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Courses and training programmes

As a PhD candidate, you invest in your professional and personal development by following an University education and training programme. The courses and trainings will help you to conduct your scientific research, write your dissertation, developing your career and gain self-insight.

Training and supervision plan

With the exception of external PhD candidates, all PhD candidates must follow a training plan that is established at the start of the doctoral process. The plan encompasses the entire doctoral process and consists of at least:

  • 140 hours of academic training activities (training in the candidate’s specialism, conference attendance, etc.)
  • 140 hours of training activities focusing on transferable skills (such as giving presentations, academic English, time management, career orientation, entrepreneurship), including at least one academic integrity training course.

External PhD candidates must at least take the ‘scientific integrity’ course.

The requirements for your training programme may vary by faculty and your personal situation. The costs are not for your own account. They will be reimbursed for you, as long as you coordinate your participation with your supervisor in advance. External PhD candidates must submit the course proposal to the Scientific Director or the dean before the start of the doctoral process.

For more information, see your faculty tab or view all courses for PhD candidates in our course calendar. For questions about the course offer, you can mail to hrmopleidingen@bb.leidenuniv.nl

The training of employed or contract PhD candidates includes a number of mandatory components which are taken collectively with other PhD candidates. At the Institute for History the most important components are the PhD conferences that are organized twice a year. These conferences are aimed at the acquisition and exchange of research insights and skills. The Institute also organises a practical educational course which prepares PhD candidates to fulfill teaching obligations.

In total PhD candidates are required to take 140 hours of courses in academic skills and 140 hours of courses in transferable skills (like career counseling and research management). Most of the coursework for academic skills is done on an individual basis in a research school. The university also offers courses for PhD candidates to develop academic and transferable skills, like academic writing, presenting skills, etc. In the training and supervision plan the PhD candidate makes an agreement with his or her supervisor about the courses that he or she will take during the course of their project.

PhD Conferences

PhD conferences take place twice a year, usually in December and May. PhD candidates are required to participate in all PhD conferences during the entire period of their employment at the Leiden Institute for History. Their attendance is counted towards the obligatory 140 hours of academic skills that all PhD candidates need to have followed. They are to read the papers of their peers, distributed beforehand, and are expected to take part in the discussion after paper presentations during the conference. PhD candidates are also required to act as discussant on at least one occasion and present their own research at another.

Research schools

All PhD candidates take part in a research school. Relevant national research schools in the field of history are the following.

Onderzoeksschool Klassieke Oudheid Studies OIKOS (ancient history)

Onderzoeksschool Mediëvistiek (medieval history)

Huizinga Instituut (cultural history)

N.W. Posthumus Institute (economic and social history)

Onderzoeksschool Politieke Geschiedenis (political history)

Didactic course

Depending upon the terms of their contract, the PhD candidates will teach within the BA program of history during the course of their doctorate program. Although there are no hard rules regarding teaching during the PhD, generally speaking PhD candidates can devote a maximum of 15% of their working hours on teaching and/or receiving education.

The Institute for History offers a didactical course to the PhDs in order to prepare them for their contributions as teachers to our BA program. This didactical course consists of a workshop and a co-teaching series.

During the workshop, the PhDs will simulate how to lecture a werkgroep (a tutorial) and will receive some training by experienced teachers of the Institute. During the co-teaching series, the PhDs will be teamed up with senior lecturers and will accompany them while teaching a werkgroep over the course of one seminar. The PhDs will teach at least two sessions in these courses. The learning outcome and final attainment level of this didactical course is that PhD candidates who have successfully completed the course are capable of independently teaching a class at the BA-level.

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