Universiteit Leiden

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Institute of Security and Global Affairs

PhD Programme

Our institute has a large and thriving community of PhD researchers engaged in a variety of domains representing the main research areas of the Institute: cybersecurity, terrorism, physical violence, crisis management, intelligence, diplomacy and global affairs, policing studies, and war, peace and justice studies.

PhD researchers carry out a project of their own or participate in a research project led by a member of our academic staff. There are two main types of PhD candidates at our institute: university-funded ('internals') or self-funded PhDs ('externals').

University-funded PhD positions constitute a four-year full-time (or five-year 0,8-fte) research position with a salary and require candidates to spend about 15% of their time on teaching. Vacancies for funded PhD positions are posted on the University Website.

Self-funded PhD candidates receive their funding from other sources than Leiden University, whether through an external employer, a bursary or self-funding.

Support and training for PhDs

We offer various support and training for our PhDs. We run a regular research seminar series in which PhDs can present and discuss their work. Each research group organises different activities to provide more specialised expertise. There are also regular formal and informal PhD meetings.

In addition to the training offered by the University, we aim to regularly provide all our PhD candidates with solid social research training with, for example courses, on epistemology, research methods, career advancement, academic writing, literature review, or research questions.

Some funding is available for research activities, including fieldtrips, methods training or conferences.

The University and the Faculty also provide various means of support for PhDs, including a special counsellor, a psychologist and a PhD Dean.

Community and organisation

The PhD assembly of our institute provides a community forum for all PhD candidates and elects a PhD Committee, which represents the community.

The PhD coordinator oversees the programme and organises the community meetings. The current PhD coordinator is Dr. Lydie Cabane. You can contact the PhD coordinator using the following email address: phdcoordinator.isga@fgga.leidenuniv.nl.


Applying for a PhD at ISGA

If you are interested in doing a PhD at our institute, there are two routes.

  1. Look out for PhD paid positions that are advertised on the University website and are generally linked to ISGA researchers’ projects. Please note that is currently no regular schedule for advertising such vacancies.
  2. Apply for a self-funded position. To do so, you must first find a supervisor who will accept you. You may contact yourself professors directly or assistant and associate professors – but in this case you will still need to be sponsored by a professor (Click here to check the full list of the members of our institute. You should send a CV and a short PhD proposal ready (at this stage one page is enough; if the supervisor agrees to take you, then you will have to develop a full proposal).

In any case, you should check the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs Graduate School webpage which includes further information on how to apply.

To learn more about our programme, contact our PhD coordinator.

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