Obtain one's doctorate

Academiegebouw promotie

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 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.

Doing a PhD with a UHD with ius promovendi

In addition to a doctoral degree from a professor, it is now also possible to do a doctoral degree from a UHD with ius promovendi if, for example, the research field of the UHD is more suitable. Below is a list of UHDs that qualify for this:



Regina van den Eijnden

Interdisciplinary Social Science

Carlijn Kamphuis

Interdisciplinary Social Science

Borja Martinovic

Interdisciplinary Social Science

Jochem Thijs

Interdisciplinary Social Science

Elske Salemink

Clinical Psychology

Willem Frankenhuis

Developmental Psychology

Ben Harvey

Experimental Psychology

Tanja Nijboer

Experimental Psychology

Leendert van Maanen

Experimental Psychology

Ruud Custers

Social, Health and Organisational Psychology

Ineke Maas


Mirjam Moerbeek

Methodology and Statistics

PhD candidates are the drivers of their own scientific and personal development, and are expected to take the initiative, to look for solutions and to be proactive. At the start of the PhD track, the PhD candidate and the supervisor draw up an educational plan together and decide which courses are appropriate and relevant. This plan is updated annually.

PhD candidates follow specific courses to deepen and broaden their knowledge and expertise in a particular scientific area, and to acquire the academic and career orientation skills necessary to become independent scientists and, depending on their choice of future career, to prepare for a career outside academia. The PhD candidates may, for instance, study specific research methods and research techniques, discipline oriented subjects, or work on their presenting and writing skills.

The Graduate School of the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences offers several courses, some of which are organized in collaboration with local research programs, with national research networks or research schools or a combination of these.

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.
Contact: PhDCouncilFSBS@uu.nl.

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: PhDOfficeSBS@uu.nl.