After completion of a research-oriented Master's programme, students may choose to follow a PhD programme. In the Graduate School of Social and Behavioural Sciences, around 40 PhD candidates begin their PhD programmes each year. The PhD research is conducted within one of the faculty's five Research Priorities, often in a national context.

Utrecht University is one of Europe's leading research universities. This ensures that talented researchers have every opportunity to develop to the full.

The PhD programme

During their programme, PhD candidates work on a research project under the supervision of a professor. The research culminates in a doctoral thesis or a series of articles in academic journals. PhD candidates also dedicate part of their time to education and training provided by the Graduate Schools, and they often undertake teaching duties themselves. The courses available are subdivided as follows:

Acquiring a position as a PhD candidate

There are various options available for this.

  1. There is a limited number of vacancies every year. See 'Working at Utrecht University'
  2. Taking a PhD without an employment position:

PhD Council

The PhD Council represents the interests of all of the faculty's PhD candidates. The Council is made up of PhD candidates from various departments.
Chairperson: Paul Zerr.

Social and Behavioural Sciences PhD Office

The PhD Office is the point of contact for all of the faculty's PhD candidates. It offers PhD candidates information about general courses available and can answer questions on their PhD programme and progress on it. External and international PhD candidates can also put questions to the PhD Office.

PhD Office contact details

Email: or