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Admission and selection

Read all about how to become a YAL member on this page.

Are you an early career scholar and would you like to promote interdisciplinary research and outreach activities? Or do you want to have a say in science and education policy? Then the Young Academy Leiden (YAL) may be just the thing for you!

YAL breaks out of disciplinary and institutional boundaries to create a community of early career scholars that is a driving force for fresh ideas within and beyond the university. YAL is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.

Who are we looking for?

Every academic year, new members will be selected to join YAL. Eligible for YAL membership is academic staff of Leiden University and LUMC who received their PhD within the last 8 years, from the date of the start of YAL membership (with the same extension clause as the one applied by NWO). New members selected in this round will start in September 2021.

YAL members are early career academics with a passion for research and/or teaching and who are enthusiastic about broader academic and societal matters such as science and education policy, outreach, and interdisciplinarity. Candidates should be committed to YAL’s goals, which are:

  • to promote collaboration between different disciplines in Leiden and The Hague;
  • to develop interdisciplinary research projects and educational activities;
  • to be an independent voice of young academics regarding science and education policy;
  • To contribute to discussions that are important to all early career academics, but in particular to those underrepresented in academia
  • to stimulate interaction between academics and society;
  • to promote collaboration with other Young Academies in the Netherlands.

To further develop and sustain YAL, members should aim to contribute, on average, four hours per week to YAL-related activities such as YAL meetings, projects and activities. The application process requires a letter of declaration from the applicant’s head of department or institute manager declaring that the prospective member will be given the opportunity to devote sufficient time to YAL, if selected.

It is important that members see their academic future at Leiden University. A permanent position is not required. Membership lasts five years, after which members become YAL alumni/ae.

Application process

To apply for YAL, please send the following documents to the YAL project assistant, Ivo Kostons:

  • A letter of declaration by your head of department or institute manager (download form here);
  • A letter of motivation (500 words max; specifically declare particular interests in the areas of outreach, interdisciplinarity or policy, and how you would like to contribute to YAL’s mission);
  • Your CV (2 A4 max).

Deadline for applications is the 29th of March 2021 at 12.00 hrs. Please ensure that your name is in the header of all documents. Only applications that meet the criteria (e.g., deadline, length) will be taken into consideration.

Selection process

The selection committee consists of four members, including one YAL board member. The committee will select 10 to 15 candidates for a fifteen-minute interview, based on the application documents. Importantly, YAL seeks a fair representation of the different faculties and also aims for an equal distribution across its pillars (i.e., interdisciplinarity, outreach, and science and education policy).

Interviews will be held on the 30th of April 2021. New members and their institute managers will be informed of the decision in the week of May 10th.  This will give the new members the opportunity to reach agreements with their respective institutes regarding their professional responsibilities before the start of the academic year, as YAL membership should be accommodated through fewer management or education tasks. New YAL members will be officially announced on the Young Academy Leiden website in summer. Inauguration of the new members will take place in September 2021.

If you have further questions or if you encounter any obstacles during the process, please contact Ivo Kostons.

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