1 Fenritaxe

Ku Leuven Wetenschappen Thesis Statement

*English version below.

De masterproef wordt standaard elektronisch ingediend via het masterproefportaal, gebruik hierbij de studentenhandleiding (zie BANNER).

Op uitdrukkelijke vraag van de promotor kan aan de masterproefstudent gevraagd worden een of meerdere hardcopy’s te bezorgen aan de evaluator(en). De student is er voor verantwoordelijk om de kopieën aan de promotor te bezorgen.” De bepaling van het eindresultaat gebeurt desgevallend ook op basis van de via het masterproefportaal elektronisch ingediende masterproef.

Elke student laadt twee bestanden op:

  • één pdf-bestand van de masterproef, dat zowel de individuele – als de eventuele collectieve component bevat.
  • één zip-bestand met het originele bronbestand(en).

Beveiligde bestanden zijn niet toegelaten.

Een student heeft slechts correct ingediend indien de elektronische versie (twee bestanden: pdf & ZIP)  binnen de deadline werd geüpload via het masterproefportaal. Te laat ingeleverde masterproeven komen niet in aanmerking voor de betreffende examenperiode.

Indien de masterproef omwille van overmacht te laat werd ingediend, dien je jouw ombudspersoon te contacteren. Hij/zij zal soeverein oordelen en indien de argumentatie als ontvankelijk werd verklaard een nieuwe regeling treffen.

Alle masterproeven worden gecontroleerd op plagiaat.


The master thesis is submitted electronically via the master's thesis portal by default, use the Student Manual (see BANNER).

At the request of the promoter of the master thesis students may be asked to provide one or more hard copies to the evaluator(s). The student is responsible to provide these copies to the promoter. The determination of the final result will always be on the basis of the electronic version of the master's thesis you have submitted via the master's thesis portal.

Each student needs to upload two files:

  • a single pdf-file of the thesis that contains both the individual – as well as the collective component.
  • a single zip-file containing the original source file (s).

You are not allowed to upload protected files.

A student has submitted the master’s thesis correctly, if (s)he uploads the electronic version of the master’s thesis (two files: pdf & ZIP) via the master's thesis portal within the deadline. Late submission are not eligible for the concerned examination period.

In case the master's thesis was submitted late because of force majeure, contact your ombuds. He/she will judge in sovereignty. In case your argumentation is admissible, a new arrangement will be made.

All master’s thesis’s are checked for plagiarism.

If you have a question for which you do not find an answer here, please contact phd.gbiomed@kuleuven.be or your file administrator.

- Registration in the Doctoral School and enrolment in a doctoral school programme: check out the first two steps of the practical manual.

- Signature of your contract: you will be invited by the HR department.

- Within 6 months after starting: hand in your provisional doctoral plan (see practical manual, step 5)

Q2 - Which Doctoral School programme do I choose when filling out the registration form for the Doctoral School?
Contact your supervisor to discuss which doctoral school programme is most relevant for your doctoral training. Alternatively, you can also contact the programme coordinatorsfor more information on the programme.

Please note:Only part-time PhD researchers are exempted from affiliating with a thematic programme: they can follow the generic track. Full-time PhD researchers who want to follow the generic track, need to send a motivated request to phd.gbiomed@kuleuven.be . Exceptions will only be made for reasonable motivations.

Q3 - What title will I get after finishing my PhD? When do I have to decide which title I want to obtain?

- FaBeR: 3 possible titles:

  • Doctor of movement sciences
  • Doctor of Biomedical Sciences
  • Doctor of Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy

- Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences: 2 possible titles:

  • Doctor of Biomedical Sciences
  • Doctor of Pharmaceutical Sciences

- Faculty of Medicine: 1 possible title:

  • Doctor of Biomedical Sciences

All titles are subject to the doctoral rules and regulations of the Biomedical Sciences Group.

Practical implications:

  • New PhD researchers select the title of the PhD degree in consultation with their supervisor at the time of initial enrolment at the university.
  • Please note that this title will appear on your diploma.
  • If you still want to change title during you PhD process, please contact your file administrator before the submission of your e-portfolio.

