Universiteit Leiden

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Internationalisation in research

Leiden researchers work together with other researchers from across the world. The University has developed a regional policy focused on three specific regions with which we maintain intensive contact through a number of faculties: China, Indonesia and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Regional groups

We have appointed a regional steering group for each region. The regional group is responsible for bundling all Leiden University activities related to the region in question, and ensuring that Leiden experts and networks are optimally used in the region. The regional steering groups are each supported by a regional coordinator.

  • Regional group China
    Chair: Joanne van der Leun, dean Faculty of Law
    Coordinator: Annemarie Montulet
  • Regional group Indonesia
    Chair: Wim van den Doel, Faculty of Humanities
    Coordinator: Marrik Bellen
  • Regional group Latin America and the Caribbean
    Chair: Paul Wouters, dean Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
  • Coordinator: Mara Constantinescu

League of European Research Universities

Within Europe, our most important collaboration is the League of European Research Universities (LERU). Leiden University is one of the twenty-three LERU universities. Across Europe, LERU promotes the interests of research-intensive universities and maintains close contacts with important players in European research policy.

Within LERU, a great number of policy groups and thematic groups are active in various fields, such as education, research, and HR. For more information on Leiden University activities within LERU, please contact Melissa Koops. For general information about LERU, please consult the LERU website.

League of European Research Universities (LERU)

Through LERU exchange it is possible to visit universities in Europe for a couple of weeks. 

Two research-related activities are relevant to our faculty within the scope of this university research network.


1. PhD exchange

Each year LERU holds rounds for PhD candidates who would like to conduct research for 4-6 weeks at a member university that has indicated it is willing to be part of the PhD exchange programme.  

The call for PhD exchanges will be organised by the administrative office in Leuven in November or around that time. The Graduate School invites all PhD candidates (with the exception of external PhD candidates) to apply. Any application must always be done in consultation with the PhD candidate‚Äôs supervisor, Head of Department and Academic Director. The preferred university will then be approached to see whether the PhD candidate in question can be offered a place.  
The application period lasts approximately one month. Deadline applications LERU Exchange January.

2. Staff exchange

It is also possible to participate in a short term teaching stay for staff members for a period lasting 4-8 weeks. This can be to one a LERU member university that has indicated it is willing to be part of  this exchange programme. For more information you can contact the LERU office.

Is is possible to receive a contribution towards the costs via the Erasmus + program. This is only possible if there is an agreement with one of the LERU universities and the Erasmus program. More information about the application procedure can be found on the website.

Information on both annual exchanges is available from the Graduate School.

Gent-Leiden Thorbecke Lecture

Since 1975 close cooperation has existed between the law faculties of Gent and Leiden. Each year, a professor from one faculty gives a special guest lecture at the other faculty. This is called the Thorbecke Lecture, in memory of Prof. J.R. Thorbecke who was a professor both in Gent (1825-1830) and in Leiden (1831-1849). 

The text of the Thorbecke Lecture is published each year in book form.

Since a few years, both the PhD-seminar and the pleading competition have been added to this day. During the PhD-seminar, PhD fellows from both Universities will present and discuss an annually changed theme.

Finally, the pleading competition will be held between the study associations Grotius (Leiden) and VGR (Ghent). The case, which will be argued, relates to the theme of the Thorbecke lecture. In conclusion, a winner will be determined and there will be toast during the reception.

List of Thorbeckelectures 1975-2016. (Dutch)
Read more about Johan Rudolph Thorbecke. (Dutch)

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