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Personal development

Club PhD | Time Management +

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

Target group
PhD candidate
Ron de Jong de Jong Ellen Havenaar Sanne Keulers
Training course
Online or onsite
Start dates 2024
25 January, 12 February, 4 April, 23 May, 10 September, 8 October

Why this course? 

During your PhD time you run into all kinds of personal challenges. Questions you have may sound like: ‘How can I be more productive?’, ‘How can I experience a better work-life balance?’ or ‘How can I manage the growing workload?’. Because of the independent and individual character of your work you’ll often face these challenges on your own. Wouldn’t it be great to have your own Think Tank, to help you create a better PhD life?

In ‘Club PhD: Time management +’ we use our collective brain power in combination with helpful theories and models, to find solutions for difficulties you encounter. We will explore the subject of time management in a broad sense. Managing your time is definitely one of the most important competences to work on. Otherwise, you may find yourself spending time on things you don’t want to, getting lost in procrastination or feeling stressed by your to do list. Let’s be honest, these problems can also really screw up your happiness at work. However, you will discover that managing your time goes well beyond learning how to plan, it’s particularly about managing yourself!

With a small group of participants, you will work on what is blocking you from getting the most out of your time. This course will highlight patterns of your own behaviour and distractions that keep you from sticking to your schedule. We explore what makes you do things the way you do and why that does not have the effect you would like. We use these insights to find alternative ways that do work for you. We will also provide you with practical tips to manage your PhD project more effectively and efficiently, and to keep you focused.

Through this course you will start to experience more clarity, more focus, and a better work-life balance. You will have the opportunity to receive advice from people in similar positions, with the guidance of a professional trainer/coach. As a result, you can grow beyond your challenges by using the wisdom of your peers.

Who is this course for?

This course is typically suitable for those who are past the first year of their PhD and already have an idea on how they tend to organize their work and the challenges they experience.

Subjects we cover during this course:

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

End results of this course:

  • The participant knows 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.
  • The participant is better able to deal with deadlines and work pressure doing a PhD can cause.
  • The participant is able to prioritize and is aware of his/her own pitfalls.
  • The participant knows different planning methods and knows how to apply these for both short and long term tasks.
  • The participant has 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 to investigate various challenges. The principle of peer to peer coaching is simple: it offers people, often in similar positions within an organization or who share a common theme, the opportunity to give each other advice on how to deal with the problems they encounter in their work.

Peer to peer coaching is a problem-solving technique in which you can ask your colleagues to collectively think about your problem.  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 method is based on self-reflection and is very practical. The meeting has 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.

Besides peer to peer coaching we provide training on subjects concerning self-management, personal effectiveness and time management.

Sounds scary? This is what other participants said about our methods…

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

“Good course for any stage of PhD or any kind of job, provides insight in your own behavior via peer supervision, learns you to help others with their problems and provides a theoretical background for behavioral aspects in the work and personal environment. Makes you aware and helps you to overcome issues.”

“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.”

“Great opportunity to help work through time, research, and mental health-related issues in a collaborative and supportive platform.”

“For me this was truly an eye-opening course. It focusses on personal growth and how to really get to the root of what is limiting you in your work.”

“Very approachable teachers with lots of tips and tricks.”

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


25 hours (5 x sessions (online or onsite) of 3,5 hours + 7,5 preparatory hours). 4th session to be planned in consulation with participants and teacher.

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).
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