Universiteit Leiden

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Graduate school

Information about doctorates and application procedures for PhD positions at ICLON and Leiden University.

ICLON research staff are involved in a considerable number of promotions, mostly as supervisors of ICLON PhD students, but also as supervisors or co-supervisors of PhD students and researchers at other departments or universities. The subjects may vary, but they are always related to teaching or teachers. PhD projects at ICLON are conducted within the framework of the scientific research programme.

Applying for a PhD position (research proposal)

In general, ICLON offers funded PhD positions for research projects that fit within the ICLON research programme. New research projects are first advertised as funded positions for graduate students in local media and on the web. The website Academic Transfer holds current information about vacancies at Dutch universities. 

Occasionally, an external PhD student is accepted, provided that he or she can obtain a research grant and submits a good research proposal which fits within the ICLON research programme. Furthermore, information about study results, the quality of earlier work and recommendations by well-known scholars will have to prove the outstanding competencies of the prospective PhD student. General applications without such information will not be considered.

Financial prerequisite
If you intend to pursue a doctorate at ICLON, Leiden University Graduate School of Teaching, you can either apply for a funded position by responding to an advertisement, or follow the  admission procedure for a position based on self-obtained research grants. The formal decision on admission is made by the Dean of the Graduate School of Teaching.

Every full professor has the right to act as a PhD supervisor ( promotor). The department’s associate and assistant professors may co-supervise a PhD project. In many ways, the supervisor is the most important person in your doctoral project. By the time you have planned to do a PhD at Leiden University, you may have already decided which professor you would like to have as your supervisor. 

English language
If you are not a Dutch PhD student, you are advised to demonstrate your proficiency in English, preferably by means of an IELTS test or a Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English.


Every PhD student at ICLON participates in the national research school ICO, which organises courses on subjects related to education and teaching, and to methodology and statistics. Other general or domain-specific courses can be followed at Leiden University. All courses are part of the training and supervision plan that is drawn up at the start of the PhD project. Furthermore, ICLON PhD students are expected to attend at least two international conferences.

ICLON Research Group

All researchers at ICLON participate in the ICLON Research Group, which organises monthly meetings on theoretical and methodological issues, drafts of articles and conference papers. On average, every 3 or 4 weeks one or two researchers present an issue to their fellow researchers or ask for critical (but friendly) comments and advice. The official language in these meetings is English.