DOCTORAL TRAINING IN ARENBERG DOCTORAL SCHOOL
The courses not always have a fixed number of ECTS credits attached. If the website does not mention a number of ECTS credits, please motivate yourself how many ECTS credits the course would be equivalent to, depending on the number of hours you spend in the class, at home preparing, etc. A total number of 25 ECTS credits equals 1 ECTS credit.
Doctoral Training at Arenberg Doctoral School (ADS)
The aim of doctoral training is to train doctoral researchers both as future scientists and as scientifically trained professionals who will valorize their doctoral expertise and competences in a non-academic context. This dual objective requires a versatile training programme that addresses both academic expertise and personal skills.
The core of the doctoral education is research-based training. The focus on research as an instrument for training and development sets the doctorate apart from other types of education. In addition to the research-based training, PhD researchers also follow more formal training via seminars, workshops, summer schools and other course components.
In consultation with his/her supervisor, each PhD researchers needs to assess which skills and competences he/she has to develop, to successfully complete his/her PhD or for later use in his/her professional career inside or outside academia. The competence matrix is a usefull tool as starting point for this self-assessment.
The truncus communis defines specific milestones which every PhD researcher at KU Leuven has to deliver in order to graduate and which are an important part of quality control of the doctoral programme (Cf. the University doctoral regulations). The Faculty Doctoral Committee monitors and assess the completion of the truncus communis via the PhD researcher's electronic doctoral training diary. The truncus communis consists of the following elements:
- The PhD researcher is main author of at least one international publication or has produced an equivalent international scientific output, i.e. a peer-reviewed contribution (journal article, contribution to a book, conference proceedings, patenet, design) about his/her own research, written in the language of the discipline and aimed at an international readership.
- The PhD research has presented at least two seminars at KU Leuven or at a forum in which KU Leuven participates, either on his/her own doctoral research or on a more general theme (useful link: How to announce your seminar).
- The PhD researcher has participated actively (oral presentation or poster presentation) in at least one international conference abroad.
- The PhD research has contributed actively to education on bachelor or master level. This contribution may include final project supervision, organisation of exercises or practical tests, leasing exercise sessions, participating in teaching, science communication or other education-related activities.
- The PhD researcher reports yearly about the progress of his/her PhD (go to the roadmap for more information).
Formal Doctoral Training
Arenberg Doctoral School offers thematic training in Science, Engineering & Technology. Thematic training activities comprise advanced courses, invited lectures, journal clubs, summer schools and doctoral seminars. The main focus is on the development of academic, intellectual and technical skills.
Where do I find thematic training courses?
- The Thematic Training Calendar on the ADS website
- KU Leuven education offer (onderwijsaanbod):
- The Research Centres in Science, Engineering & Technology also organise activities in thematic doctoral training.
- If you find a useful thematic course elsewhere (even outside of KU Leuven), and your supervisor agrees that it is useful, you can send a motivated request to (the chair of) the Faculty Doctoral Committee to accept this course as thematic training.
- Be sure to also check your student e-mail account and to login to Toledo with your m/s/r-number regularly, to stay informed about the offer.
How do I register for thematic training courses?
- In all cases: fill in the courses you have followed in your personal electronic doctoral training diary.
- If possible register the course in your ISP. You can only register official KU Leuven courses in your ISP (i.e. courses in the education offer or onderwijsaanbod). Registering a course in your ISP is not required, but might be helpful: this way the instructor of the course will be informed that you will be taking the course and you will have access to course materials via Toledo. Important: if you register a course in your ISP, you are required to take the exam of that course.
- If possible register for the course via Toledo. You can only register for official KU Leuven courses via Toledo (i.e. courses in the education offer or onderwijsaanbod). Log in with your student number; click on the tab 'admin' in the right hand corner; click on 'enrollment module courses'; select the course of your choice and enroll. This way the instructor of the course will be informed that you will be taking the course and you will have access to course materials via Toledo.
