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Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology


Currently, the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology (CADS) hosts almost 50 PhD candidates working on a wide variety of topics.

The PhD Regulations (‘promotiereglement’) of Leiden University apply to all PhD candidates registered at the Graduate School of Social and Behavioural Sciences. All PhD candidates should be registered at the Graduate School by the beginning of their doctoral training.

The Netherlands School of Anthropology (NESA)

The Netherlands School of Anthropology (NESA) is a graduate programme for PhD candidates who work in the field of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology. This programme is a co-creation of the Anthropology faculties of 5 Dutch Faculties. NESA offers a one-year teaching and training programme especially for upcoming and all first year PhD candidates, consisting of 5 masterclasses on current and trending theoretical debates in our discipline, an extensive methodology training and occasionally a cohort meeting off campus.

PhD categories

The Institute of CADS distinguishes between two PhD categories:

  1. Regular – A PhD candidate who is hired by CADS and thus a formal employee. These candidates are paid through ‘eerste geldstroom’ (including those funded by ‘profileringsgebieden’), ‘tweede geldstroom’ (NWO), or ‘derde geldstroom’ (EU).
  2. Contract and External (‘beurspromovendi’ and ‘buitenpromovendi’) – A PhD candidate with a scholarship (for e.g. DIKTI [Indonesia] and CONACYT [Chile]) or self-funded.  

Applying for a PhD

PhD scholarships are not offered outside of faculty research projects. If you intend to pursue a doctorate at the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, you can:

  • Reply to an advertised PhD vacancy in a staff project
  • Apply with funding from a self-obtained research grant

This latter category of application is only permitted under certain conditions and subject to case-by-case evaluation by the Institute’s Research Committee. The decision is based, among other criteria, on the feasibility of the funding, quality of the proposed study, qualifications of the applicant, availability of adequate supervision, and relation of the proposed study to the Institute’s expertise.

If you have questions, please send an e-mail to Marja Spierenburg.

Important information

CADS offers regular and bench fee-paying PhD candidates a PhD track. The PhD track includes:   

  • Registration at the FSW Graduate School;
  • FSW (e-mail)account;
  • A workspace at CADS;
  • A LU-Card (for the Library, photocopying and printing);
  • Access to library (also online);
  • Regular (monthly/bimonthly) meetings with (co)supervisor(s);
  • ‘6 months’-meetings with the Director of Graduate Studies;
  • Annual review (Resultaat & Ontwikkelingsgesprek);
  • Access to  
    • research seminars;
    •  staff lunches, institute meetings and annual outing;
    • courses (relevant MA or BA courses);
    • annual/bi-annual PhD seminar organized at CA-DS
  • Administrative support and advice regarding project finances.

The bench fee for PhD candidates amounts to €8,500 a year for a maximum period of four years. Note that the bench fee pays for the PhD track, and therefore cannot be used to pay for research/travel/visa/conference/training costs for the PhD candidate.

The bench fee should be paid every year (for a maximum of four years). The first payment should be made before the start of the PhD programme. A refund of the bench fee—for example in the case of (early) termination of the PhD—is not possible. 

For research/travel/visa/conference/training costs candidates should allocate at least €2500 per year in order to guarantee successful execution of the project.

The Leiden Graduate School of Social and Behavioural Sciences' PhD regulations, an overview of the formal procedure from start to defence, and the relevant forms and templates are available on the Graduate School website.

  • Employment status: Employee
  • PhD Track: Yes
  • Writing of an 8-month-paper, summarizing their results so far. Fieldwork may only start after this paper is approved. 
  • Bench fee: No
  • Teaching: the PhD candidate can spend a maximum of 10% of their 3-5 year appointment on teaching or committee work (e.g. as a member of the ‘Instituutsraad’ or ‘onderzoekscommissie’).  Teaching time will be officially considered teacher training. Additionally, the candidate may participate in a maximum of two ICLON teacher-training/ University Teaching Qualification (BKO) courses (paid for by the Institute). While teaching experience and training courses may contribute to a BKO portfolio, they will probably be insufficient for qualification.

Candidates following a PhD track

  • Employment status: Guest employee
  • Legal status: depends on the contract
  • PhD Track: Yes
  • Writing of an 8-month-paper, summarizing their results so far. Fieldwork may only start after this paper is approved. 
  • Bench Fee: Yes
    Note that some contract PhDs (e.g. DIKTI) have already set bench fees based on previously determined contract/agreements with the fund provider and Leiden University. In these cases, the bench fee/tuition fee that has been agreed upon will be binding
  • Teaching: by mutual agreement the candidate may  give one or more guest lectures in a BSc or MSc course or a research seminar, but cannot receive any compensation for this. For non-EU PhD candidates, restrictions in permits may apply. Participating in the course University Teaching Qualification (BKO) is an option, but will have to be paid for by the candidate or the fund provider.

Candidates not following a PhD track

  • Employment status: Guest employee
  • Legal status: depends on individual arrangement, usually none
  • PhD Track: No
  • Bench Fee: No
  • Teaching: No

Note that the supervision for a PhD candidate who does not follow a PhD track will be significantly less intensive.

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