Programme for the ceremony: opposition and eulogy

To ensure proper running of the ceremony within the time allotted, it is important to keep in mind that this ceremony is about a scientific debate on the contents of the thesis in question.

Opposition

To ensure proper running of the ceremony within the time allotted, it is important to keep in mind that this ceremony is about a scientific debate on the contents of the thesis in question. The doctoral student should therefore be given sufficient opportunity to debate the material with an opponent. It is also important that as many members of the opposition committee are given a chance to exchange ideas with the doctoral candidate about the contents of the thesis.

This means that:

for members of the opposition committee:

  • the opposition should not start with a lengthy expression of appreciation for the work leading to the thesis or with a summary of the thesis (or part of it), but should concentrate on the question to be asked of the doctoral candidate as quickly as possible;
  • the opposition should be succinct, should not read passages aloud and should give a clear presentation of the question along with as brief an introduction as possible;
  • the opposition restricts himself/herself to posing only one question, unless the (acting) Rector allows a second question upon request.
for the doctoral candidate:
the defence and the preceding speech should not contain anywords of appreciation for the opponent about the nature and the quality of the opposition presented.

Furthermore, it is standard for:
  • the opposition and the subsequent defence to be conducted in Dutch, unless the doctoral candidate does not speak that language; if a member of the committee does not speak Dutch, his/her opposition can be presented in another language;
  • the formula of awarding the doctorate will always be spoken in Dutch; (see)
  • members of the opposition committee who are not from Leiden University may present their opposition first and have more time to conduct their opposition than opponents from our faculty or university;
  • a statement by the opponents for the benefit of the (acting) Rector and the secretary of the committee should be available at the session, in which particularly the members of the committee who are not from Leiden University are named and affiliations provided; in this statement the person giving the eulogy is named.
During the ceremony, the following forms of address will be used:
Doctoral candidate mijnheer/mevrouw de kandidaat
(acting) Rector mijnheer de Rector Magnificus
supervisor hooggeschatte promotor
member of the committee, who is a professor hooggeleerde opponens
member of the committee, who has a doctorate, but is not a professor zeer geleerde opponens
member of the committte, who does not have a doctorate weledelgeleerde opponens


Eulogy

The eulogy will be given by the supervisor or the co-supervisor. If a supervisor is present who is not from Leiden University, s/he will be asked to give the eulogy, with the stipulation that the formula for awarding the doctorate must be spoken by the supervisor from Leiden University. The eulogy contains an evaluation of the thesis and if desired also of the scientific excellence of the candidate. A brief personal note can be included. Further personal aspects should in general be expressed at another time. The eulogy should lasts 3 minutes at most, and if the (acting) Rector feels that the eulogy is going to run overtime, s/he can indicate - if necessary by expressing the University's formal congratulations - that the time permitted for the eulogy is up.


More details about the defense, procedures, the ceremony etcetera can be found at 'Promotiezitting' (in Dutch)

Last Modified: 02-08-2012