Sandwich PhD legal support

Legal framework

If a Sandwich PhD student will obtain their PhD degree from the University of Groningen (UG), it may be necessary to sign a Double or Joint Degree agreement with the international partner. The Graduate School aims to limit bureaucracy while at the same time honoring partner and UG regulations. In terms of the differences between the two:

  1. The Double PhD degree (DD): an individual agreement for the enrollment of a the student in many cases is a requirement set by the international partner. For UG this is a requirement in case the co-supervision should be mentioned on the degree certificate.
  2. The Joint PhD degree (JD): an individual agreement for the enrollment of the student is a strict requirement set by UG. UG can only award a JD (one certificate issued by both institutions jointly, or two degree certificates that refer to one another and which are not valid without the other) if there is a full integration of supervisory, assessment and examination committees

It is also possible that a Sandwich PhD student is not enrolled in a doctoral degree program at another institution, they will then receive a single UG degree at the end of the Sandwich PhD trajectory. An agreement is then not necessary.

With our international Strategic Partners we have aimed to develop templates that facilitate the enrollment of individual candidates, but also with other international institutions templates may already exist (because of existing collaborations at UMCG or other UG faculties). It is the specific aim of the Graduate School to:

  • Assist PhD supervisors in fulfilling any bureaucratic requirements that may apply in entering into a Double or Joint Degree collaboration
  • Register all DD and JD structures at the GSMS, regardless of whether an agreement is necessary, to be able to assist supervisors as best as possible and build a database of international Sandwich PhD collaborations for future policy design


  • All DD/JD contracts need to be handled by the legal department of UG, not the UMCG, because the awarding of (doctoral) degrees is the legal authority of UG
  • Take into account that negotiations for the establishment of a double or joint degree agreements may take several months and that the reasons for this generally lie beyond the control of the Graduate School

How do I request assistance?

We request that supervisors fill out the template form "Legal support JD_DD" available for download below and submit this to the Graduate School.

If the student has not yet been admitted to the PhD program at Groningen, also include:

  • Sandwich PhD research proposal as accorded by candidate and supervisors (template available below)
  • Candidate CV
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