About obtaining a doctoral degree

Do you want to continue your career in research after your Master's degree? A PhD track is an ideal way to challenge yourself and expand your academic skills even further. This is how you become an expert in a specific field of science.

Doing your own research

A PhD programme takes on average 3 to 4 years to complete. During this time, candidates undertake a research project which culminates in the writing of a thesis or a series of articles in scientific journals. The candidates work under the supervision of a full professor or a associate professor.

Onderzoeker aan het werk in een lab van het Gemeenschappelijk Milieu Laboratorium op het Utrecht Science Park.
Photographer: Kees Rutten

At Utrecht University, earning a PhD degree is a hands-on process that involves relatively little coursework. You will conduct research from day one, which allows you to develop your own ideas within the research group’s theme. You will remain in close contact with your supervisors throughout the programme.

Doing a PhD at Utrecht University is a challenging undertaking. In order to succeed, you will need to be highly committed and motivated. PhD candidates make crucial contributions to research undertaken at Utrecht University. With your doctoral research, you will make an original contribution to your field of knowledge.

Growing as a professional

Promovendus Mr. Willem A. Janssen geeft een werkcollege aan studenten.
Photographer: Maarten Nauw

Courses and teaching

In addition to performing research, PhD candidates take courses at Graduate Schools. To a large extent, you choose your own development path. You can attend all kinds of courses, trainings and conferences inside and outside the university. In many cases, you will also teach students yourself. You will make agreements about this with your supervisors in the Training and Supervision Agreement.

You can also count on professional support in exploring your career prospects, teaching, creating social impact and seeking funding for future research.

Interdisciplinary collaboration

Interdisciplinaire samenwerking binnen de hub Entrepreneurship for Societal Challenges.
Photographer: Donna van Rosmalen

Collaboration stimulates knowledge breakthroughs. Especially in research that takes place at the interface between different disciplines. We encourage the sharing of ideas, methods and techniques. That is why research groups and PhD candidates meet regularly to present their latest research and exchange ideas. PhD students experience this collaboration with colleagues as pleasant, inspiring and constructive.

Open Science

As a university, we nurture important ambitions in Open Science. And funders are increasingly setting Open Science as a condition that researchers must meet. Open Science means that from the start of their research, researchers share their research process and research results, including data, as openly as possible. In this way, the researcher creates transparency and strengthens the scientific and societal impact of research.

Do I need to understand Dutch?

You do not normally need to be able to speak or understand Dutch: almost all of our academic staff are proficient in English.