Starting a PhD

The information below is meant for enrolled PhD candidates at Wageningen University only.

How to apply for a PhD position?

To apply for a PhD position we would like to refer you to the Wageningen University website and the Timetable for your PhD programme.

Starting a VLAG PhD project at Wageningen University -
Introduction and actions to be taken


I - Registration at the VLAG office


When you start your PhD project, please register at the VLAG office as soon as possible (preferably during the first week of your project).

PhD registration form


II - Submitting PhD research proposal


As part of the formal admittance procedure a research proposal has to be submitted by the thesis supervisor or cosupervisor at the start of the project or within 4 months. For sandwich PhD candidates research proposal should be available for the review at the end of the first visit to the Netherlands. Only in case of exceptional circumstances the deadline for submitting the proposal may be extended to 6 months.
If needed, VLAG secretariat will organise peer review of the research proposal in agreement with the thesis supervisor.
Progression on the PhD programme is dependent upon approval of the research proposal. The research proposal needs to be approved by VLAG within 9 months after the start of the project.


III - Educational programme


For new VLAG PhD candidates a special course is organised: the VLAG PhD week. This course is a compulsory part of the VLAG education programme.
PhD candidates should spend 15% of their PhD research contract on their education programme. The arrangements regarding the contents of the educational programme are formalised within a Training and Supervision Plan, see below.

More information on


IV - Training and Supervision Plan (TSP)


The TSP is an instrument providing statutory rights and obligations to the PhD candidate and the supervisors.
The TSP contains:

  • A description of the educational programme of the PhD candidate. This part of the document should be seen as a declaration of intent and should be formulated upon consultation with the thesis supervisor.
  • A description of the teaching responsibilities of the PhD candidate. Teaching duties consist of assistance during laboratory practicals and supervision of undergraduates.
  • An agreement concerning the supervision provided by thesis supervisor and co-supervisor.


All PhD candidates are obliged to submit the TSP within 3 months following their appointment.

For more information on the TSP, click here.

Wageningen University PhD guide

VLAG PhD Pal Handbook

If you have any questions about the text above, please contact Yvonne Smolders (Yvonne.Smolders@wur.nl).