Universiteit Leiden

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Leiden University Centre for Linguistics

PhD programme

Leiden University Centre for Linguistics (LUCL) has a longstanding tradition in research in the world’s languages and features unique linguistic expertise. At LUCL, we help develop interdisciplinary approaches to linguistic phenomena by facilitating the interaction between data-driven and theory-driven linguistic research. Here you can study linguistic diversity from a wide variety of theoretical perspectives.


As you can see in this schematic overview, PhD-positions are divided into three different  categories:

An employed PhD position constitutes a four-year full time (or five year 0,8 fte part-time) research position, with full funding (sufficient for general subsistence). 

Application for an employed position is in response to advertisement by Leiden university. Vacancies are advertised on the LUCL and Leiden University websites, and other online channels. They become available through external research funding (such as NWO or the European Union) with the university acting as grant-holding institution and employer. Alternatively, positions will be made available through special projects on institute, faculty or university level. A third option is that you receive funding through the NWO call ‘PhDs in the Humanities’.

The research of many of our PhD candidates is self-funded, meaning that they bring their own funding for general subsistence, from sources other than Leiden University. Candidates applying for a contract position are required to pay an annual fee of €2,800. This fee entitles the PhD student to:

  • supervision by at least two LUCL members,
  • a personal teaching program with courses for didactics, academic writing, etc.
  • a personal budget for conference visits and/or field-work (under approval of the institute manager),
  • access to all courses within LUCL,
  • membership of LOT and access to LOT summer and LOT winter school,
  • a (shared) workspace, including a computer account and a University Library card, 
  • yearly progress interviews
  • access to all professional and social meetings of LUCL,
  • contribution to the costs for the publication of the dissertation.

Besides this fee, there are several other financial matters that you may wish to consider.

External PhD candidates are not entitled to any facilities or financial support by LUCL, except for a contribution towards the publication of their dissertation. Candidates applying for an external position are required to pay an annual fee of €400.

Application and Admission

If you are interested in starting your PhD at LUCL, you must apply via the Graduate School for Humanities, selecting LUCL as the institute of your choice. Please visit this website to find out more about application procedures and requirements. Once the Graduate School has made sure that your application is complete, it will be forwarded to LUCL. A review committee at LUCL will then decide whether you will be accepted as a PhD candidate.

Please note, if you are applying for a contract or external PhD position, your prospective supervisor(s) should already have declared their availability and support of your work before you start the formal application procedure.

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