Universiteit Leiden

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Graduate School of Humanities

Current PhD Candidates

Leiden University has developed a programme intended to assist you in your development as a future researcher.

PhD Training Programme

PhD candidates can follow training courses at different levels. There are (transferable skills) courses offered by HRM Services of Leiden University. Some Institutes offer training courses for PhD candidates as well (please check your Institute’s website). Advanced courses to deepen academic knowledge are offered by the research institutes.

Preparing for the defence ceremony

When after four years or more, you have finished your dissertation, it is time to prepare for the defence 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 Dean's 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 manage 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 Humanities can also help you orient on job prospects.

Postdoctoral research

If you wish to continue in academic research, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) offers several types of postdoctoral funding:

  • Rubicon (to gain experience at a top research institution outside the Netherlands)
  • VENI (to independently carry out an innovative postdoctoral project)
  • Free Competition Humanities (to carry out a postdoctoral project as part of a larger research programme executed under senior supervision)

Writing an NWO proposal is a time consuming and demanding occupation which can only be completed successfully with the input and feedback of colleagues and peers. It is therefore strongly recommended to make use of the expertise offered both within the Institute (notify the director of research) and by the special expert committee of the Faculty of Humanities, which evaluates proposals prior to their submission to NWO.

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