Universiteit Leiden

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Personal development

Project ME | Taking control of your academic career by taking control of yourself

This course, Project ME, is about personal leadership. You'll learn to understand yourself better and to manage yourself through the struggles and challenges during your PhD time. We’ll focus on time- and stress management, creating more happiness and wellbeing at work and having a healthy work-life balance. You’ll learn how to get rid of the obstacles, so you can flourish as a researcher.

Target group
PhD candidate
Ron de Jong Ellen Havenaar Sanne Keulers
Training course
Start dates 2024
20 September, 22 October, 20 November

As a young researcher life and work can be challenging. It can be hard to decide which direction you want to go. You might ask yourself, am I on track? It can be difficult to work together with other parties and be a team with your supervisor. To keep all balls in the air you need to practice personal leadership. And even when everything is going well now, it is always healthy to understand yourself a little better, for when you DO hit a rough patch.

For whom?

Highly recommended for starting PhD candidates.


During this course we'll cover:

  • Personal goal setting
  • Happiness @ Work
  • Peer support and other resources
  • Time management
  • Work-life balance
  • Stress management
  • Energy gainers and drainers
  • Feedback and reflection
  • Personal plan of action

What you'll learn

After the training course is finished, you have:

  • knowledge of and recognize the factors that influence wellbeing, happiness at work and workload
  • an understanding of what makes you happy at work and how you can work on your own wellbeing and stress management
  • a basic understanding of time management and how to create a healthy work-life balance
  • learned to reflect on yourself and set and maintain personal goals
  • awareness of the possibilities for in-dept study of the topics discussed (within the university)


This course consists of three meetings which will be held in Leiden University. It is a mix of theory and practice. We work in an interactive way and there will be plenty of room to experiment. During interactive exercises we investigate our own behavior, beliefs, values, qualities and driving factors. We connect the insights to our day-to-day life. Between each session you’ll receive an assignment to investigate yourself and your personal goals more in-dept. The insight, theory, models and tips and tricks will help you to become the leader of your time as a PhD researcher.


19 hours, including preparation and attendance during 3 training sessions of 3,5 hours.

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 Leiden University) and Extern/LUmc (e.g. extern, self-funded researchers or employee at LUmc).
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