PhD program – Why?

Why does BayCEER coordinate the PhD program in Ecology and Environmental Research (PEER)? PhD students reflect on and document their PhD studies, mentors advise and support the PhD students in a mentorate, and the steering committee and office manages and develops the program. 

This structured PhD program offers a large added value:

For PhD students

  • Scientific independence and additional supervision and support from a three-person mentorate is promoted
  • Dedicated programs are offered for PhD students, e.g. scientific research and writing, workshops, … 
  • Networking of PhD students promotes discussions and offers insights into neighboring disciplines
  • Formal registration: requirements for PhD candidates are checked before admission to the program (not just before submission of the thesis)
  • Structured program with research plan and annual reports helps to finish the PhD studies in time
  • Fast track option for master students

For mentors

  • Structured program with research plan and annual reports helps to keep track of the progress of the PhD student
  • Mentorate: exchange of ideas with mentor colleagues offers new perspectives
  • Individual support for PhD students is offered in specific PEER courses


  • Interdisciplinary exchange between PhD students and mentors is strengthened
  • Improved supervision helps to reduce number of drop-outs
  • Structured PhD programs are required by many funding agencies
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