Application procedures for prospective self-funded PhD students

If you wish to execute your PhD research under supervision of a professor of the Faculty of Archaeology, with a PhD graduation planned at the Faculty, there are two possibilities:

  1. You will work at your PhD thesis as an external researcher, in your own workspace, i.e. not housed at the Faculty of Archaeology

  2. You will do your research at the GSA in Leiden, as an internal self-funded PhD student at the Faculty of Archaeology, with facilities: workspace, desk, computer, etc. You will finance your PhD research with own means (grant, scholarship, savings, part-time job).

External PhD students

If you wish to do your PhD research in your own workspace, not housed at the Faculty of Archaeology nor facilitated by the Graduate School of Archaeology (GSA), your first step is to find a professor at the Faculty of Archaeology who is willing & able to supervise your PhD research for the whole track. When your PhD research topic and workplan have been agreed upon, the professor has to inform the GSA PhD coordinator by sending the External PhD application form. After evaluation and approval of your previous education and acceptance by the Dean of the Faculty, external PhD researchers are registered by the Faculty/GSA.

Apply with the External PhD Application Form

Internal PhD students

If you wish to work at the faculty as an internal PhD student, a more elaborate procedure is involved, including an assessment of your proposal by the Faculty Research Committee and the Director of the Graduate School. See below for the full procedure. Upon acceptance by the Faculty Board, your presence at the Faculty is required for a minimum of 3 days a week. Facilities will be granted for a probation period of 1 (one) year. After ca.10 months an Assessment  Review will be carried out, both by the GSA and the supervisor (or supervision team), establishing and deciding whether you are progressing sufficiently. When ‘Satisfactory progress’ is established by the Review Team and the supervisor, the internal self-funded position at the GSA will be extended for another three years maximally. Insufficient progress may lead to discontinuation of the PhD ‘internal’ position, and your status may be altered into ‘external PhD student’.

Apply with the Internal PhD Application Form

Submission deadlines for self-funded PhD positions:

1 September, 1 December, 1 March, 1 June. 

Procedure for internal PhD positions:

STEP 1: Find a professor in the Faculty of Archaeology who will be your supervisor throughout the whole PhD track. You may approach a professor by email with an outline of your research.

STEP 2: Use the Application Form and write the proposal in cooperation with your supervisor. Your supervisor has to submit the proposal to . The application has to include:

  • Detailed project proposal

  • Detailed CV

  • Written statement of the supervisor approving the proposal

  • List of prior MA (or comparable) education grades

  • Letter of recommendation by a specialist in your research field, other than your main supervisor

Your proposal will be assessed by the Research Committee of the Faculty and the Director of the Graduate School. Adjustments and/revisions may be recommended as a requirement for a positive advice. Comments are communicated to the supervisor by email. It is allowed to submit a proposal twice (maximally) to the Research Committee.

Criteria for assessment are:

Scientific importance (is the research sufficiently outlined and theoretically imbedded? Are the formulated research questions elaborated adequately? Are the methods and techniques suitable for answering the research questions? Are the choices for methods and techniques motivated? Are the sources accessible and suitable for answering the research questions? Does the work plan have a logical composition and is it well phased?)

Quality of the candidate (Is expertise on the research topic demonstrated in publications or thesis? Was the MA thesis good, or excellent? Is the overall score for the (R)MA high? Was the MA finished within 5 years, or is there other proof of the capabilities to work efficiently within set time limits?)

Guidance / supervision team (If the subject of research is not entirely covered by the expertise of the supervisor, or if the chosen supervisor is not available for the full period, additional supervisors may be recommended).

STEP 4: The Research Committee and Director will give advice to the Faculty Board. Admission to the Graduate School is determined by the Board of the Faculty.

STEP 5: If you do not have a Dutch Master degree, your prior education / diploma will be evaluated by the Graduate School and/or International Office of Leiden University. Include a scan of your MA or equivalent diploma.

STEP 6: Admission to the Graduate School of Archaeology as an internal selffunded PhD student will be for 1 (one) year. Assessment of progress will be evaluated after ca. 10 months by the supervisors and in an GSA Annual Review. Based on this Annual Review and the recommendation of the supervisor(s), the Director of the Graduate School will advice the Faculty Board on continuation of the PhD internal position. The Faculty Board decides upon continuation (takes the Go / No-go decision).

STEP 7: Registration at the Graduate School involves drawing up a Training and Supervision Plan. This is done by the PhD student in close cooperation with the supervisor(s) upon arrival.


Last Modified: 07-11-2013