Universiteit Leiden

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Graduate School of Science

Prospective PhD Candidates

The Graduate School of Science offers 8 PhD Programmes spanning the entire spectrum of science.

PhD Programmes

The Graduate School of Science offers 8 PhD Programmes; 
AstronomyBiologyBio-Pharmaceutical SciencesChemistryComputer ScienceEnvironmental SciencesMathematicsPhysics, supplemented with the PhD trainingprogramme.

Find a supervisor

Finding the right supervisor is a key element in the process of obtaining a doctorate. The supervisor has to confirm that she/he is willing to accept you as a PhD candidate (promovendus) before any further steps can be taken. Contact a professor or senior staff member directly: contact information can be found searching by name or at the website of the Research Institute in your area of interest.


Steps described below in short are described in detail in the Leiden University PhD Regulations.

  1. Register at the Graduate School of Science by sending an email to the Graduate School Office of Science: gsoffice@science.leidenuniv.nl.
    Certified copies (in paper form) of your diplomas including transcripts and English translation need to be sent to the Graduate School Office, preferably directly by the University issuing the diploma in a sealed envelope.
  2. For international applicants additional administrative procedures may apply in relation to visa, residence permit and/or work permit requirements set by the government. The Service Centre International Staff (SCIS) will assist you in applying for the necessary permits.
  3. As soon as possible after the start of your PhD, the Dean of the Faculty of Science will officially need to appoint your supervisor(s) (promotors) and co-supervisor(s) (co-promotors). Therefore, the PhD candidate needs to send an official request to the Graduate School of Science using appendix 2 within 6 weeks after the start of the PhD Programme. 
  4. Upon completing your thesis, you will need to follow the procedure as described in the Timetable of the Procedure.

Education and supervision Plan

Every PhD candidate starts to draw up a so called Education and Supervision Plan with the supervisor and promotor that outlines research and education targets, supervision and training. The PhD candidate meets with the supervisor on a regular basis, discussing research, training and teaching. The learning progression is officially evaluated annually during a ‘Result and Development assessment’. 

Combining a job with a PhD?

This is possible at the Leiden University Dual PhD Centre. The Centre focuses on external PhD candidates who devote part of their working time to scientific research on a theme from their professional practice. The Centre helps these dual PhD candidates develop a research plan, provides training and ensures that their research fits within a scientific discipline and graduate school, and that it ties in with the research of a potential supervisor. A unique opportunity for the PhD candidate, the employer and for science.