Q4 - Did you know that there are 3 communities for you in Toledo?

  • PhD Biomedical Sciences: here you can find general info about the doctoral training such as the folder ‘New PhD Students’, specific info per faculty (see Faculty Medical Sciences), registration for courses, …
  • PhD Medicine / FaBeR / Pharmaceutical Sciences: this community is only used for mailings by the Doctoral School; you do not have to check this community
  • Community of the doctoral school programme you are affiliated with: here you can find an overview of activities, courses, … organized by the thematic programme. If you are not affiliated to a doctoral school programme, this community will not be visible.

Re-enrolment FAQ

Q1 - Re-registration at the beginning of each academic year: how does it work?

Each summer, all students receive an email from the student administration with instructions on how to re-register for the next academic year. This email is sent to your student account.

You have to register via KU Loket. For this you login with your student account. Further instructions on re-enrolment are mentioned on the website of the student administration.

Q2 - When can I register for a PhD with a defence?

You can only register for a PhD with defence when you have received the permission to print your thesis (= imprimatur).

Thematic programme FAQ

Q1 - Which speakers qualify for the 15 seminars I have to follow for my doctoral training?

During the course of your PhD you need to attend at least 15 seminars given by guest speakers. You need to list these seminars in your e-portfolio.

These seminars need to be given by internationally renowned speakers from outside KU Leuven. The seminars do not need to be organized by KU Leuven.

Although we do encourage you to attend them, seminars from fellow PhD researchers or professors from within KU Leuven do not count for your doctoral training. These cannot be listed in your e-portfolio.

Skills FAQ

Q1 - Where can I find the skills calendar and how do I register for a course?

You can find all the mandatory and optional courses in the skills overview. You can register via Toledo once the skill has been announced via Toledo/mailing and the Doctoral School website.

Q2 - When can I register for activities in the skills calendar?

Registration for skills development activities usually opens 1 month in advance of the activity. You will get an email as soon as the registration opens.

Q3 - Who needs to follow the mandatory skills and what are the mandatory skills?

Every PhD researcher who started his PhD from 01 October 2007 onwards has to follow the mandatory skills:

  • Research Integrity: obligatory for all PhD researchers in their 1st year.
  • HSE in laboratories: Health and Safety training in the lab, mandatory for everyone working in a lab
  • Workshop Research Integrity Part II: obligatory for all PhD researchers in their 3rd year, except for joint degree PhD researchers with KU Leuven as partner institution

Milestones FAQ

Q1 - Where can I find the submission deadlines for the provisional plan?

You can find the submission deadlines and meeting dates of the committees in the online manual.

Q2 - Who do I set a date for my research seminar?

You are affiliated to a thematic programme: you will receive an invitation from the programme to organise your research seminar (except for Health and Technology).

You are a PhD researcher not affiliated to a thematic programme: you need to organise your research seminar yourself

Who needs to be present? Your supervisors and your internal members of your Supervisory Committee. They also need to sign the evaluation form.

More information:in the practical manual

Q3 - Who has to attend my research seminar? Where do I have to announce my seminar?

Depending on your doctoral training programme, the following persons have to attend your research seminar:

Medical Sciences: supervisor, co-supervisor(s), your internal experts of your Supervisory Committee

Pharmaceutical Sciences: supervisor, co-supervisor(s), your internal experts of your Supervisory Committee, chair of the Doctoral Committee

Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences: supervisor, co-supervisor(s), your Supervisory Committee, chair of the Doctoral Committee

Do not forget to announce your research seminar online and to upload your Research Seminar report via KU loket.

Q4 - What equipment can I use for the defence of my final plan and how much time do I have for this?

Time limit


Medical Sciences

Maximum 25 minutes

Whiteboard/blackboard and marker/chalk. Projection of a presentation is not possible.

