Supervision and quality control

All ICS PhD students are trained on the basis of a structured training and supervision and quality control program. Supervision of the research projects usually takes place in a team of two or three faculty members, one of whom is an ICS Board member. In the composition of the supervising team the presence of theoretical, empirical and methodical expertise is of high importance. The PhD students regularly meet with supervisors, about once a month or more often, depending upon the specific phase of the research project.

Quality control of training and supervision takes place with the help of five procedures:

  1. Every year, the PhD student has an official meeting with the supervising team on functioning and performance.
  2. Next to these meetings, ICS has a system of PhD mentorship. Within this system, the local mentor annually meets all PhD students individually for at least one interview to discuss their general situation. This talk has a confidential character. The local counselor is available for PhD students at all times.
  3. The three courses are extensively evaluated by way of written evaluations by the PhD students and a special evaluation meeting with the course coordinator. Evaluation information is discussed in the ICS Board and often leads to adaptations and innovations.
  4. The supervising team closely monitors the progress of the PhD student. Local supervising teams meet twice every year to discuss the progress and functioning of all PhD students. Once every year, the ICS Board discusses all projects individually on criteria of progress and the functioning of supervision teams and PhD students.
  5. A final instrument for monitoring the progress of the PhD student is the internal referee procedure of the research proposals of PhD students, which results in a ‘go’ or ‘no-go’ decision by the end of the first year of the PhD appointment.

Once a year, the PhD students at all three locations evaluate their general situation and their supervisors in a survey organized by their peers. The results are presented to the ICS board.