The PhD student supplies the secretariat with proof that the doctoral programme conditions were met and, if necessary, asks the chair of the Commission for Scientific Research for permission to write the doctoral thesis in English. He or she then submits enough bound copies for all members of the PhD Commission, including supervisors and councellors.
The secretariat distributes these copies among the members of the PhD Commission with a covering letter and the members then have four weeks to read the thesis and formulate comments for the chair.
Meanwhile, the chair of the PhD Commission suggests two external jury members and submits this proposal to the Commission for Scientific Research and the Faculty Board for approval. Any potential conflict of interest is checked by the chair of the PhD Commission and the secretariat.
If the members of the PhD Commission require that the doctoral thesis be adjusted, the PhD student should follow this up and then submit the revised version to the chair for approval. This revised version can be submitted electronically.
After the chair of the PhD Commission gives approval for the procedure to continue, the PhD student should supply the secretariat with two copies of the work, which will then be dispatched to the external jury members with a covering letter. The external jury members then have six weeks to read the thesis and communicate their comments to the chair of the PhD Jury. In the meantime, the secretariat checks the availability of an auditorium, proposes dates for the defence to the jury and fixes a date as quickly as possible.
When preparing the final version of their doctoral theses, PhD students can contact the University of Antwerp's New Media Service for advice on layout and printing matters. The cover design of theses is up to the PhD students themselves, provided certain details are clearly visible (see the general PhD guidelines).
Once the external jury members agree that the doctoral thesis can be published and the chair gives approval for the procedure to continue, the PhD student can go ahead with publishing the final version.
The secretariat officially invites the members of the jury to attend the defence and makes an announcement via intramail. It is up to the PhD student to organise a reception if this is something they would like to do.
No faculty budget is provided for printing theses or organising a reception and training credits may not be used for these purposes. It is the supervisor's responsibility to cover any costs incurred by external jury members' attendance at the defence.
The defence should take place between three and six weeks of the chair's approval to proceed, meaning that a minimum of thirteen weeks should elapse between the first submission of the PhD and its defence. If internal members of the PhD Commission or external jury members require the thesis to be adjusted, the thirteen-week period may be extended.
The public defence entails a PhD presentation that lasts 35 minutes. The Q&A session after the presentation is carried out in a language that all members of the jury can understand. A maximum of two hours is provided for the presentation, Q&A, jury deliberation, degree conferral, possible eulogy from the supervisor and word of thanks from the graduate. The public defence is chaired by the Dean, Vice-Dean or a Full Professor from the faculty, though the Chair of the PhD Jury may also head the defence if necessary.
During the defence, the chair and members of the jury wear academic gowns.
The Diploma Service will keep the graduate informed about when the certificate can be collected.