Sunday, 14 September 2008

Dutch PhD defense ceremony

I always was interested in learning how the doctor study etc is organised in other countries. Recently I have discovered an interesting post about the Dutch defense process ceremony:

The Dutch thesis defense reminds me most of a traditional American wedding. The defense takes place in a chapel. The players include the defender, two paranimf (the groomsmen role), the promotor (advisor), a Pedel (an official position in the university), who plays a master of ceremonies role and eight opponents. The defender and paranimf are in full tux and tails, the Pedel and full professors in academic gowns and the other opponents in suits. In the audience are the defender's friends and family.

The ceremony starts by the defender giving a short description of this thesis to the audience from a Podium in front of the chapel. Led by the Pedel, the promotors and opponents enter the chapel from the back and march to sit in the choir seats. For forty-five minutes the opponents, one at a time, ask hard questions to the defender about his thesis. At the end the Pedel reenters the chapel marches to the front, hits her staff on the ground and says "Hora Est" (Time has expired). The opponents and promotors march out of the chapel to a discussion room where they vote on the defense and sign the thesis. After that they return back, present the diploma where the promoters read some traditional text and give a short speech.

The ceremony is followed by a receiving line and reception with dinner later on.

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