Pharmaceutical Sciences

15 minutes

Maximum 15 slides

Movement sciences and Rehabilitation Sciences 

15 minutes


Q5 - At the end of the doctoral training I need to submit my e-portfolio. Which steps do I need to follow?

First of all, we advise you to create the e-portfolio at the start of your doctoral training, so you can easily keep track of all mandatory steps. The procedure to create and update the portfolio is explained in the manual (step 16) on our website.

In the course of the 4th year (at least 3 weeks before the submission of the thesis manuscript) you should share the e-portfolio describing your doctoral training programme.

The e-portfolio approved by supervisor and coordinator of the thematic programme (if affiliated to a programme) should be shared with:

Chair of the Doctoral Committee who is responsible for approval of the doctoral training:

  • Faculty of Medicine: Rik Lories
  • Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences: Myriam Baes
  • Faculty of Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences: Johan Lefevre
  • Your file administrator. Check our contact pageto see who this is.

Q6 - Who are the chair and secretary for the evaluation of my thesis manuscript? What are their roles?

A member of the permanent Supervisory Committee is appointed to be the chair of the evaluation of the thesis manuscript. This decision is taken when the final doctoral plan is approved.

The youngest internal jury member acts as the secretary of the examining committee. This internal jury member should always be a member of the Faculty you are affiliated with.

The chair will collect the evaluations from all jury members. Depending on the results there are following scenarios:

Accepted without revision

The chair gives permission for printing and defence imprimatur


Accepted with minor revision

The chair gives imprimatur sub conditione. He forwards all comments to the PhD researcher and the secretary.

PhD researcher: makes necessary changes and sends them to secretary and also to the jury members who requested a revision.

Secretary: checks if changes made are sufficient. Grants imprimatur if appropriate.

Major Revision Required or

Not accepted

The internal members of the examining committee have a meeting and decide if a revised or a new version of the manuscript needs to be submitted.

The revised or new manuscript is sent out for a new evaluation to all members.

Q7 - When do I submit my thesis manuscript?

You are supposed to submit your thesis manuscript in the 4th year:

                 - at least 9 months after your final doctoral plan has been approved

                 - minimum 10 weeks before the provisional date of the public defence

Before you can send out the manuscript, the e-portfolio needs to be approved.

Q8 - Public defence and submission of manuscripts in summer time – how does it work?

You can defend during summer time if your chair, jury members and supervisors can be present.

The Doctoral School Office is open all summer.  

Please note that the evaluation period for your jury will be 5 weeks instead of the usual 3 weeks. As a consequence, you should hand in your manuscript at least 12 weeks before your provisional defence date.

Find more information about this in our manual.

Q9 - Who will chair the public defence of my doctorate?

  • For PhD researchers affiliated to the faculty of Medicine, the chair of the public defence is always the departmental chair of the department your supervisor is affiliated to. Before setting a date for the public defence, you need to contact him/her to find a suitable date. In case it is not possible to find a common date, the departmental chair will appoint a substitute from within the department.
  • For the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Faculty of Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences the chair of the public defence is a member of the Doctoral Committee, appointed at the same moment as the approval of your provisional doctoral plan.

Q10 - How do I decide on a date for my public defence?

You are responsible yourself for setting up a date/time/location for your defence. You need to choose a date that is suitable for your supervisors and all your jury members.

  • For PhD researchers affilated to the faculty of Medicine: You also need to invite the chair of your department, since he will be the chair of your defence. If he cannot be present at your defense, he should appoint somebody else to act as chair.
  • For PhD researchers affilated to the faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences or the Faculty of Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences the chair of the public defence is a member of the Doctoral Committee, appointed at the same moment as the approval of your provisional doctoral plan.

Please keep in mind that this date is provisional until you have received permission for defence (imprimatur).

Many PhD researchers find it easy to use a ‘doodle’ to set a date.

You can find more info in our practical manual.

General PhD FAQ

Q1 - Can I receive an ISBN for my doctoral thesis? Is this mandatory?

Yes, you can request an ISBN, but it is not mandatory.

