Universiteit Leiden

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Governance and Global Affairs

Current PhD Candidates

The Graduate School is responsible for the provision of information on courses, the organization of seminars, and the (administrative) support in preparation for the PhD defence.


Leiden University has put together a programme intended to assist you in your development as a future researcher. As there are many courses available, it is wise to discuss with your supervisor which courses to take. For PhD candidates of the Institute of Public Administration, it is possible to participate in (part of) the programme of the national research school Netherlands Institute of Government (NIG).

The following transferable skills courses are compulsory for all PhD candidates:

Preparing for the defense ceremony

When after four years or more, you have finished your dissertation, it is time to prepare for the defense procedure. You need to fill out several forms (nrs. 3-9) before the ceremony.

The entire procedure leading up to the defence has been extensively described. For a description in Dutch you can download the Procedure document. For more information and questions about the preparation for the PhD defence, please contact the  Graduate School Office.

After your PhD

PhD candidates are encouraged to start thinking about job prospects well before the defence of their thesis. Many PhD graduates find employment in an academic or semi-academic environment. The majority of them successfully ventures on a career in education, administration, heritage, journalism, or business. A considerable number of them manages to gain a temporary postdoctoral position. 

The post-PhD phase is discussed during the many formal and informal meetings PhD candidates have with their supervisor. For PhD candidates in their last year a special two day course is available at Leiden University, offering insight into career possibilities: the  Competences and motives course. The Career Service of the Faculty of Governance & Global Affairs can also help you orient on job prospects.


If you encounter problems, and you wish to discuss these confidentially, please contact the following persons.
For PhD candidates: Manon Osseweijer, policy officer Graduate School
For PhD candidates and Faculty staff: the University-level general confidential counselor (vertrouwenspersoon), in the Health, Safety & Environment department (071-527 8015).