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Education The Faculty Graduate Schools Graduate School of Law PhD Programme

External PhDs

Application and admission

Ambitious professionals who want to enrich their career with scientific research can write their dissertation as an external PhD student.

As an external PhD student, you do not have an employment contract with the university. You write your dissertation in your own time and under the supervision of a professor. A dissertation can consist of a monograph, but you can also write a dissertation based on academic publications.

External PhD students are valuable to the faculty. They form an important link between the university and the world outside. The scientific knowledge gained by and with external PhD students usually reaches professional practice more quickly and social questions and problems enter science more quickly.

You can apply if you have a master's degree and a detailed research proposal. If you do not yet have contact with an intended supervisor, we will assist you.

Should you have any further questions after reading this page, please contact us: ggsl

Application procedure

If you would like to become an external PhD student, please send us the following documents:

  • a copy of your master's degree with the relevant list of marks
  • an up-to-date CV
  • a letter with a motivation for the research project, suitability, and choice of supervisor
  • a certified English Language test
  • a research proposal of max. 4 A-4 with the following elements: introduction of the central research question, relevance of literature, methodology, plan of approach + planning and the integration of the research in the Faculty's research programmes. You can use the research proposal form for this purpose.
  • a letter of recommendation concerning scientific performance

You can address your application to the Director of the GGSL, Prof. A. Tollenaar and send it to: ggsl, the address of the Graduate School of Law.

Facilities after admission

When you are admitted, you will be given a UG account with a UG email address. This will give you:

  • access to the University Library (UB) and all online journals
  • access to the online university workplace (UWP) and the programmes used by the UG
  • disk space to safely store your data and documents
  • registration in Hora Finita (the PhD administration system of our university).
  • an employee page on the RUG website - if you wish to do so
  • compensation for printing costs (up to a maximum of 1250 euros) after your thesis is printed

The manner of supervision and other contact moments are laid down in the Training and Supervision Plan (TSP). You will fill this in together with your supervisors after admission. Your research proposal will be assessed by the Scientific Research and Ethics Committee (CWB). When 25% of the time that you have specified in your planning has elapsed, we will invite you for an evaluation interview.

PhD training programme

Every year in January/February, the Graduate School organises a Winter School consisting of short courses that are tailored to law students. The courses are given mostly 'on site'. You can participate in this free of charge. In addition, you can follow courses from our research master. Video recordings of a number of courses, such as Empirical Legal Research Methods, are available for you to watch online.

On Edelnet, an open learning platform, you can also take free online courses such as Academic Integrity & Ethics.

The UG also offers a wide range of courses for PhD students. This does involve costs, however.

You will receive a signed certificate of the courses registered in your portfolio in Hora Finita at the end of your PhD.

Meetings for external PhD students

The GGSL regularly organises meetings specifically for external PhD students, both in Dutch and 'on site' and in English and 'online'. At these meetings, issues related to conducting research as an external PhD student are discussed. This can be methodological, planning or data management related. The GGSL provides a varied programme with the aim of group formation and peer support. The meetings are experienced as very positive.

Last modified:13 December 2022 5.09 p.m.
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