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Doing a PhD at the Institute of Psychology can be an exciting experience. On this webpage we provide you with the necessary information on application, registration, the Graduate School and Training and regulations. Leiden University’s Institute of Psychology offers you a professional and supporting environment for realising your scholarly ambitions.

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. To be eligible for admission, you must:

  • have a master’s degree from a Dutch university or an equivalent master’s degree from another institution, and
  • must have written a master’s thesis.
  • In addition, you have to demonstrate your proficiency in English

Note: If your master’s diploma is not certified by DUO (Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs (in Dutch)), you must present the relevant certificates (original version) to the Graduate School Office in person after filling in the application. This is not necessary if you have been awarded a master’s degree from Leiden University.

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

› Institute of Psychology: Research

The Graduate School FSW

The Leiden University’s Institute of Psychology 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.

As soon as you have found a supervisor, contact the Graduate School Office by sending an e-mail, mentioning your supervision team and your research area. 

Training and Supervision Plan (T&S Plan)

The Training and Supervision Plan (Opleidings- en Begeleidingsplan; OBP in Dutch) of every PhD candidate must be submitted  by the PhD supervisor for evaluation by the Research Committee through email using the most recent PhD Training & Supervision Plan format. Following the approval of the research proposal, the approval letter must be uploaded by the supervisor in LUCRIS GSM Module. This process has to be completed within the three months following the start of the PhD trajectory.

The PhD candidate only has to upload the approved Training & Supervision Plan to LUCRIS GSM Module (see the FSW Graduate School website). This process has to be completed within three months following the start of the PhD trajectory.

Evaluationprocedure T&S Plan

It is possible that the proposal needs to be revised before it can be approved. Externally funded proposals that have already been ‘peer-reviewed’ will receive a ‘light’ assessment by the committee based on the following criteria: embedding, feasibility, data storage, and training plan. All other proposals are also evaluated on research quality.

Submission deadlines and procedures for every PhD track

Different deadlines apply for the submission of the T&S Plans depending on the type of PhD track. Deadlines and procedures for the different PhD tracks are detailed below for promotors and PhD candidates.

1st, 2nd, 3rd , 4th source of funding
The PhD candidates have to submit their Training and Supervison Plan for evaluation by the Research Committee within three months following the start of of their PhD trajectory.

Pdf to 1-4 PhD Infographic

External PhD candidates
External PhD candidates first have to submit their Training and Supervision Plan for evaluation to the Research Committee. Only after approval of the T&S Plan, they can register for the Graduate School FSW.

Pdf to external PhD Infographic

CSC grant
The China Scholarship Council (CSC) provides scholarships for outstanding Chinese master's students, recent graduates and young (academic) professionals who want to do a full-time PhD programme at Leiden University. For the date of the current deadline for submission of a Training and Supervision Plan for a CSC grant, contact GS-Office@fsw.leidenuniv.nl.

Pdf to CSC PhD Infographic

Research Data Management

All PhD candidates are obligated to write a Data Management Plan (DMP) within six months following the start of their trajectory. They can use this template to prepare for the mandatory data management training. For any advice on writing and submission of the Data Management Plan, the PhD candidates can reach out to the datastewards. The Open Science page offers more information about guidelines concerning data management.


All PhD candidates who started in 2019 and onwards are invited to participate in the mentoring programme of the Institute of Psychology. The programme consist of at least five meetings with a mentor. The meetings aim to monitor the progress and improve the wellbeing of the PhD candidate. When the PhD candidate is registered at the Graduate School FSW, they will automatically be approached by the Institute of Psychology. Currently, the four mentors are:

Pdf to mentoring programme Infographic


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:


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

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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