Universiteit Leiden

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PhD candidates spend most of their time on conducting research. However, teaching is another skill you need to acquire as an academic.

Teaching opportunities

Many PhD candidates at Leiden University are required to teach during their commission. This may be in tutorials, practical classes or lectures. Employed PhD candidates are expected to teach in their second and third years. Teaching should preferably not be done in your first and last years. That said, you should take advantage of the opportunity to teach, because teaching is a valuable asset to your CV (also if you pursuit a non-academic career). You can have the classes you want to teach included in your Training and Supervision Plan, but be sure to discuss this with your supervisor(s) and Institute management. This way, teaching becomes an integral part of your PhD project.

Please note that to teach is not an automatic right for PhD candidates. It depends on the teaching schedules, availability of classes, staff members, etc.

More so, there are some additional requirements for some PhD canditates:

  • Contract PhD candidates can only teach if the conditions of the grant provider allow this. Please discuss this with your supervisor(s).
  • External PhD candidates are not allowed to teach, unless they have been appointed to do so by a separate teaching contract.

Basic Teaching Qualification (BKO)

The BKO is a mark of quality used by all Dutch universities. It serves as a reliable frame of reference with respect to your didactic skills.

In view of the limited time available to PhD candidates for acquiring teaching experience within their PhD appointment, it is hardly possible for PhD candidates to complete a full BKO track. For more information on the BKO procedure, please see the university and faculty information on the website.

The Leiden University Executive Board has decided to offer PhD candidates the opportunity to complete a teaching certificate that covers some elements of the BKO final attainment levels. PhD candidates who have completed this certificate will be given recognition for having partially completed the BKO track. The details of this university-wide teaching qualification are currently being further developed.

Considering the fact that PhD candidates spend a lot of time on teaching and develop valuable transferable skills in this process, the Doctorate Board agreed that a max. of 20 teaching hours can be included as transferable skills. This certificate can be used for uploading in Converis.

To teach and be taught

ICLON, an interfaculty unit within Leiden University, offers a didactic training course for PhD candidates: Introduction to teaching for PhD candidates. More information can be found on the ICLON website. Before applying for a ICLON course, please contact your Institute management for approval. Some Institutes also offer didactic courses for PhD candidates.

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