Universiteit Leiden

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Political Science


Doing a PhD is both demanding and rewarding. Whether it is a step in your academic career, or the crown on your university education, doctoral research calls for intellectual prowess, creativity, and stamina. Leiden University’s Institute of Political Science offers you a professional and supporting environment for realising your scholarly ambitions.

Academiegebouw Leiden

University-funded and self-funded positions ›
Applying for a PhD ›
Job openings ›
Graduate School ›
Training ›
Regulations ›

University-funded and self-funded positions

There are two possibilities for pursuing a doctorate at Leiden University:

  • university-funded PhD position: these positions are limited to relevant job openings for PhD candidates; there are no post-graduate tuition fees.
  • self-funded PhD: these positions depend on successful application and acceptance by a supervisor; funding depends on the student’s self-obtained grants, job, or other arrangements; there are no tuition fees.

Applying for a PhD

University-funded PhD-positions are advertised (Job openings ›), when they are available. The application procedure for self-funded PhD positions is outlined here. All candidates are expected to have

  • considerable methodological knowledge and skills;
  • some experience in setting up and carrying out small-scale research projects;
  • knowledge of the literature relating to political science;
  • good writing skills; and
  • a strong interest in doing original research at the highest level.

Further background information about the Institute’s research programme and supervisors’ areas of expertise can be found here:

Institute of Political Science: Research

Job openings for PhD candidates

Current vacancies for university-funded PhD candidates are listed on the PhD positions site.

Graduate School

Leiden University’s Institute of Political Science participates in the Graduate School of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. The Graduate School facilitates PhD admission and registration, and provides some training and assistance. Further information can be found on the Graduate School website. There you will also find an extensive section for prospective PhD candidates.


A PhD first and foremost means conducting research and writing your dissertation. But as a PhD candidate you will also be stimulated to develop your skills through:

Leiden University seal


Our PhD Guide is a good starting point if you consider doing a PhD at the Institute of Political Science.

Leiden Universityߴs PhD regulations, an overview of the formal procedure from starting to defending the PhD, as well as a number of relevant forms and templates are published on the PhD guidelines and regulations page.

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