If your thesis is publicly accessible, then you can opt to have an ISBN assigned for both the electronic and the printed versions. A separate ISBN is assigned to each version.

The ISBN is an internationally used standard to identify monographs unambiguously, and is assigned by the publisher.The number serves a number of commercial and administrative goals (ordering, stock-control, bookkeeping, rights management, etc.). Besides that, it is also an instrument for locating monographs in (library) catalogues and for referring to these publications.

In Flanders, ISBNs are distributed by Boekenbank. Publications for which an ISBN is requested are automatically added to the title file of books published in, or imported to, Flanders. This databank is freely accessible via http://www.boekenbank.be.

The assigning of ISBNs can therefore be a choice to profile your doctorate more as a publication. It is, at the very least, a requirement for publishing and spreading your work. Electronic doctorates that are not published through a commercial publisher rarely have an ISBN.

The ISBNs are best mentioned in the work itself. For this, follow the guidelines of your faculty. Since the doctorates of the KU Leuven have been available in both printed and electronic versions from 2005 onward, it is important to mention to which version the ISBN applies, for example:
ISBN for the printed version: YY-YYY-YYYY-Y
ISBN for the electronic version: XX-XXX-XXXX-X

You can find more information concerning the ISBN at: http://www.isbn-international.org/

Through this link you can request an ISBN -number via 'raamcontract'.

Leuven University Press automatically allocates an ISBN number to the thesis.

Q2 - Do I need to compose an ISP for the doctoral programme?

As a PhD researcher you do not need to register courses in ISP. Please leave your ISP blank and send it to your ISP-responsible, Katleen Vercammen.

There are two exceptions:

  • If you want to follow the course 'Animal Laboratory Science Module 1' (this is a course in the training Bachelor for Biomedical Sciences, open to PhD researchers) add module E05E6A to your ISP
  • If you would like to follow a course of a Bachelor or a Master training and will take exam of this course. Please ask permission to your file administrator before registering for this module in your ISP.
  • More info: http://www.kuleuven.be/onderzoek/doctorandi/isp/ .

Q3- How to reserve a meeting room for PhD activity: procedure?

For meetings with supervisor, jury members, … (e.g. evaluation moment) you use by preference a designated meeting space within your department or research unit. If there is no meeting space available, please turn to the administrative assistant of your department or research unit and ask him/her to book a room via SAP or KU Loket.

For PhD defences, contact the Classroom Booking and Events Unit (https://admin.kuleuven.be/td/en/fd/le/index).
More info: https://admin.kuleuven.be/td/intranet/en/fd/le/phd-defences .

Remark: Until recently, PhD researchers from the faculty of Medical Sciences could reserve one of the Vesalius meeting rooms via the doctoral school to practice the presentation of their final doctoral plan. As the Vesalius meeting rooms got overdemanded, it is now not allowed anymore to book these rooms for practice sessions (neither via the doctoral school, nor via the Faculty of Medicine) or other PhD activities that are not organized by the doctoral school office itself.

Q4 - What is a literature seminar, who has to attend it and when do I have to present it?

Research seminar: This seminar counts as a milestone (see also the practical manual, step 8) . You need to give an update on your research. Your supervisors and members of the supervisory committee need to be present. They have to complete and sign the evaluation form. You should give this seminar during your 2nd year.

Literature seminar:  You have to choose 1 topic and study this topic in all literature. During your seminar you need to discuss your findings. You are expected to deliver a state-of-the-art overview of a broader research field.

If your literature seminar topic is the same as your research topic or if it is affiliated to and/or relevant for your research, we strongly recommend to give your literature seminar during the 1st year of your PhD. PhD researchers who started their PhD as of 23/09/2013 do no longer need to give the literature seminar.

Journal club: You are expected to critically and in depth analyze 1 research paper.

Since the journal club is not the same as the literature seminar, it cannot replace the literature seminar.

You need to announce all seminars online.

Q5 - What is a literature seminar, who has to attend it and when do I have to present it?

PhD researchers who started their PhD as of 23/09/2013 do no longer need to give the literature seminar. 

