MAASTRICHT. The valorisation paragraph – the addendum in which PhD candidates explain the social or economic value of their study – will become a fixed part of the thesis as from January 2020.
Until now, the paragraph was compulsory as a five-page addendum, but not as an official part of the thesis; so it doesn't count in the assessment. Since its introduction in September 2014, there was a great deal of discussion about the compulsory appendix. It was said that in the case of fundamental research, there is not always a clear social relevance. Many researchers therefore don't see its added value and want to be rid of it. Others feel it is very important to ‘justify’ to society what they are researching.
This is the reason why rector Rianne Letschert decided to review the measure. “After much discussion with faculties, PhD candidates, supervisors and deans, a compromise was reached,” she said last week during a committee meeting of the University Council. “It will now become a fixed part of the thesis.” But we have added that a social or economic value is no longer necessary; scientific impact is sufficient.