Progress assessment interview

Assessment of progress of the PhD project and the development the PhD candidate should be a continuous process that is not limited to one or two formal interviews a year. Below, more information is given about structuring the continuous progress assessment and gaining more insight into the conditions of the PhD project.

Due to practical restrictions, we have provided the examples below because they apply to supervision situations in general. The daily supervisor often discusses the progress of the PhD project and/or the PhD candidate in a less formal setting. The progress assessment interview can be combined with the annual performance appraisal interview (jaargesprek).

The individual Training and Supervision Agreement iTSA (individuele Opleidings- en Begeleidings Overeenkomst) is the foundation of the PhD progress assessment interviews. Peer Support can supplement and strengthen the progress assessment of PhD projects.

First interview: at the beginning of the PhD project

  • Discuss PhD project
  • Explain supervisor’s supervision approach
  • Assess PhD candidate’s training and supervision needs
  • Make arrangements and formulate an individual Training and Supervision Agreement (iTSA)
  • Discuss planning of PhD project, first year in detail, next year globally
  • Formulate attainable goals for first year in training, supervision, research, other tasks

Subsequent interviews

  • Supervisor gives feedback on performance of PhD candidate
  • PhD candidate gives feedback on supervision
  • Evaluate agreements in iTSA on supervision: is everything going as planned, do agreements have to be amended?
  • Evaluate agreements in iTSA on training: amend, add or remove planned activities.
  • Discuss progress and planning of PhD project: have changes been made or are changes expected?
  • Discuss interim evaluation of PhD project planning. If applicable: “go/no go” decision after the first year, schedule formal assessment interview after 9 months.

General guidelines are more difficult to apply to the duties of daily supervision. This is because the division of roles and needs of supervisors and PhD candidates vary from situation to situation and with time.

The formal assessment interview (beoordelingsgesprek) about continuation of the PhD appointment after the first year is not discussed in these guidelines because different HR rules apply.


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