to fill in the supplement him/herself and as such to profile him/her through the selected activities. More info can also be found here.
When the defence is announced through the appropriate form, you will receive a mail concerning the supplement (this does not count for the faculties Law and Applied Economics, for the arrangements of these faculties it is best to contact the academic or administrative contact person (link in Dutch only).
If you want to add activities to the supplement for which you have not yet sent in a proof, you can now send these proofs to the central DSP-coordinator. Take note that this information does not count for PhD students of the faculties TEW and Law. These students should contact the academic or administrative person responsible of their faculty (link in Dutch only).
You receive your PhD diploma and the certificate of the DSP after the successful defence of your PhD. From the moment the signed copy is available, Tine Leonard of the Diploma service will contact you. Questions concerning the situation of your diploma can be directed at her.