PhD Peer Support

FAQs Peer Support

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Is Peer Support in place for all AMC PhD candidates?

Yes, all AMC PhD candidates participate in Peer Support, including those who do part-time PhD research next to clinical or other tasks.

Exception: PhD candidates at an institute with a local PhD monitoring system (e.g. Sanquin or NKI/AvL) should merely send us a copy of their Progress Report and report of the meeting with PI’s.

What is the surplus value of Peer Support?

Peer Support offers a fresh look from an expert outsider, enabling PhD candidates to discuss the progress, process and contents of the PhD research mid-term. The quality of the PhD thesis may benefit from this discourse. Most often PhD candidates enjoy the opportunity to obtain suggestions to further improve their research.

Who selects and contacts the Peer?

Jointly the PhD supervisor and the PhD candidate select and contact the Peer. The AMC Graduate School does not appoint a Peer and is not involved in setting up arrangements.

Who have to attend the meeting?

The Peer may meet the PhD candidate and supervisor(s) together, separately, in person or even via Skype. The procedure is as flexible as possible.

May I postpone Peer Support?

Peer Support takes place half-way the PhD project, which is a period of a few months. It is possible to postpone the procedure. If you or the intended Peer remain abroad, consider Peer Support through Skype. Contact the AMC Graduate School if you need postponement.

Should the Peer be a Principal Investigator?

Preferably the Peer is a PI, but senior research staff members are eligible to be Peers also. The minimal requirement is a PhD degree. The Peer should be able to understand and evaluate the PhD research, and give recommendations.

Is the Peer a colleague or a supervisor?

The Peer cannot be involved in the PhD project as a supervisor. He or she may be a colleague, but not directly involved in the PhD project.

Do I actually need to talk to the Peer?

Yes, there must be contact between the PhD candidate and the Peer about the PhD project. It is not permitted for the Peer to only sign the form without speaking to the PhD candidate and the PhD supervisor.

May I invite a Peer from another university or institution?

Yes, as long as the Peer is a senior researcher or at least has a PhD degree.

Does the AMC Graduate School assign a Peer?


May I fill in the Progress Report in Dutch?

Yes, if all those involved understand Dutch.

Do all supervisors sign the Progress Report?

All supervisors involved in Peer Support (at least one) sign the Progress Report. They may be promotor(s) and/or copromotor(s).

I already submitted the iTSA. Do I need to participate in Peer Support?

Yes. The individual Training and Supervision Agreement (iTSA) is filled out at the start of the PhD project. Peer Support focusses on the progress, process and contents in consultation with an expert in your field about half-way the PhD project.

I already have regular evaluation meetings and ‘jaargesprekken’. May I skip Peer Support?

No. Peer Support is not an appraisal interview nor a ‘jaargesprek’. Peer Support is a chance to improve your PhD research through consultation with an expert outsider. Your supervisor may also benefit from Peer Support by expansion of her/his network and new research ideas.

I recorded the name of a Peer on the individual Training and Supervision Agreement (iTSA). Do I have to ask this Peer for the upcoming Peer Support procedure?

No. As the research evolves, the need for the specific background of a Peer may change.

Should the Progress Report be sent to the AMC Graduate School by the Peer or by me?

Both options are fine, as long as all those involved have signed the Progress Report.

Will there be a second Peer Support procedure?

Peer Support is a one-time procedure. A second meeting with the Peer may be initialized by the PhD candidate or by the Peer but not through the AMC Graduate School.

I am not invited for the Peer Support procedure but my fellow PhD colleagues are. Why?

PhD candidates are invited to participate in Peer Support after exactly 1.5 years after the start of the PhD project. Maybe you did not yet arrive at this time point or maybe you started your PhD project before the AMC Graduate School started organizing Peer Support.

It is hardly possible to find a Peer from my department who is not already known with my research. What can I do?

A Peer may be a colleague from your department with a PhD degree and with knowledge of your research. Also, you may ask your supervisor to select a Peer from his/her network or select a Peer from the literature. Peer Support may be performed by Skype or telephone. A Peer cannot be directly involved in your research line.

My PhD project is both clinically and fundamentally oriented. May I ask two Peers?

Yes, you may ask two Peers if it benefits your PhD project. Both Peers need to be consulted and both Peers have to sign the Progress Report.


AMC Graduate School
Tel: +31 (0)20 - 5663108