Training and Supervision Plan (TSP)Doctoral regulations Erasmus University Rotterdam

According to the Erasmus University doctoral regulations, all PhD candidates must have a Training and Supervision Plan (TSP). Our various departments and groups have their own versions of a TSP which generally contain the same elements:

  1. Composition of the supervisory team and the various roles in the team
  2. Agreement about frequency of supervisory meetings
  3. A first year assessment plan and moment(s) for a go/no-go decision
  4. Recommendations for improvements in the academic skills of the PhD candidate
  5. Suggestions for necessary courses

The Graduate School advises that PhD candidates and their supervisors to develop and determine a TSP within the first three months of the PhD track. We also recommend that at least 30 ECTS credits in the TSP should be dedicated to PhD training.

The PhD courses of the Graduate School are divided into four types, tailored to the various stages of a PhD track:

  1. Courses for beginning PhD candidates
  2. Methodology courses and philosophy of science
  3. Courses for advanced PhD candidates
  4. Final stages courses for PhD candidates

Although PhD candidates are free to follow each course at their own discretion, the courses are more useful when taken at the appropriate stage. The Graduate School also advises PhD candidates to enrol in close consultation with their doctoral supervisor to ensure that the selected courses fit the Training and
Supervision Plan.

Suggestions for beginning PhD candidates

In the first year, PhD candidates will mostly be working on fine-tuning their research plan. Therefore, the Graduate School recommends that they first focus on Courses for beginning PhD candidates, for instance:

Semester 1

Semester 2

Workload and following years

None of our beginner courses overlap and they are fairly spaced out, allowing beginning PhD candidates enough opportunity to incorporate input from the courses into their research plan.

The majority of our courses have four sessions, therefore, doing three to four courses per semester is the recommended maximum. At any stage PhD candidates can make an appointments with our methodology consultant. 

In the second and following years, PhD candidates can focus further on methodology, philosophy of science and research design courses, and so on.

Example Training and Supervision Plan (TSP) and required appendices

A full Training and Supervison Plan must contain the following:

  1. TSP form
  2. PhD trajectory plan
  3. PhD portfolio

Below examples are based on formats of several Graduate School departments. The development and determination of, and compliance to, the TSP are the responsibility of the respective PhD candidate and supervisor(s).

EmployabilityACUMEN portfolio and example CVs

The ACUMEN portfolio was developed as part of a European research collaboration aimed at understanding the ways in which researchers are evaluated by their peers and institutions.

The portfolio supplements the traditional CV because it highlights key achievements and skills rather than giving an exhaustive list. Especially if PhD candidates want to present themselves to potential employers outside the academia, this type of CV will attract more attention. It links their expertise, output and influence together in a story that presents their self-perspective to their evaluator.