Universiteit Leiden

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Personal development

Club PhD | Your personal Think Tank for sharing challenges and solving problems

In ‘Club PhD’ we use our collective brain power in combination with compact training sections on helpful theories and models, to find solutions for stuff you run into. It’s the opportunity to receive advice from people in similar positions, with the guidance of a professional trainer/coach. By using the wisdom of your peers, you can grow beyond your challenges.

Target group
PhD candidate
Ron de Jong de Jong Ellen Havenaar Sanne Keulers
Training course

This course will highlight patterns of your behavior and distractions that keep you from sticking to your schedule. We will provide practical tips to manage your PhD project more effectively and efficiently, and to keep you from procrastinating. In doing so, you will start to experience more clarity, more focus, and a better work-life balance.

Target group

This course is recommended for PhD students with a minimum experience of one year.


Subjects we cover during this course:

  • Personal goal setting
  • Peer support and other resources
  • Self-management
  • Time management 
  • Work-life balance
  • Stress management
  • Feedback and reflection
  • Personal plan of action

After this course

  • You know the most important factors that promote or delay progress in the PhD and has insight into the underlying theme that plays a role in this.
  • You are better able to deal with deadlines and work pressure doing a PhD can cause.
  • You are able to prioritize and is aware of his/her own pitfalls.
  • You know different planning methods and knows how to apply these for both short and long term tasks.
  • You have become acquainted with a group of young researchers as an important source of support and he/she has the opportunity to further shape support from this group.


This is your personal Think Tank for your development. During each session we will use peer to peer coaching. The principle of peer to peer coaching is practical and simple: it offers people, often in similar positions within an organisation or who share a common theme, the opportunity to give each other advice on how to deal with challenges they encounter in their work. It is more analytical than directly solution-oriented, because the participants are not asked to provide a solution, but to ask questions about the context, the background and the way to handle the problem.

The meetings have a fixed discussion structure in which a specific problem or topic is dealt with, which has been introduced by one of the participants. This problem is then discussed from a number of perspectives. Each participant has a unique perspective from which he or she looks at your problem. This helps the ‘owner of the problem’ to understand his or her situation better, and it provides new ideas for changing or improving the situation.


25 hours, including preparation and attendance during 5 online sessions of 3,5 hours.

This is what other participants said about our methods:

“A stimulating course for personal development with loads of interaction with colleague PhD students”

“A lot of personal attention due to small groups and really taking the time to listen to each other and delve into each other's cases. Valuable tips and the necessary kindness and 'human touch' that you miss often in stressfull PhD trajectories.” 

“Identify pitfalls and strengths when it comes to self management and receive advice from a coach and the literature and your peers.”

Practical information

  • You can register for this course using the registration buttons on the right side of this page. Please note the difference between Staff (employee of LeidenUniversity) and Extern/LUmc (e.g. extern, self-funded researchers or employee at LUmc).
  • The course is free of charge for employee- and contract PhD candidates. For external PhD candidates, we charge a fee of €475,-.
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