On March 12, AIMMS PhD coordinator Jurgen Haanstra gave a presentation on the TSP programme during an A(nswer) & Q(uestion) session. You can find the slides here.

What can I add to the TSP?
Everything that fits within the guidelines and has an added value to the development of your scientific or soft skills. At the end you can get a certificate of the portfolio you completed to prove to future employers that you acquired these skills.

Why is an external advisor mandatory?
Each PhD student should have an external advisor, who will meet with the candidate and his/her promotor at least once during the PhD trajectory. This advisor should be from outside the research section, but can be from within the department or other departments within AIMMS. This external advisor will help keep track of the progress and can ensure that the thesis sufficiently complies with standards in the field. Details should be given in the TSP table.

Who needs to approve the TSP?
● Before registering to Hora Finita
If you have filled in the PhD Training and Supervision Plan (TSP) document according to the guidelines, your TSP needs to be approved by the AIMMS PhD coordinator. TSPs can be send to this address: mt@aimms.vu.nl. TSPs should first be sent to the AIMMS PhD coordinator before uploading it in Hora Finita, otherwise you risk that your registration will be rejected.

● Once registered in Hora Finita
As the name indicates, your TSP document is a plan and your TSP might change throughout your PhD trajectory. If you do change it and you are unsure whether your new activities comply with the guidelines,  please consult the AIMMS PhD coordinator about this (mt@aimms.vu.nl). Furthermore, after completing a course, you need to update your Training Activity in Hora Finita.

How do I register for the Scientific Integrity course?
After your registration in Hora Finita you will automatically receive a course invitation within first year. If that’s not the case, please ask your departmental secretary.


How many papers do I need to submit before defending my thesis?
Within AIMMS, there are no strict rules on the number of papers that need to be submitted to be allowed to defend your thesis. The amount of papers that you need is specified within your research group, according to what is customary in your field of research. It is the promoter(s) and co-promoter(s) who decide when the thesis is ready to be submitted to the thesis committee, who have the final word.

What about second author publications?
In order to use a publication in your thesis you need to have given substantial contributions to the research published. With this regard, first and second authorship-publications are usually accepted.


Who should I refer to for practical questions?
First check if you can find your answer in VUnet. If not, for all questions in the field of HRM, you can contact the HRM servicedesk at servicedesk.hrm@vu.nl. For departmental related queries, either you can go to your secretary, and of course the AIMMS Management Team and the PhD Council are also there to answer your questions
Who do I refer to if I have a (personal) conflict with my supervisor?
If no promotor or co-promotor can help out, or if you want to discuss the situation with someone outside your research group, you can always contact the AIMMS PhD Council. They can help you out or try to get you in contact with the right people.

Which steps do I have to complete in order to finish my PhD?
Besides finishing your manuscript and preparing your PhD defense, there are other practicalities you need to think about. A checklist of a 4 years trajectory can be found here on the AIMMS website. Besides, information on the final stages in your PhD trajectory is also given on the VU website. For questions, you can contact the AIMMS Management Team or the Pedel’s office (pedel@vu.nl).