- At the end of the course, you can ask the instructor of the course to sign a certificate for a thematic training course.
- Once you have followed the course, you need to fill in the course in your doctoral training diary (old and new system).
Skills and Competencies
During the doctoral training programme, the doctoral researcher must develop transferable and generic skills and competencies. These skills exceed the specific topic of the PhD and are applicable in a wider context, e.g. a professional career outside the university. Examples of such skills are: interdisciplinary thinking, networking, goal-directedness, prioritizing, creativity and innovation, ... Take a look at the doctoral researcher's competence profile for more information. Arenberg Doctoral School considers generic skills to be an increasingly important element in the doctoral training. This follows an international trend. In several documents the European Commission emphasizes that doctoral training should be international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral and thus cannot be reduced to PhD research alone (although this remains the core). In order to train PhD researchers to be employable in a broad range of high qualified positions, generic skills deserve to be a neccessary part of the doctoral training progamme. Background reading about the increasing importance of generic skills can be found here.
Where do I find generic skills courses?
- The Skills Calendar on the ADS website;
- If you find a useful generic skills course elsewhere (even outside of KU Leuven), and your supervisor agrees that it is useful, you can fill in the course in your blueprint for approval (new system). Once you have followed the course, you need to fill in the course in your doctoral training diary (old and new system).
- Be sure to also check your student e-mail account and to login to Toledo with your m/s/r-number regularly, to stay informed about the offer;
How do I register for a generic skills course?
- These skills courses usually have a sepcific registration module. Information about registration is provided in the description of the course in the skills calendar.
Ask the instructor of the course to sign a certificate for a skills and competencies course
What are the minimum requirements with regard to formal doctoral training?
Arenberg Doctoral School has developed two seperate systems: one according to the new regulations of 1 October 2011; the other according to the old regulations (before 1 October 2011). With regard to article 8 (including the minimum requirements of the doctoral training) these are the transition modalities:
- PhD researchers starting their PhD after 30 September 2011 follow the new regulations.
- PhD researchers who have started between 1 January 2011 and 1 October 2011 can choose freely, but are recommended to follow the new regulations.
- PhD researchers who have started their PhD before 1 January 2011, follow article 8 of the old regulations.
- In general: You are not able to switch from one system to the other.
|new regulations (as of 1 October 2011)||old regulations (before 1 October 2011)|
|minimum requirements||The PhD researcher follows an equivalent of 6 ECTS of formal training activities. This equivalent is estimated based on the real study load, taking into account 1 ECTS equals 25-30 hours. Courses or activites not demanding any further processng and lacking formal evaluation, count as 1/3 ECTS per full course day. The PhD researcher needs to follow minimum 1 generic skills course (as a guideline minimum 2 out of the 6 ECTS should be spent on skills).||The PhD researcher must attend at least one PhD course (seminar series or subject, with evaluation, organised specifically for doctoral researchers). Following skills courses is not required, but highly recommended.|
|Who decides which courses are acceptable?||
Each PhD researcher follows a personal doctoral training programme. A certain course might be very useful to one PhD researcher, but too self-evident for another PhD researcher. It is up to the Supervisory Committee and, ultimately, the Faculty Doctoral Committee to assess your doctoral training programme. In this doctoral training programme, you can include any course that you and your supervisor find relevant to your PhD. Throughout the PhD, the PhD researcher is required to report about his/her doctoral training programme:
Each PhD researcher follows a personal doctoral training programme. A certain course might be very useful to one PhD researcher, but too self-evident for another PhD researcher. It is up to the Faculty Doctoral Committee to assess your doctoral training diary at the end of your PhD. In general it is best to take these guidelines into account:
You can choose to take a course in the educational offer (onderwijsaanbod), in the thematic training calendar or any other course that you and your supervisor find relevant to your PhD. Send a motivated request to your faculty doctoral committee in order to have the course accepted in your doctoral training programme.
At the end of your doctoral training porgramme, list the courses you have followed in your doctoral training diary.