Soon not only full professors, but also some associate professors will be allowed to award doctorates. The Senate has approved a law that broadens doctoral candidate entitlement. Whether senior lecturers at EUR will also be allowed to award doctorates is not yet known.

Presently only full professors, appointed by the Doctorate Board, may fulfil the position of supervisor. Yet in practice, assistant and associate professors are also often involved in supervision. With this new law, the Doctorate Board can also grant people other than full professors doctoral candidacy entitlement.


The bill put forward by minister Bussemaker must promote the internationalisation of Dutch higher education. The idea behind this broadening is that good researchers are fed up with the fact they aren’t supervisors of doctoral candidates who, in practice, they personally supervise. Restrictive doctoral entitlement would make the Netherlands unappealing to international researchers.

In many other European countries, doctoral entitlement isn’t limited to professors. In addition, the final responsibility of a doctorate conferral is a factor in some research resource competitions, such as at the European Research Council.

Whether senior lecturers at Erasmus University will actually be supervisors is not yet known. The Doctorate Board is set to discuss this possibility at the end of this month.