To do:

Sometimes a (desired) partnership between two universities is reason to opt for a Joint Doctorate programme. This may be prescribed in an EU grant. There may also be proportional funding for research by both universities. Note that it will take quite some effort to come to an agreement

The Joint Doctorate trajectory and graduation are described in the VU Amsterdam Doctorate Regulations 2021, article 33. Check the article for full description and conditions

Requests for a Joint Doctorate are submitted by the intended supervisor or the programme leader, via the department of doctorate affairs and the Amsterdam UMC/VUmc dean, in writing to the rector magnificus

In general this is the course to come to a joint agreement:

  • The supervisor submits a request/nomination to the Dean to get permission to start a Joint Doctorate trajectory
  • After agreement by the Dean, the concerned supervisor will be directed by the department of doctorate affairs to the VU department 'Bestuurszaken Joint Degree’ (BZJD) where the request will be processed
  • As from this moment the communication between BZJD and the involved supervisor is running directly. The procedure is described on the VU Amsterdam website and in a flowchart
  • After the signed agreement has been uploaded in Hora Finita by the supervisor, the procedure can be continued to admit the PhD candidate to the PhD trajectory

Necessary documents:


Also check the information for PhD Candidates in step 1 (Starting your PhD) in PhD trajectory

Note: The supervisor starts the process prior to the start of the PhD trajectory at the VU. The PhD candidate can only be admitted to the PhD trajectory (and the defence) if there is a signed agreement between the partners. The JD agreement must be completed within one year after the start of the PhD trajectory

In case of a Joint Doctorate agreement, the PhD candidate defends the thesis at one university and gets one certificate. Explanatory notes on different subjects, such as on the location of the defence and on the title page for the manuscript, are included in the JD agreement

Note: According to the Doctorate Regulations both a Joint and a Double Doctorate are allowed, but most of the time preference is given to a Joint Doctorate. For this reason the Double Doctorate (article 34) will not be taken into account here. In case you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact the department of doctorate affairs


Check the VU Amsterdam website for more information on Joint Doctorates, in English and in Dutch (at the bottom of these pages)