Universiteit Leiden

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Practical information

On this page you will find information about the university buildings, a workspace at the faculty and other facilities such as a LU-card and access to the university libraries as well as on who to inform in case of illness.

Opening hours

The opening hours of the offices are different for each building. The buildings of the Witte Singel complex, the Van Wijkplaats and the Van Eyckhof are open Monday to Friday from 7.30-22.00, and are closed on Saturdays and Sundays. In the summer different opening hours apply, please check the university locations on the website.


All PhD candidates need to apply for a LU-Card (Leiden University Card): a personal card for Leiden University staff that gives you access to specific buildings and car parks among other things. The LU-Card also serves as a University ID. You can apply for a LU-Card after activating your ULCN account. More information on the LU-card can be found here.

Workspace (office, IT service, printer)

According to the Leiden University PhD Guidelines, employed and contract PhD candidates are entitled to a desk in the faculty, provided by the institute. For external PhD candidates an office can sometimes be arranged at the institute, depending on the available workspace. Institutes can ask for a (monthly) fee for using the office and printing facilities.

All offices are supplied with desks, PCs and telephones. The PCs are installed with standard software. If you want to install new software for research-related purposes, or have other requests concerning your PC, your network, your telephone, etc., you can contact the ICT Shared Service Centre (ISSC). This central ISSC helpdesk can be reached from 8.30-17.30 hours at 071 527 8888 and via helpdesk@issc.leidenuniv.nl.

For printing, scanning and copying, PhD candidates need a LU-card. Detailed copying and printing instructions can be found here.

Information about a safe and healthy workplace (preventing RSI/CANS) and adjusting your workplace can be found here.


Employed and contract PhD candidates are not charged for printing and stationary costs (pens, pencils, envelopes etc.). These are covered by their institute. You are urged to economise on printing and to use double-sided printing where possible.


The LU-card is needed to access the university libraries, its computer spaces and study areas.


If you are ill, inform your supervisor and your institute’s office in the morning by phone or email. They will inform the personnel department because, among other reasons, in the event of prolonged absence through illness the lost time can be added at the end of your contract. Also inform the institute’s office and your supervisor when you have recovered, preferably by email. If you are teaching: please also inform the OSZ  (Education and Student Affairs) office of the relevant department, so they can inform the students.

Child care

Employed PhD candidates can apply for a place for their children at De Kattekop childcare centre. For more information, see their website.

Dutch language courses

International PhD candidates are encouraged to take Dutch classes. For more information, contact the Academic Language Centre. Some Institutes partially cover costs of employed PhD candidates (only after prior consultation).

Getting around

The Netherlands have an excellent public transport system. You can get almost everywhere by train, bus or tram. All you need is a public transport pass (OV-chipkaart). When it comes to getting around in Leiden it might be worth considering buying a (secondhand) bike. If you want to drive a car in the Netherlands, you need to be aware of the rules and regulations. You will find more on public transport, travelling by bicycle and by car in the Netherlands here.

Leiden Arts Academy

The Leiden Arts Academy (LAK) offers creative courses in theatre, presentation, dance, visual arts, music, photography and writing. Visit their Dutch website and Facebook page or contact them by email for more information. You can also visit the LAK in the Lipsius building, room 0.27, Monday to Thursday 10:00-14:00.

University Sports Centre

Employed PhD candidates can join the University Sports Centre (USC) at a favourable rate.

The Leiden University Sports Centre offers more than 50 sports and group classes. Their group classes are all located in the main building of the USC at the Einsteinweg 6. For fitness there are two locations: the Einsteinweg and PlexFit, right in the town centre of Leiden.

For more information visit the USC website. You can contact them by phone on +31 (0)71 527 4610 or by email at sportcentrum@usc.leidenuniv.nl.


Mare is the Leiden University magazine, published weekly during term time. You can get a free copy at the Lipsius building (near the restaurant) and the University Library. Mare is also available online. The magazine is in Dutch and contains a summary page in English.

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