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Submission and defence of your dissertation

You have chosen to do a PhD at Leiden University. The 2021 PhD Regulations, which were established by the Doctoral Board, specify what you must do to earn a PhD. Here you will find out more about the procedures relating to submitting and defending your dissertation and which forms you will require.

Dissertation submission

Once you have received confirmation from the dean that you may defend your dissertation, and have notified the beadle of your intention to do so, you can start reproducing the non-scientific component of your dissertation and the propositions. The beadle must approve the titlepage of the dissertation in good time. 

No later than three weeks before the PhD ceremony you are responsible for:

  • Handing in two copies of the dissertation with the propositions enclosed on a separate sheet of paper to the beadle’s office. Delivery during office hours or send: Rapenburg 73, 2313 GJ Leiden.
  • Providing a number of copies of the dissertation for the Dean.
  • Providing copies for all members of the examining committee.
  • Providing four copies for the University Library.
  • You must also submit an electronic copy of your dissertation for the University repository.
  • A licence granting the University non-exclusive permission to publish the dissertation in electronic format for University use. This can be under a temporary embargo. Sign the standard licence agreement for this in form B.

Reimbursement of some of the costs

You may be eligible for the reimbursement of some of the costs. For more information, please contact proefschrift@library.leidenuniv.nl, or call 071 - 527 1525.

Examining committee

In the meantime, your supervisor submits a written proposal to the dean regarding the members of the examining committee. The dean informs you, your supervisor and the beadle of who will sit on the examining committee. You may now defend your dissertation to the examining committee.

Dissertation defence

You defend your dissertation in public to the examining committee. Although your supervisor does not sit on the examining committee, he or she may participate in the opposition.

After the oral defence, the examining committee retires to deliberate. The supervisor attends the deliberations and recommends whether to award the PhD but does not have a say in the deliberations. If the examining committee decides to award the PhD, the supervisor is authorised by the Rector to do so.

It is possible to award the predicate ‘cum laude’ to the PhD. The rules governing this are specified in Article 29 of the PhD Regulations. The procedure is described in the Cum Laude Regulations, which you will find in form D.

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