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PhD Life - FAQ

Roles of The Faculty Council and The University Council

Faculty Council
The Faculty Council is the advisory organ of the FSE and is authorized to submit proposals, present their viewpoints, and discuss the general state of affairs of the faculty with the Faculty Board. The Council meets with the board every six weeks.

The Faculty Council has different committees that each member can join depending on personal interests and the needs of the factions. Each committee focuses on specific topics and has regular meetings to discuss policy documents related to these topics. Furthermore, the Faculty Council (the student and staff faction) meets to exchange ideas, comments and discuss the documents. Finally, in meetings with the Faculty Board the documents, issues, and significant decisions are discussed. More information about the Faculty Council can be found here (their Newsletters are also published there!)

University Council

In the University Council, similar tasks as in the Faculty Council are executed but on a University level. Committees are created depending on topics and anybody can join each committee meeting depending on their interest in the subject at hand at the moment. Committees discuss specific topics and formulate documents addressing the issue at hand and propose solutions for it. Meetings are held within committees, with the entire University Council, and with the University Board. More information about the University Council can be found here.

Taken from our blog here

Sounding Board

The sounding board comprises ​of members from the Graduate School, and PhD candidates from all the different research institutes at FSE. Meeting once a month, the discussion comprises on policy, sharing ideas to implement and providing an opportunity to raise issues from various parties. Its main function: sought and unsought advice

Issues with your supervisor?

A PhD Counsellor has been appointed recently​ and we are working to provide a safe platform for raising issues. 


We will update this section with more info as soon as it is clarified.

Is teaching/supervising mandatory?

When it comes down to teaching there are basically two types: the employed by the UG who have to teach as part of their contract and all the others who can teach but only on a voluntary basis.

  • For PhD students who have it part of their contract, teaching is established therefore part of the required activities one takes throughout their PhD

  • For PhD students who are not obliged, teaching is NOT mandatory. If a scholarship PhD student wants to teach voluntarily, it has to be at the discretion of the PhD student and the supervisor. Be aware that you are not allowed to receive ECTS for teaching or supervising .

Opportunities to obtain a Teaching Certificate can be followed through during the course of a PhD contract.

Do I need credits (ECTs) to get my PhD degree?

Yes, ECTs are necessary to obtain a PhD degree.

The PhD training programme portion usually amounts to 30 ECTS credits for a full-time 4-year PhD contract, where it comprises a combination of practical skill courses and in-depth courses regarding the research subject. The contents of the training programme are defined within your written Training and Supervision Plan (TSP) and can be adjusted according to your own programme. You need at least 6 ECTs from transferable skill activities; you can find the different activities for which you can receive ECTs and a few rules here.

If you are not sure how many ECTS you can get for a specific activity you can check here.

What are the purposes of the GSSE courses?

The GSSE PhD Academy aims to provide PhD students a concretely framed training and development programme comprising a variety of courses, workshops and other activities not only applicable in your professional life (academia/industry) but also for your personal skills.

The Career Perspectives Series (CPS, university-wide) offers more general courses and workshops, mostly on soft skills and topics that can help your career after your PhD.

The full list of courses available can be found here.

What is the ITB code?

ITB stands for Individual Training Budget. PhD students receive this budget, as part of one's project, to pursue a personalised training programme. When making purchases for your project, you can use the code for expenses Note: Not all expenditures are covered (e.g. lab materials, laptop, etc.). More details: here

What is a go/no-go interview?

The Go/No-Go interview takes place at nine months of the PhD Contract, where the PhD student has a scheduled meeting with his/her supervisors and outlines the progress of the project. 

What happens if I am delayed in my PhD due to the covid-19 crisis?

Details to follow soon - we will update this section with more info as soon as it is clarified.

Where can I print my thesis?

For printing your thesis you must find a printing company such as: Proefschrift AIO  or IPSKAMP, etc.


Every PhD student receives a € 750 subsidy for the printing costs from the University of Groningen Library.In addition,  FSE reimburses the remainder of the printing costs up to a maximum of €850. Therefore a maximum total of € 1600 is reimbursed by the University and FSE together (here).

One will receive information about this by email when the thesis has been included in the repository by Hora Finita

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