Four-year appointment for all doctoral candidates

From now on all new doctoral candidates should be given a four-year appointment, according to the Executive Board. The representative body for PhD candidates Promood is very positive about this provisional decision.

Most TU Delft faculties initially appoint doctoral candidates for four years, but a few structurally use a temporary appointment contract which legally expires after a year or eighteen months and can then be extended. These include Aerospace Engineering and Technology, Policy and Management. In addition to this, the risk of limited funding is also sometimes laid at the door of the doctoral candidate.

In consultation with the Board for Doctorates, it has been decided that all faculties should from now on always offer staff PhD candidates a four-year appointment, based on Article 2.3 paragraph 3 sub c of the Collective Labour agreement (CAO) for Dutch Universities. This offers more protection for doctoral candidates, as a one-year appointment means that doctoral candidates can be dismissed at the moment of a No Go decision without having the chance to lodge an appeal.

The CAO states that if people are given an appointment for four years, after one year or eighteen months the decision may be made to terminate the appointment if it is foreseen that the candidate will not successfully complete the doctoral programme. This is why the Go/No Go procedure was set up within the Graduate School. It requires promotors to clearly communicate why a candidate may not continue and that they may lodge an objection to the decision. “This is good for the doctoral candidates”, says Jonas Teuwen, acting chair of the representative body for PhD candidates Promood.

According to the new Doctoral Regulations – which come into force on 1 January 2015 – a new disputes committee made up of professors will be instituted to check that the correct procedure has been followed for disputes and to assess the arguments. The regulations will also contain an accelerated procedure of one month for the Go/No Go moment.

The Executive Board will now submit its provisional decision to the Works Council.

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