Due to measures related to the coronavirus, PhD defence ceremonies are taking place online (using Zoom) rather than on location in the Aula or the Agnietenkapel. This allows PhD candidates to complete what they’ve been working towards in recent years and move on with their careers.
From home, on their computer, PhD candidates are defending their thesis before their doctoral committee. PhD defence ceremonies always follow a fixed protocol. This protocol is being maintained during online PhD defences as well. The chair of the doctoral committee is directing the ceremony as usual. Besides the members of the doctoral committee, the Beadle is als present online to pronounce ‘hora est’ at the appointed time for ending the defence. A ‘Zoom host’, an employee responsible for audio/video, is providing technical support.
Are you a PhD candidate or otherwise involved in a doctorate? If you have any questions, you might be able to find an answer to these in the frequently asked questions below. Do also feel free to get in touch with the Office of the Beadle by emailing email@example.com or with the secretariat of the Doctorate Board by emailing CvPfirstname.lastname@example.org.
All defences at the UvA up to and including the last defence of this academic year, on Friday, 3 July, will take place online.
The Office of the Rector has assessed what would be needed to realise defences on location The conclusion is that the period up to the summer does not lend itself to defences on location, taking into account the regulations that currently apply.
In the period from the beginning of June to 3 July, a large number of defences are planned, often with one directly following another and also overlapping at times (in Aula and Agnietenkapel). It has not been possible in the time available to arrange for the additional locations, technicians and beadles that would have been necessary to carry out the defences on location in such a way that the conditions of RIVM and GGD were met. There is also still a lot of uncertainty about whether some of those involved would be able to be physically present.
We realise that this is not the message that PhD students had hoped to hear, but unfortunately there is no other option under the current circumstances. The Rector's Office is meanwhile continuing to carefully explore the possibilities for defences in the new academic year, taking into account all the preconditions and risks of on-site ceremonies. Information on this is expected to become available before the summer recess.
No, unfortunately that is not possible. In principle, all defence ceremonies scheduled during this period are to be held online. There are some exceptional situations in which a defence ceremony can be postponed.
In all cases, postponement is to be agreed in consultation between the Office of the Beadle, the PhD candidate and the supervisors.
Yes: a location no longer has to be listed on the title page.
In due course the Office of the Beadle will make amendments to the location and/or date & time specified in your thesis by means of a sticker. You will need to ensure you amend the location and/or date & time specified in the electronic version of your thesis yourself. Two copies of each PhD thesis sent to the Office of the Beadle will be retained, with any other copies being returned to the relevant PhD candidates.
The current situation has made it unnecessary to adhere to the usual practice of submitting twelve printed copies to the Office of the Beadle. Submitting two printed copies will suffice. Send these by post to: University of Amsterdam, attn. Office of the Beadle, PO Box 19268, 1000 GG Amsterdam, or to the Office of the Beadle, Spui 21, 1012 WX Amsterdam.
You will need to discuss this with your supervisor. The doctorate regulations stipulate that the members and chair of the doctoral committee must be in receipt of a printed copy. If everyone agrees to waive this requirement, then an electronic copy will suffice.
No, these buildings are closed. All participants will take part in the doctoral thesis defence ceremony online from their homes or places of work.
No, for the time being they are not. The beadle will get in touch with PhD candidates beforehand to answer all their questions on the defence ceremony.
Yes, there will be. You can also give a PowerPoint presentation in Zoom if you so choose. Give this a trial run in advance when testing your connection to Zoom. You will receive an email on this from the Office of the Beadle.
Yes, assistants may be present in the same room as you, as long as they maintain sufficient distance (1.5 metres). or they can send an email to the beadle in order to attend the ceremony as a participant.
From Friday, 15 May, UvA PhD defences will be livestreamed on the university’s YouTube channel. This means that friends, family and colleagues of the PhD candidates, as well as other interested parties, can attend the ceremonies, which are currently taking place online via Zoom.
The livestreams are ‘unlisted’ on the UvA YouTube channel; that is, you need a direct link to follow a livestream. Doctoral candidates will receive the link from the Office of the Beadle and can then share it with friends, family and colleagues. In addition, the links are added to the defence ceremony announcements (in Dutch) on the UvA’s website, so that other interested parties can also take note.
The link to a livestream will only be added in the web announcement if the doctoral candidate has agreed to this (the Office of the Beadle will ask each doctoral candidate for explicit permission in advance). Immediately after the ceremony ends, the link will be deactivated and the stream will be removed. Of course, the consultations of the defence committee will - as always – be held in private and therefore not visible in the livestreams.
Yes, a recording will be made through Zoom. This will be emailed to you shortly after your defence ceremony. You will then be able to share the recording with your family and friends if you like.
A PhD statement will be emailed to you the day after you successfully defend your thesis. This statement will serve as evidence that you have been awarded your PhD. The Office of the Beadle will send the extracts in English and Dutch from the doctoral register to your home address from 6 April onwards. This constitutes an official document, with the same force as the PhD certificate. The extracts will be backdated accordingly.
Each and every successful PhD candidate deserves a graduation ceremony. There are plans to organise one or more graduation ceremonies in the Aula or Agnietenkapel as soon as this is possible. You will be notified in due course.
Keen to find out how the first online defence ceremony went? Then read the news item.