Portal for

    PhD Introduction Days

    If you're just starting out as a PhD candidate at the VUB, you'll have a lot of questions about the ins and outs of our university. By following this introduction, you'll be able to gain insight into the different services and structures at the VUB (ranging from career to administration to legal and safety). The introduction is organized twice a year (usually September / February) and is obligatory for every PhD-student. 

    The Introduction Days for new PhD candidates in academic year 2021-2022 will take place on 14-15 October 2021 and 10-11 February 2022. For those not available on those dates, please note that you will be able to watch the live stream afterwards.

    Registration: Registration for February is closed. Next edition will be in October 2022. 

    Mandatory prep work: 

    1. Watch the information clips
    2. Fill in the Big PhD Introduction Test before 9/02 at 12:00. 

    Programme (please take care: some slight changes might still be possible):
    Day 1 (online in Hopin)

    13u00-13u10     Welcome by the Doctoral School directors

    13u10-13u50     Presentation Hannelore De Grande: Everything you need to know when starting a PhD @VUB

    13u50-14u30     Testimonial PhD candidates – short intro & Q&A about doctoral training

    14u30-14u40     BREAK – digital 1-on-1 networking with fellow PhD-candidates & organizers (at random)

    14u40-14u50     Give-away prizes Big PhD Introduction Test

    14u50-15u10     Q&A 2 – Teaching & Personnel support: Elke Verbeke (Teaching), Glen Quintens, Valery Fréderix (P&O-HR), Jan Den Haeze (P&O-Well-being), Dominique Maes (ombuds)

    15u10-15u30     Q&A 3 – Research Funding, Entrepreneurship, Science communication & Union representation: Tania Van Loon (R&D - funding international), Reinhard Haudenhuyse (R&D - funding national), Liesbeth Bosman (TTI – Tech Transfer), Sarah Leuridan (WECOM - science communication), Jo Coulier (Trade Unions)

    15u30-15u40     PhD Networks


    Day 2 (Online in Hopin)

    9u00-10u00       Introduction to Research Information & Data Management - RIDM

    10u00-10u15     BREAK – digital 1-on-1 networking with fellow PhD-candidates & organizers (at random)

    10u15-12u00     Intro to Scientific Integrity & Ethics – John Pearson

     - …           Digital Game PhD Networks

    PhD Introduction package

    When you start a PhD, you’re thrown in the deep end of a pool full of exciting opportunities. It’s essential to know about your PhD trajectory, rights and obligations, and where to get support, as well as to get the latest insights into good research conduct and data management practices. To make sure you’re off to the best possible start, the PhD Introduction Package will help you to get oriented, survive and thrive during your PhD.

    The logical “starting point” for any PhD candidate at VUB is following the PhD Introduction Days. While following the Introduction Days was already a requirement to submit the doctoral dissertation, in 2021-2022, its content and format were further optimized, resulting in a blended “PhD Introduction Package” with two short, specialized tracks in Data Management and Ethics & Integrity.

    What is in the PhD Introduction Package? How can I enroll for the different components?

    The PhD Introduction Package consists of (1) the PhD Introduction Days, (2) the Data Management track, and (3) the Ethics & Scientific Integrity track. All of the components can be followed independent of your location (digital format), and the e-learning modules also allow you to follow them at any time convenient to you.  

    Needless to say: you’ll get the most out of this package if you complete all components in your first year of enrollment! 

    PhD Introduction days  

    • Digital event, organized twice/year: in October and February  
    • Time investment: preparation work (2h, videos and quiz) + two 1/2 days event 
    • Find more info here. Newly enrolled PhD candidates and their supervisors also receive an email invitation. 

    Data Management track

    • Research Data Management at VUB – introductory e-learning course  
      • E-learning module with quiz 
      • Time investment: 7h 
      • Find the e-learning in TEO LRN 
    • PhD Q&A - Research Data Management at VUB.  
      • Make sure to choose the session specifically for your doctoral school. Multiple sessions per semester organized 
      • Time investment: 2h 
      • Find the sessions in TEO LRN. Enrollment is possible only after you successfully completed the Data Management e-learning. 

    Ethics & Scientific Integrity track

    • Good Academic research Practices tool (Mind the GAP) 
      • E-learning module with quiz 
      • Time iInvestment: 8h 
      • This e-learning can be found in Canvas or via TEO LRN
    • 2 sessions of your choice during the VUB Ethics Week 
      • Digital event, organized each year during the first week of December  
      • Time investment: 4h 
      • Announced via this page or via the PhD newsletters 

    For whom?

    To know if the PhD Introduction Package is a requirement for you to be able to submit your doctoral dissertation at the end of the road, the following rules apply: 

    You first took part in the PhD Introduction days in 2021-2022 or later 

    It is compulsory to complete the PhD Introduction Package for those PhD candidates who participate in the Introduction Days in the academic year 2021-2022 or later.  

    You took part in the PhD Introduction days before 2021-2022 

    PhD candidates who enrolled and followed the Introduction Days in academic years before 2021-2022, do not have to complete the Data Management and Ethics & Integrity modules detailed below, but are of course very welcome to do so. 

    You have received an exemption from the compulsory doctoral training programme (or are eligible to ask for one). Do you have to complete the PhD Introduction Package? 

    Yes, you do. The two general rules specified above still apply to you. Even if you received an exemption for the compulsory doctoral training programme (read more here), you are still required to familiarize yourself with the general introduction to the PhD trajectory and good research practices at VUB. To take into account PhD candidates with special trajectories, we have made sure the components of the PhD Introduction Package are as location- and time-independent as possible.  

    However, if you have a valid reason why you cannot complete one or more of the components, or are affiliated with main institution other than VUB where you are required to follow equivalent modules, please send an email to rtdo@vub.be to discuss possible alternatives. 

    Certificates, credits and the PhD portfolio

    The PhD Introduction Package is worth 2 credits in total.  

    You’ll first need to gather your certificates, before uploading the proof in your PhD Portfolio. 

    What certificates do I need to gather? 

    You’ll gather three certificates as proof - one certificate per element of the PhD Introduction Package. The specifics for each certificate are summarized in the figure below. 

    Some things to keep in mind: 

    • The certificate for the Data Management track is equal to the “PhD Q&A - Research Data Management at VUB” certificate. You can download it yourself via TEO after attending a Q&A session for your doctoral school (which you can only enroll for after completing the e-learning first). 
    • The certificates for the Data Management track and Introduction days will be available a two weeks after completion at the latest. 
    • Certificates for the Ethics & Scientific Integrity track at generated at fixed intervals during the year (at least every two months). 

    How do I include this in my PhD Portfolio? 

    The final step is uploading proof that you completed the PhD Introduction Package in your PhD Portfolio (find a manual here). This step ensures that you can claim your 2 credits, and that you have fulfilled (part of) the mandatory requirements to be allowed to submit your doctoral dissertation at the end of the road (read more on the compulsory doctoral training programme). 

    When you upload your proof in the PhD portfolio, please follow the guidelines summarized in the figure below. 

    Some things to keep in mind: 

    • enter the three certificates as if they are one package, under the same quadrant. You can choose to either enter everything under “domain-specific skills” or “transferable skills”.  
    • make sure you give each element the recognizable name as shown in the figure above 
    • Enter 0 credits for the PhD Introduction days, 1 credit for the Data Management track and 1 credit for the Ethics & Scientific Integrity track.