Who can join?

The Global OER Graduate Network comprises as its core actors PhD candidates, OER experts and institutions. The Network offers an umbrella for PhD research in or related to the OER field undertaken in a network of universities around the world. It applies a decentralized and distributed model thereby adhering as close as possible to national (country) and institutional regulations (including quality and funding conditions, etcetera). This will ensure engagement, efficiency, and manageability and avoids undue complexity.

PhD candidates

The OER research projects will generally be undertaken through long-range PhD trajectories in which PhD candidates are the key (learning) researchers. They may be:

  • full-time (typically next to an undergraduate study), or:
  • part-time (sometimes called external PhD's who combine a PhD trajectory with a job, domestic tasks or other activities).

Read more about becoming a GO-GN PhD candidate, and have a look at the GO-GN services and benefits.


Mentoring and supervision of PhD candidates will be undertaken by teams of supervisors (at least two and preferably three expert researchers, one from the host university and the other(s) from universities in other countries). In the team, the OER expertise can be complemented with expertise from other areas as required for the specific PhD research project.

Experts may perform various roles within the GO-GN:

  • Promotor: An expert who is leading the mentoring and supervision of the PhD candidate at the degree awarding university
  • Co-promotor: An expert at another university who has the formal authority to confer a PhD degree on PhD candidates
  • Associate promotor: An expert at another university who does not have the formal authority to confer a PhD degree on PhD candidates, provided this title fits the regulations of the degree awarding university
  • Mentor: Same as an Associate promotor,  in case the degree awarding university does not accept the title 'Associate promotor'

Read more about becoming a GO-GN expert.


The PhD degree will be awarded by the host university according to institutional and national regulations, unless this university is lacking PhD degree awarding power. In such a case one of the GO-GN partner universities involved will take over this role, which implies application of the institutional and national regulations for that university.

The GO-GN distinguishes two partnership categories for participating universities:

  • Full partnership, for universities with PhD degree awarding power
  • Associate partnership, for universities lacking this power

Read more about becoming a GO-GN partner institution.