Frequently asked questions PhD students
What does the AOb for me?
On behalf of you and your colleagues, we draw attention to your employment position. We do this with employers during collective bargaining as well as in lobbying towards politicians. An example is the scholarship PhDs, we urge the minister that this group be regarded as employees and that the experiment with the scholarship PhDs comes to an end. After all, the scholarship PhD candidate performs the same work as the PhD student employed by the university.
How does the AOb what are the interests of PhD students?
In addition to the input we receive from our members, we also have a short line of communication with the PNN. The PNN also has a quality seat on the board of our sector. As a result, we not only stay informed of everything that is going on, but we also ensure that the interests of PhD students are structurally taken into account in our decision-making.
Can I change guidance team? Or can I transfer to another faculty or university?
Each university has its own regulations for granting a doctorate, the Doctorate Regulations. These regulations set out the procedures, tasks and responsibilities with regard to the PhD process. Every promotion at the university must meet the requirements of these regulations. Whether or not you can change team, faculty or university and how to do that is described here. Each PhD regulation has a dispute settlement procedure.
Who do I turn to with my concerns regarding my supervisor? What are my rights?
How to discuss issues with your team or supervisor and who to contact is described in your university's PhD regulations. If you can't find the answer and you are a member of the AOb, ask our Legal Service to read it with you. You can reach them every working day between 08.30 and 17.00 on 030-298 95 99.
I was on extended sick leave. What are my rights with regard to the extension of my doctoral contract?
Pursuant to Article 2.3 paragraph 8 of the Collective Labor Agreement Dutch Universities the employment contract with a PhD student is limited to a period of 4 years on the basis of a full-time appointment. The employment contract can be extended by the stated maximum term as stated in Article 2.3 of the collective labor agreement. Whether you can request an extension of your employment contract therefore depends on the duration of your employment contract, the reason for your absence and whether your employer agrees to this. Please note that article 2.5 of the collective labor agreement concerns an 'may-provision'. The employer cannot be obliged to agree to your request for an extension. Do you want to know whether you can submit a request for an extension, or has your employer rejected the request, but you do not agree with it? Ask your question to our legal assistants† Not yet a member of the AOb? Become a member.
De AOb tries, together with the other unions, to change the provision in the collective labor agreement for Dutch Universities into a mandatory extension in all cases mentioned. If you have a grant, you are not employed and you are therefore not entitled to many extensions on the basis of the collective labor agreement, unless this is contractually agreed.
I would like to take an extra five weeks of maternity leave – can I do this?
get an extension of my promotion contract for this?
Pursuant to Article 2.3, paragraph 8, CAO NU, employment with a PhD student is limited to a period of 4 years on the basis of a full-time appointment. Pursuant to Article 2.5 of the CAO NU, an employment contract can be extended within the maximum term specified in Article 2.3 of the CAO NU. Whether you can request an extension of your employment contract therefore depends on the duration of your employment contract, the reason for your absence and whether your employer agrees to this. art. 2.5 CAO-NU concerns an option provision. The employer cannot be obliged to agree to your request for an extension. Do you want to know whether you can submit a request for an extension, or has your employer rejected your request but you do not agree with it? Ask your question to our legal department. Not yet a member of the AOb? Become a member.
De AOb tries, together with the other unions, to have the provision in the CAO NU changed into a mandatory extension in all cases mentioned.
If you are a scholarship PhD candidate, you are not in paid employment and you are therefore not entitled to many extensions on the basis of the CAO NU, unless this has been contractually agreed.
How much education can I be required to provide by the university?
The general principle is that PhD students do not teach. However, teaching experience contributes to finding a new job. So you have to make the choice whether or not to teach. If you are not sure or want to talk about this, you can contact one of our employees.
I need more time to complete my doctoral project and will not receive an extension – can I apply for unemployment benefits while completing my dissertation?
To be eligible for unemployment benefits, you must be available for work. It is therefore not possible to complete your dissertation while receiving unemployment benefits.
I have finished my dissertation – how can I apply for the transition payment and which rules apply?
If you have an employment contract, you are entitled to a transition payment. Keep in mind an expiry period of 3 months. Have you not received a transition payment after a month or do you want to know how much transition payment you are entitled to? AObmembers can then contact our legal staff. They are available every working day from 08.30-17.00 on 030-298 95 99.
What is the minimum amount that I should receive as a PhD grant in the Netherlands?
Unfortunately, there is no unequivocal answer to this question. The amount of your income depends on the type of grant you receive. Since you are not an employee under labor law, there is no minimum wage.
Which social benefits apply to me as a scholarship PhD candidate in the Netherlands and which rules apply (rent allowance, health care allowance, unemployment benefit, childcare allowance, etc.)?
Whether or not you are entitled to unemployment benefits depends on the type of grant you receive. At the moment, for example, scholarship PhDs who work in Groningen receive unemployment benefits. This is because they are deemed to have a fictitious employment relationship.
Different rules apply to eligibility for housing benefit, health care benefit or childcare benefit. Contact the tax authorities for more information.
Can I get a contract extension for sick leave, maternity leave, parental leave, etc.?
As a scholarship PhD candidate you are not in paid employment and you are therefore not entitled to many extensions under the Collective Labor Agreement of Dutch Universities, unless this has been contractually agreed. If you are a PhD candidate at the University of Groningen with a university grant, you are entitled to an extension in the event of illness, pregnancy and childbirth.
Can I join a trade union as a PhD student and what benefits do I have if I join a trade union?
For an answer to this question, please refer to the first two questions on this page. In terms of individual services, we currently have less to offer you than salaried PhD students. Don't let this put you off though to become a member. It is precisely with your help that we will be able to fight for the recognition of scholarship PhDs and for the right to employee status.
My scholarship pays less than minimum wage. How much contribution do I pay?
The amount of the contribution depends on your income. If you earn less than the minimum wage, you are eligible for a 40 percent discount on the membership fee. You can indicate this when filling in of the registration form.
Become a member! Together we can fight for the recognition of scholarship PhDs and for the right to employee status.
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