Universiteit Leiden

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Graduate School of Science

Prospective PhD Candidates

Thank you for your interest in doing PhD research at the Leiden Graduate School of Science. The Graduate School of Science offers 9 PhD Programmes, spanning the entire spectrum of science. If you have a Master's degree, are proficient in English, and share a fascination with science, it may be possible to pursue a PhD degree at the Leiden Graduate School of Science. This page provides information on how to start a PhD at the Faculty of Science in Leiden.

Different types of positions

If you wish to conduct PhD research with a PhD graduation planned at the Faculty of Science of Leiden University, there are three possibilities. You will be an:

  1. Employed PhD candidate, a paid 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.
  2. Contract PhD candidate, subsidised by a grant (CSC (China), LPDP (Indonesia), other);
  3. External PhD candidate supported by your own funds (job, savings, loan).

Employed PhD candidate

Application to a paid position is in response to positions advertised on the webpages of the Research Institutes (see the different PhD Programmes in the column to the right), or on the Leiden University website.

  • A full-time place is in principle a four-year appointment (or five year 0.8 FTE part time).
  • After you have been selected for an employed PhD position, you will be asked by an Institute‚Äôs staff member to register at the Graduate School by filling in the LUCRIS GSM Application form. If for some reason this did not happen, please send an email to gsoffice@science.leidenuniv.nl

Contract PhD candidate

Contract PhDs receive a grant in their country of origin, which enables them to conduct PhD research at our University. The Graduate School of Science does not provide PhD grants. If you plan to apply for a personal research grant elsewhere and wish to carry out your research and graduate at the Faculty of Science, you need to:

  • Find a professor in the Faculty of Science who is willing and able to supervise you for the whole PhD track: The professor 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.
  • Once you have found a supervisor, apply for admission by sending an email to gsoffice@science.leidenuniv.nl.
  • If your grant is awarded, you should inform your supervisor and the Graduate School Office.

External PhD candidate

External PhD candidates receive their funding from other sources than Leiden University or PhD grants. External PhD candidates are not allowed to teach in the regular curriculum. If you wish to conduct your research and graduate at the Faculty of Science, you need to:

  • Find a professor at the Faculty of Science who is willing and able to supervise your PhD research for the whole track: The professor 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.
  • Once you have found a supervisor, apply for admission by sending an email to gsoffice@science.leidenuniv.nl.

External PhD candidates are not entitled to any facilities or financial support from the University.

This is possible at the Dual PhD Centre. The Centre focuses on external PhD candidates who devote part of their work 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.

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