Training and supervision plan (TSP): Harmonisation within AIMMS

PhD coordinator of AIMMS needs to sign the TSP

All AIMMS TSPs need to be signed by the PhD coordinator of the graduate school (i.e. the AIMMS scientific director) at the start (when it is a plan) and at the end (when it is completed). Please send TSPs to this address: TSPs should first be sent to the AIMMS director before the other signatures are obtained. Otherwise you risk that the TSP needs to be adjusted and you have to obtain all the other signatures again.

External advisor is mandatory

Each PhD student should have an external advisor, who will meet with the candidate and his/her promotor at least once during the PhD trajectory.  This advisor should be from outside the research section, but can be from within the department or other departments within AIMMS. This external advisor will help keep track of the progress and can ensure that the thesis is sufficient to comply with standards in the field. Details should be given at section 9 of the TSP.

Why this document/our guiding principles

  • PhD students should gain a diverse set of competences throughout their PhD
  • There should be harmonisation for the TSPs within AIMMS.
  • It should be as clear as possible which activities we consider as acceptable


    General system

    A 4-year PhD  students should acquire 30 ECs which equate to 840 hours of study (1 EC = 28 hours of workload).  External PhD students could apply for exemptions; this should be discussed with AIMMS MT. For ITN PhD students we accept the EU-approved teaching plan, but the mandatory courses (e.g. the integrity course) should still be done.

    The TSP is split in four parts

    1. Mandatory courses (minimum 2 EC)
    • For the course on Scientific Integrity: Faculty Board (FB) will only admit students to this course after Form I and TSP are at the FB.
    • A visit to at least one international conference is mandatory
    1. General skills (together with C: minimum 8, maximum 20 EC)
    2. Scientific specialization (together with B: minimum 8, maximum 20 EC)
    3. Research-related activities (minimum 8, maximum 20 EC)

    A harmonisation effort

    To harmonise TSPs within AIMMS we will narrow down the faculty guidelines as shown in Table 1 below. Note that ‘once’ does not means that points will only be given for the first instance that the activity is done (and not per year, but over the entire trajectory).

    Table 1: How points should be awarded

    NoActivityHow points should be awarded
    1Seminars, journal clubs etc.Fixed number of ECs: every PhD student gets 4 EC (3-year PhD) or 6 EC (4-year PhD)
    2Poster presentation1 EC (once)1
    3Oral presentation at a national conference1 EC (once)1
    4Oral presentation at an internationalconference1 EC (each)
    5Attendance conference (national)1 EC (each, max 2)
    6Attendance conference (international)2 EC (once)2
    7Membership representative body (PhD council, ProVU etc)2 EC (once)3
    8Course1 EC per two days4
    9First author (peer-reviewed paper)2 EC (once)
    10Organisation of workshop/meeting1 EC (once)5
    11Company visit/communication, collaboration with private partners1 EC (once)

    1After the first instance you master this and you cannot get additional ECs

    2One international conference is obligatory for AIMMS. An international conference is a conference which has an international scope, speakers and audience (some editions may be in NL). Consortium meetings do not count as an international conference

    3Membership should be at least one year. The limit to the number of points means that representative bodies should be refreshed regularly and more people can be involved in it

    4PhD students should add up all their course days and divide this by 2 to get to the number of ECs. This number will be floored to get to integer points (floor(x) = is the largest integer less than or equal to x)

    5This should really be a workshop or symposium for scientific purposes. Being a representative on a Master’s day is not enough.

    Other general points

    • Promotor is responsible to check that the points have been acquired by the PhD student
    • Only integer points can be given
    • Each student should at least go to one international conference
    • We will aim to organise more post-graduate courses within AIMMS. One of the things that is often requested is a yearly 1-week introductory course. This course may become mandatory.
    • Courses done in the master may be included with the ECs that have been rewarded in the master, but only
      • For courses on soft skills
      • After consultation with the PhD coordinator of AIMMS

      More information

      For more elaborate information, including an example TSP for a 4-year PhD student, please download the Guidelines PhD Training and Supervision Plan.  

      For questions, please contact the managing director:

      Dr Jurgen Haanstra
      T +31 (0)20 59 87193