Universiteit Leiden

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Graduate School of Science

Current PhD Candidates

You are enrolled as a PhD candidate in the Graduate School of Science (Leiden University, Faculty of Science). During your program, you will not only work on your manuscript, but also take part in courses focusing on academic skills, as well as transferable skills. The link 'PhD Training Programme' on the left provides more information about courses offered. You can find other practical information for PhD candidates in the same menu.

Education and Supervision Plan

Every PhD candidate draws up an Education and Supervision Plan (ESP/OBP) with the supervisor and promotor that outlines research and education targets, supervision and training. You can find a template for the ESP in the menu on the right. Some insitutes, however, use a modified version of this template, so please make sure you use the template relevant for your institute. The PhD candidate meets with the supervisor on a regular basis, discussing research, training and teaching. Your development is officially evaluated annually during a ‘Result and Development assessment’.

PhD Training Programme

PhD candidates follow courses to develop academic skills as well as transferable skills. The courses are organised and offered by the Graduate School of Science in collaboration with HRM Services of Leiden University. Advanced courses to deepen scientific 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. The entire procedure leading up to the defence has been extensively described (see pdf on the right). 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 Science Career Service 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)

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 at Luris.

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