The PhD candidate

1. Available days

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons are available during term time for PhD defence ceremonies. In exceptional cases, it may be possible to hold a defence ceremony on a Monday afternoon, if a candidate makes a written application to his supervisor, giving well-motivated reasons, and the supervisor agrees to this request. If there are serious reasons for a defence ceremony to take place in a teaching-free period, a written application should be made to the Rector Magnificus, for the attention of the Secretary of the Doctorate Board. The applicant should indicate the reasons for his request and should have the approval of his supervisor. Such a request will only be honoured in very exceptional cases.


2. Procedure during the ceremony

Before the defence ceremony, the candidate will be informed by his supervisor about the procedure during the ceremony. Additional information may be provided by the beadle of the University.

3. Venue for the defence

The defence ceremony generally takes place in the Senate Room of the Academy Building. In view of the limitations of the room, no more than 64 people can be admitted to the defrence ceremony. The beadle will provide the candidate with admission cards to distribute among his or her guests.
Senate Room

4. Latecomers

Once the defence cermony has started, there will be no further admittance to the room until after the adjournment and before the return of the committee. Standing places are also available during the conferral of the doctorate.

5. For more than 90 guests

If aPhD candidate expects to have more than 90 guests attending the defence ceremony, he can submit to the Rector Magnificus, with the confirmation of approval of the supervisor, a well-substantiated written request to hold the defence ceremony in the Great Auditorium. This request should be addressed to the secretary of the Doctorate Board.

6. Venue for the PhD ceremony

Candidates are recommended to consult the Beadle some time in advance of the defence as to the venue for the defence ceremony.

7. Age limit for children

Children younger than six years old cannot be admitted to the doctoral defence ceremony, but may be present during the conferral of the doctorate, i.e. following the resumption of the ceremony. Children attending the ceremony are expected to be able to behave appropriately so that the ceremony can proceed undisturbed. It is also expected that someone from the PhD candidate's party will take responsibility for any children present and will take appropriate action if necessary.

8. Distribution of invitations and dissertation

The PhD candidate and/or his assistants are responsible for:

  1. preparing the invitations to attend the defence ceremony and the subsequent reception, and for including these invitations in the dissertation;
  2. distributing copies of the dissertations intended for other recipients than the members of the University/Faculty and the University Library.

NB: In view of the shortage of parking places close to the Academy Building, you are strongly advised to mention on the invitation that guests arriving by car should be aware that there is only limited parking close to the Academy Building and that it may take some considerable time to find a parking place.

9. Dress code for PhD candidate and assistants

It is standard practice that for the PhD defence:

  • the candidate is aided by two assistants;
  • male candidates and male assistants are dressed suits with a black waistcoat, a white bow tie and black socks;
  • female candidates and female assistants are dressed appropriately for the ceremony in question.

10. Forms of address

During the ceremony, the candidate will use the following forms of address:

  • (acting) Rector: Sir, Rector Magnificus
  • supervisor: esteemed supervisor
  • member of the committee, professor: hooggeleerde opponens
  • member of the committee, who is not a professor, but is a doctor: esteemed opponent
  • member of the committee who is neither a professor nor a doctor: highly esteemed opponent

Last Modified: 01-10-2014