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Graduate School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

PhD support

Who can you contact for support and advice?

The Graduate School Office is responsible for you, if your first supervisor is part of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. The Graduate School Office Coordinator carries out the admission and registration procedures, and supports you from the beginning of your their PhD traject until completion.

If you have any questions, please contact the Graduate School Office Coordinator.

CA/DS  Marja Spierenburg
CWTS  Inge van der Weijden
Education and Child Studies  Doreen Arnoldus
Political Science  Tom Louwerse
Psychology  Corry Donner


If you feel stressed or at risk of a burn-out can please contact the University doctor. More information about what you can do in the case of difficulties and how to contact the University doctor can be found on the mental fitness website.

Caring Universities
Leiden University takes part in an initiative called Caring Universities. Caring Universities offers free online programmes to improve your mental well-being.

Dissatisfaction with the work environment and the occurrence of conflicts with supervisors and management in general happen in all kinds of organisations irrespective of whatever safety measures have been taken to ensure optimal functioning on the work floor. Many of such conflicts are often the result of miscommunication, misunderstanding, prejudice, etc. and can adequately be resolved if raised in time.

For dealing with such problems the Leiden Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences as an organisation has its own independent confidential counsellor in Dr. Henk Tromp.  He is available to all staff members and PhD candidates.

When to appeal?

The adviser is the right person to consult on, or to report to, all kinds of sensitive work-related issues, which staff members cannot openly discuss with their direct supervisor or institute’s board. Or in case the actions already taken for resolving the problems have failed to achieve the desired results.

Which kind of complaints can the counsellor deal with?

The complaints and points of dissatisfaction should primarily be work-related. For example, conflicts with a supervisor about work load or future perspective, suspicions of discrimination, plagiarism, sexual harassment, feelings of intimidation, hostility, neglect and disrespect. In addition, issues which apply to PhD candidates such as excessive pressure on publishing or lecturing, dissatisfaction with the quality of the supervision, meeting’s frequency with (daily) supervisor, feedback’s quality and delay and work conditions in general.

What does confidentiality mean?

It is important to emphasize that due to the sensitive character of the consultations the adviser is obliged to act with the utmost prudence. Confidentiality means that the identity of the staff members and their specific complaints will not be revealed to anyone and that no action will be undertaken without their direct request and full consent as well.


You can make an appointment by sending an e-mail to Dr. Henk Tromp.

LEO aims to provide a platform for PhD candidates at Leiden University. They organise social events, represent PhD-specific interests, and maintain contact with other PhD organisations.

This platform is a network of all PhD candidates of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. They organise biannual meetings to discuss common issues and share knowledge about life as a PhD candidate. The platform is run by a board consisting of PhD candidates. Their website provides information about upcoming events and previously shared documents.

Note: The PhD platform website is ONLY accessible to PhD candidates of the Graduate School of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

PhD candidates and postdocs can visit the University's PhD Career Platform (login required). On that website you can explore your future employment possibilities.

PhD candidates who have completed the doctorate track at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences are eligible for a Faculty subsidy of € 1500,- maximum. This subsidy covers the following costs:

  • printing the thesis

  • reception after the defence

  • rental of the required formal dress

Target group

This arrangement applies to all PhD candidates in the Faculty, including external (i.e., not having a regular PhD position with the Faculty) PhD candidates.  Any staff member who has written a doctorate thesis (even when this was not part of the job requirements) is also eligible for the € 1500,- subsidy.


Payment will take place after the PhD defence. The candidate will receive a letter from the Faculty Board together with a declaration form. This form should be filled out and, together with all original receipts, returned to: 

  • Board of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences,
    P.O. Box 9555,
    2300 RB Leiden,

on submission of all original receipts. The Financial Shared Service Centre will then pay the money into the candidate’s account.

Reimbursement of required copies

The Leiden University PhD Regulations (article 19) require the PhD candidate to provide:

  • a number of printed copies of the thesis for the opposition committee (10 copies to be delivered to the beadle’s office, Rapenburg 73, and 10 to be delivered to the Dean’s office), and

  • 5 printed copies for the University Library (UBL), 

  • a digital version of the thesis to the UBL, and 

  • the University the right for non-exclusive publication of the thesis in digital form. To this end the candidate should sign the standard licence agreement prepared by the Board of Governors.

The University will pay the candidate a once-only reimbursement of € 500 for the licence. A sum which, moreover, is also intended to cover the costs of printing the 25 copies of the doctoral thesis required for the thesis defence committee and the UBL archive. The body responsible for the implementation of this financial arrangement is the UBL.

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