The GSA annual review

The GSA has set up a monitoring system for internal PhD students, housed at the Faculty of Archaeology:  the GSA Annual Review.  All ‘resident’ GSA PhD students, funded and self-funded, full- & part-timers, have a personal, confidential  interview once a year, and more often if problems are detected, providing an opportunity for the PhD student to discuss their project and matters related to it (feasibility, supervision, education, delay, conflict) with members of staff who are not part of the PhD project’s supervision team.

The Review involves:

  1. Submitted paperwork on the PhD project progress by the PhD student.
  2. An interview by two members of staff with the PhD student in person, addressing:
  • An evaluation of the workplan, research progress, and the set-up of the dissertation.
  • An evaluation of the Training program participation and activities of the PhD student.
  • Updating and adjusting the PhD Training and Supervision Plan, including the Personal Development Plan.
  • The quality and/or (desired) quantity of supervision.
  • Matters raised by the PhD student.


The review teams

The interviewers are drawn from tenured staff and postdoc-researchers from a research group not involved in the research project of the PhD student, and paired in teams of two. Full professors (potential promotores) are excluded, so as to provide a neutral inspection.

These interviews are confidential - the Annual Review report (recorded during and immediately after the interview) remains with the Graduate School and is not forwarded to the supervisor(s). 

The Graduate School Director evaluates the comments and recommendations. If all is well, the documentation is filed by the GSA. Where there are grounds for concern the Director or PhD coordinator will contact both the PhD student and supervisor(s), discussing and/or requesting specific actions within a defined time-period to ensure that the problems are solved.

Annual Reviews in year 1-4

The first Annual Review is after 10 months. This first review is of crucial importance for self-funded internal PhD students, since after this interview it will be decided whether the PhD student may continue within the Graduate School. This ‘go- no go’ decision is the responsibility of the Faculty Board, and will be based on the recommendation of the reviewers, advice from the supervisor(s) and recommendation of the GSA Director.

  • If the outcome of the first review is positive without any doubt, direct prolongation is possible.

  • When the first interview has not been convincing, an extra interview will be held latest three months later. In the period in between, the supervisor checks and evaluates regularly (for instance in the monthly supervision sessions) if sufficient improvement is taking place.

  • When the outcome of the first interview is negative, in the case of serious problems that cannot be solved by the PhD student nor the supervisor(s), nor the Director of the GSA (f.e. regarding supervision), the Faculty Board, advised by the Graduate School Director, may discontinue the facilities offered to the PhD student by the Faculty / GSA.

Annual Review topics addressed are:

  1. The progress of the research and the perspective on a timely completion of the project.

  2. Results of education and teaching as agreed upon in the Training & Supervision Plan or the
    former annual reviews / assessment and development reports.

  3. The frequency and quality of the supervision; remarks or arrangements on this issue can be recorded in the Annual Review report.

As a preparation for the interviews, the PhD student will compile and submit a report about the progress of the research project, the education and teaching activities, lectures, publications, etc.  This report needs to be accorded by the supervisor before it is sent to the reviewers and has to be submitted at least one week before the interview.

In the second half of the trajectory (3rd and 4th year), information on the dissertation plan (chapters, data presentation) additionally needs to be provided by the PhD student.

Adjustments and/or changes to the work plan and later dissertation plan have to be discussed and recorded during the interview.

  • The outcome of the Annual Review is documented within two weeks by the reviewers. The PhD student may provide a written reaction.

  • A copy of the interview is sent to the PhD coordinator and kept in the PhD students personal file.

Last Modified: 28-09-2015