First year assessment interview - instructions

The First Year Assessment form is to be completed by the main supervisor of a PhD candidate at the end of the first year of the PhD track. The assessment evaluates the performance and progress made by the PhD candidate since the start of the appointment, taking into account the initial version of the Training and Supervision Plan and the Nine Month Report.

The supervisor first uses this form to draft the assessment, gathering information from the PhD candidate and summarising input from any other supervisors in the supervision team. This draft is then sent to the PhD candidate, the supervision team, and the PhD Programme director, and it is discussed and adjusted as needed during the First Year Assessment Meeting.  

After the Assessment Meeting, please save the final version on the personal tracking page of the candidate [option "Save and download PDF"] and hand in a signed print out at the ILLC Office (signed, at least, by the main supervisor and the PhD candidate).

The final assessment must be approved by all parties present at the meeting, the director of the ILLC PhD Programme, the ILLC director, and the dean of the faculty where the PhD candidate is enrolled.

Instructions on the assessment procedure can be found on the PhD pages for supervisors.

The form can be found on the personal tracking pages of the candidate.

first year assessment procedure

personal tracking pages

What is expected for each section

Special circumstances

Indicate any special circumstances that might have had a substantial influence on the performance of the PhD candidate during the past year.
Include any hinderances/reasons for delay in the realisation of the plans (also include delay caused by COVID-19 measures).


  • Assess the PhD candidate's performance in relation to supervision (for example, degree of independence and initiative, ability to deal with and to incorporate feedback)
  • Comment on the supervision agreements stated in the TSP. Is supervision to mutual satisfaction?
  • Include any changes necessary in the supervision agreements


Assess the performance of the PhD candidate in relation to research, taking into account the 9-month report submitted by the candidate, as well as on other manuscripts, publications, or talks given.

At least the following points should be addressed:

  • ability to formulate a sensible research proposal and to turn a proposal into a concrete research plan
  • number of papers submitted for publication or talks given
  • quality of academic writing and of oral presentations
  • ability to manage deadlines
  • results obtained so far
  • is the research on schedule?
  • If any changes been made to the research plan laid down in the TSP, please provide an overview of the new research plan. This should include a timeline for the main research tasks in each year to come, including the expected output/results and the deadlines. If publications are part of the output, please indicate so.
  • In case there are hinderances or special circumstances mentioned in the 'Special Circumstances' section, please also include the way these will be handled in order to minimize the delay.
  • Research data management: how is this handled? Please have a look at the UvA page on RDM.

UvA page on RDM


  • Have all courses and training activities proposed for the last year been completed? If not, please elaborate
  • Comment on the extent to which the candidate has acquired new knowledge and skills
  • List any changes in training activities planned for the coming years in comparison with the TSP (courses, summer schools, research visits, internships, etc). Please include the time period


  • Include the courses the PhD candidate was involved in during the past year and describe the tasks performed
  • Assess the PhD candidate's performance during these tasks (quantity and quality). If available, comment on student evaluations received
  • List any changes in teaching activities planned for the coming years in comparison with the TSP. Please include the time period


  • Include the organisational or administrative tasks the PhD candidate was involved in during the past year
  • Assess the PhD candidate's performance during these tasks. You may also want to comment on the candidate's willingness to participate in activities outside of the scope of the research project, and to relate with colleagues inside and outside of the ILLC
  • List any changes in organisational or administrative tasks planned for the coming years in comparison with the. Please include the time period.


Please comment on the following matters:

  • Does the PhD candidate feel at home at the ILLC (and in the Netherlands)?
  • Work pressure
  • Work-life balance
  • And if applicable, how will any issues be dealt with?

UvA pages on mental health and wellbeing for PhD's

Overall assessment

  • Summarise the first year assessment
  • If applicable, summarise the plan of action to address any shortcomings pointed out in the sections above
  • Are there any doubts on the ability of the candidate to complete an acceptable PhD thesis with the timeframe of the appointment 

Comments by the PhD candidate

Since this is an assessment and therefore more the opinion of the supervisor than that of the PhD candidate, please allow the PhD candidate to freely express their opinion in this section.

Comments by other parties present

Also other parties present may have a different opinion on some of the topics discussed. Please allow these parties to freely give their express their opinion in this section.