Universiteit Leiden

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Graduate School of Science

PhD Training Programme

As a PhD candidate, you are expected to follow certain courses and training programmes in the context of your training as a researcher. The courses and training programmes will help you conduct your research, write your dissertation, develop your career, and gain self-insight.

Recommended hours of training

According to the Leiden University PhD guidelines, employed and contract PhD candidates are expected to follow:

  • 140 hours of academic activities (training in the candidate’s specialism, conference attendance, etc.), and
  • 140 hours of activities focusing on transferable skills, including the compulsory transferable skills courses below

Please register the number of hours you spent on academic activities and transferable skills in LUCRIS GSM. Courses you took with HRM Learning & Development will automatically appear in your LUCRIS data. You should register any other courses yourself by filling in the number of hours spent on the course and uploading a certificate that proves your attendance and the number of hours (see the LUCRIS manual).

Compulsory transferable skills courses

The following courses are compulsory for all PhD candidates of the Faculty of Science.

A number of cases of scientific fraud and misconduct were bad publicity for the scientific world. Are these cases signs of a system in crisis or just some anomalies in an otherwise good scientific framework? This course will give attention to the grey area and your role as an individual scientist to prevent misconduct.

Preferred moment of attendance: Start of your third year
Duration: Two hours
Information and registration: Scientific Conduct

This course highlights the behaviour that leads to inefficient use of time. You will be given practical tips for carrying out your work more effectively and more efficiently. During the course you will examine your own approach to time management. 

Preferred moment of attendance: 6 months after starting
Duration: several days
Information and registration: Time management

Various forms of oral and written presentations will be looked at from the perspective of interaction, with special attention to linguistic aspects. The participants use their own material so that they can use what they have learned directly in their own research.

Preferred moment of attendance: End of the first year
Duration: multiple sessions during several days
​Information and registration: Communication in Science

During the four years of working towards your PhD you will be cooperating with a number of different people. One important person during this period is your (co-)supervisor ((co-)promotor). He/she will have an impact on you and on your performance. During the process towards becoming an independent researcher it is, at times, crucial to have an influence on your surroundings by demonstrating effective behaviour, particularly towards the 'professor'. In the morning we practice the theory and in the afternoon we engage in role play with an actor.

Preferred moment of attendance: Half way into the second year
Duration: 1 day
​Information and registration: Effective Communication


Sometimes PhD candidates already have participated in courses similar to a course of the compulsory training programme. Exemptions for courses of the PhD training programme can be made by sending a request using the Exemption Form for the PhD Training Programme. Please indicate the reason and if applicable include proof of participation in other courses. The Graduate School of Science decides whether or not exemption is granted and informs you and your supervisor by e-mail. 

Optional courses in transferable skills

The requirements for the optional part of your training programme may vary by institute and your personal situation. You can think of courses in data management, writing a grant proposal, teaching skills, enhancing your learning qualities, Intellectual Property (IP) and how to use (social) media. But also coaching, intervision, and career counseling. Please discuss with your supervisor which courses will work best for you.

Training courses are available for PhD candidates through:

  1. HRM Learning & Development of Leiden University offers PhD training courses, including academic writing, presenting skills, time management and knowledge utilisation. Courses in career development, personal development, communication, working effectively and research skills are taught throughout the year.
  2. Some institutes and research schools also offer (obligatory) training courses for their PhD candidates. Please check the institute’s website or ask your supervisor and/ or PhD coach for more information.

Planning the Training Programme

Before the end of the PhD programme all four compulsory courses should be finished. The compulsory courses make up 62 hours in total. This means there are another 78 hours of courses on transferable skills you need to do to fulfill the Leiden University PhD guidelines. You can fill those hours with courses of your own choice. Attendance of the Science PhD Day also counts towards the 140 hours for instance.

Registration for courses

You can register for courses yourself. For courses offered by HRM Learning & Development, you register using the "Register" button. There are costs for the HRM Learning & Development courses which can be found on the website of HRM services. The costs will be charged on the Institute. Therefore, the Institute Manager also needs to approve. You will be allowed to take part only once the course invoice has been paid. Ask your supervisor for permission before you register.

  • PhD candidates who are employees of Leiden University can register via the button "Register (staff)". Ask you supervisor which SAP number to use.
  • PhD candidates who have their own scholarships and are guest employees, register using the button "Register (guest/LUMC)". Please select "PhD without a funded place". Then select "Third party payment" and ask your supervisor or Institute Manager which address to use.

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