PhD guidelines

Apart from the PhD regulations, Leiden University also employs a set of guidelines that lay down the minimal requirements for the supervision, training and facilities for PhD candidates.

The guidelines apply to PhD candidates with employee status and self-funded PhD candidates. You can find the definition of both categories in the 'VSNU PhD categories' document. All articles of these guidelines have immediate effect, but some only apply to new PhD candidates that have been admitted to the Graduate School after 21-04-2015.


Applicable to all PhD candidates

  1. Self-funded PhD candidates are registered in SAP as guest employees or PhD candidates with an unpaid appointment. They are registered in the category ‘self-funded PhD candidates’.

  2. All PhD candidates are entitled to a LU Card that grants them access to the library. They may also use copying and printing facilities without charge, within the rules that apply in the faculty for academic staff.

  3. All PhD candidates are entitled to a desk in the faculty.

  4. The faculty must clearly inform prospective PhD candidates about the available facilities (including courses, research costs etc.) when offering them a place in a Graduate School.

  5. All institutes hold regular sessions on job market prospects for their own PhD candidates.

Applicable to new PhD candidates

  1. All PhD candidates are given the opportunity, within reason, to visit at least two academic conferences during their period of appointment.

  2. A training and supervision plan must have been drawn up for all PhD candidates within three months of the start of their PhD programme.

  3. All PhD candidates have a second supervisor or a co-supervisor alongside the first supervisor. The training and supervision plan documents the division of responsibilities between the different supervisors.

  4. Each PhD candidate has an annual review or monitoring meeting each year with one or two independent members of staff. The quality of the supervision is an important aspect of this meeting.

  5. A go/no go decision is taken at the end of the first year of the PhD programme. This is documented in writing.

  6. All PhD candidates follow a compulsory programme for the full period of appointment that at least comprises:

    • 140 hours of academic activities (training in the candidate’s specialism, conference attendance, etc.), and
    • 140 hours of activities focusing on transferable skills, including at least one training course on academic integrity.
  7. Members of staff who are supervising a PhD candidate for the first time must also follow such a course.

Last Modified: 19-12-2016