Supporting External PhD Candidates

The Netherlands Expertise Centre for Doctoral Education and the Dual PhD Centre of the University of Leiden organize a workshop on supporting external PhD students on Friday October 12, 2018.


We have a large group of PhD students in the Netherlands who are not employed by the university but are still working on a doctoral research project. Although the revenue for the university is the same, these external PhD students often receive little attention and support. Often the supervisors form the only connection with the university and they are scarcely visible on the radar of graduate schools. While graduate schools can have added value for external PhD students too.

Examples of external PhD candidates are: (1) persons who (in addition to their job) work on a doctoral project completely in their own time; (2) persons who are given a limited amount of time, for example 1 day per week, to work in the boss’s time on the dissertation; (3) pensioners working on a doctoral project.

Workshop on External PhD candidates support

In this interactive workshop we pay attention to the question of how universities can optimally support external PhD students. Participants get a picture of the various programs that universities and other organizations in the Netherlands have developed for external PhD students. We report results from research on external PhD candidates. And external PhD students themselves will share their experiences with the participants.


Chairman of the day: Hans Sonneveld

Opening – by Johannes Magliano-Tromp (director of the Dual PhD Center)

The support of external PhD students – by Pieter Slaman (Dual PhD Center)

Experiences of external PhD students – including Jos de Jong & Anita van der Hulst

Research into external PhD candidates – by Inge van der Weijden (CWTS) & The best conditions for an external PhD project – by Hans Sonneveld (Expertise Centre)

Existing programs for external PhD students – Break out sessions
– Kerstin van Tiggelen, Expertise Centrum Buitenpromovendi
– Patty Leijten, Child Development and Education Research Institute, UvA
– Menno Fenger, Dutch School for Public Administration (NSOB)
– Heleen van Luijn, Netherlands Institute for Research and Promotion Supervision

Promising employees: added value? – Panel with employers
– Peter Edelman, Berenschot
– Daniël Meijer, Municipality of Leiden
– Caroline Hamm, Ministry of Defense