The Truncus Communis of the Doctoral Training Programme demands the presentation of a literature study seminar. The PhD researcher is expected to deliver a state-of-the-art overview of a broader research field.

You need to announce all research and literature seminars online , minimum 1 week in advance.

If your literature seminar topic is the same as your research topic or if it is affiliated to and/or relevant for your research, we strongly recommend you to give your literature seminar during the 1st year of your Phd.

Q6 - Can the literature seminar be replaced by a participation in a journal club?

The literature seminar is part of the Truncus Communis and therefore an obligatory component of the doctoral training (only for PhD researchers who started their PhD before 23/09/2013). It cannot be replaced by a participation in a journal club, since they aim for different skills. For the literature seminar, the PhD researcher is expected to deliver a state-of-the-art overview of a broader research field while journal clubs require the PhD researcher to critically and in depth analyze one research paper. 

Q7 - Is the literature seminar obligatory?

Yes. As part of the Truncus Communis, the literature seminar is mandatory for all PhD researchers who started their PhD training before 23/09/2013.

Predoc FAQ

Q1 - I am a predoctoral researcher. Which steps do I need to take during my predoctoral period?

Please consult our predoctoral manual for all necessary steps. Please make sure to respect the foreseen timeline.

PhD discontinuation FAQ

Q1 - Who do I need to notify when I wish to discontinue my PhD?
First of all, if you have doubts about continuing your PhD, please discuss your concerns with your supervisor at an early stage. Alternatively, you can contact the ombudsperson for help.

Should you still wish to discontinue your PhD, you should submit a letter to the Doctoral School, the head of your department and the HR-department.

This letter needs to:

  • be signed by you and your supervisor(s)
  • state that you will end the doctorate on a specific date
  • specify the reason

You need to hand in your student card at the student administration.

Doctoral School Office FAQ

Your personal file administrator will guide you through the PhD process. Check our contact page to see who your file administrator is.

The Doctoral School has an open door policy between 9h and 12h. For afternoon visits you need to make an email appointment with your file administrator

FAQ for supervisors

What to do when:

Change of supervisor    

Send an email to phd.gbiomed@kuleuven.be with all supervisors (new and old) and the PhD researcher in copy. Please give a motivation why you request a change.

The Steering Group will discuss your proposal and give approval for the change.

Change / add / remove co-supervisor                    

Send an email to phd.gbiomed@kuleuven.be with all co-supervisors (new and old) and the PhD researcher in copy. Motivate why a co-supervisor is changed /added /removed.

You need no further approval. The file administrator will change this info in the file of the PhD researcher.

Change internal expert of the Supervisory Committee

Send an email to phd.gbiomed@kuleuven.be with all supervisors, PhD researcher and all internal experts (old and new) of the Supervisory Committee in copy. Please give a motivation why a change is requested.

  • For PhD researchers affiliated to the faculty of Medicine: The Steering Group will discuss your proposal and give approval for the change. Afterwards the Executive Committee needs to give their approval as well.
  • For PhD researchers affiliated to the faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences or FaBeR: The Doctoral Committee of the faculty will discuss your proposal and give approval for the change. 

You will be informed about their final decision via email.

Discontinue a PhD

We strongly recommend you to discuss any concerns at an early stage with your PhD researcher.

In case the decision is made to discontinue the PhD, we ask you to confirm this in a letter. The letter should state the end date of the PhD and the reason of discontinuitation. This letter needs to be signed by yourself and the PhD researcher. You should submit the letter to the Doctoral School. If the PhD sresearcher is a KU Leuven employee, the letter should also be sent to HR and the head of your department.

I do not see my PhD researcher in my KU Loket overview

There can be several reasons for this:

- Is the PhD researcher doing a PhD at KU Leuven? Only students from KU Leuven will be shown in your KU Loket.

- Has the PhD researcher registered himself for the current academic year?

If the answer is yes to both questions above, please contact the Doctoral School. Something might need to be adjusted to the SAP file of the PhD researcher.

Leave a Comment


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *