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Lay talk for PhD ceremonies: read the instructions and tips

10 July 2024

From 1 September 2024, every PhD candidate at Leiden University will give a ten-minute lay talk immediately preceding their PhD defence. Are you a PhD candidate and is your defence planned after the summer? Then read the instructions and tips to ensure a smooth running of the ceremony.

Read the instructions and tips

A lay talk means that at the beginning of their PhD ceremony, PhD candidates explain in ‘normal language’ what exactly they have spent the past few years researching and why. This makes the rest of the ceremony more accessible to non-specialists in the audience, such as family and friends or professionals from outside academia. The examining committee does not attend the lay talk, nor does the talk count towards the assessment.

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