Doctoral Education at IDE

The TU Delft requires all PhD candidates in the Graduate School to not only develop their research skills through their research project, but to also work on their personal and professional skills with the Doctoral Education (DE) programme. 

Skill categories

As a PhD candidate you are required to complete the Doctoral Education programme to an amount of 45 GS-Credits. The Doctoral Education programme is divided into three skill categories:

Discipline related skills (15 GS credits)

The discipline related skills category focuses on giving you a greater breadth and depth of knowledge in the field of your doctoral research.

Research skills (15 GS credits)

The focus of the research skills category is to improve your ability to conduct scientific research, and improve your skills needed for a role as a researcher in an academic environment.

Transferable skills (15 GS credits)

The transferable skills category focuses on personal and professional development, which will help you now and in your future career.

More information about the Doctoral Education programme can be found here.

Doctoral education activities

  Applicable DE activities


UGS Courses

Learning on the job

Other courses

Discipline related skills




Research skills




Transferable skills





Discipline related skills

Research skills category

Transferable skills category

Mandatory components

The following courses are a mandatory component of Doctoral Education for all IDE PhD candidates:

  • IDE Research Course (discipline related skills category)
  • Learning on the Job (5 GS credits) (research skills category)
  • PhD Start Up (transferable skills category)
  • Career Development Course (1 GS credit) (transferable skills category)

Planning and keeping track of Doctoral Education

During the PhD Agreement meeting (at 3 months) you should discuss a first outline of the Doctoral Education you intend to fulfill with your supervisory team. You should keep track of your Doctoral Education planning and progress in the Doctoral Monitoring Application (DMA). As this planning is subject to change and courses will be completed, the PhD candidate is requested to update DMA after each mandatory progress meeting.

Credits and registration

In order for you to obtain credits for attending a course you have to get this course attendance form signed by the lecturer of the course (this also applies to MSc courses). If you receive an official certificate for the course you have followed, you may also use this as your proof of participation.

Learning on the Job
The requirement here is that you choose Learning on the Job activities in agreement with your supervisors. Claiming credits for Learning on the job activities can be done by providing proof that you have completed the activity. You can provide proof through documents that offer evidence that you have fulfilled the task, for instance, for ‘writing the first conference paper’ you could upload the paper to DMA, for ‘poster presentation, small audience’ you could upload your poster, for ‘addressing a major international audience’ you could upload your conference presentation or the conference programme with your name listed, and for ‘writing the first article’ you could upload the entire article. So for many of the tasks there are ways to prove you have completed them.

Please refer to this page for an overview of activities which qualify for Learning on the Job and the amount of credits you can receive for these activities.

Obtaining the Doctoral Education Certificate

When you have finished your Doctoral Education, you have to request final approval of the Doctoral Education program (which you need in order to set a date for your Doctoral Defence Ceremony). The process of requesting this approval is as follows:

  1. Make sure all your courses and Learning on the Job activities are registered in DMA correctly (for the courses make sure you have uploaded the certificates or course attendance forms as well).
  2. Check if you have met all requirements as stated in 'Doctoral Education Requirements, Conditions & Costs'. This document can be found on this intranet page.
  3. Send an email to asking for a final check of your Doctoral Education program.
  4. The IDE Graduate School checks your Doctoral Education program and will ask the approval of your supervisor(s) and the IDE DE programme coordinator.
    If you fulfil all requirements, and you'll get the final approval. If not, you'll be informed on how to proceed. 

It is our experience that the DE check can take some time as adjustments are often required. Therefore, we advise you to request this check about 6 months prior to your intended defence date.
Please note that without approval of your DE programme it is not possible to set a date for your defence.