Starting a PhD

Erasmus Graduate School of Law

EGSL welcomes PhD researchers who will perform excellent research in Law or Criminology in connection with one of the research themes pursued by Erasmus School of Law.

There are different possibilities to become a PhD researcher at EGSL.

When Erasmus Graduate School of Law (EGSL) has openings for a paid position, you will find these here.

There is also the possibility to pursue a PhD project as an external PhD candidate. If you are interested, you must contact a professor to discuss your ideas and ask whether they are willing to supervise your project. The names and research topics of professors are listed on the Erasmus School of Law website.

When you contact a potential supervisor, please provide them with:

  • A letter of motivation, including information on your present situation;
  • A CV (including in particular information on study results and grades; publications; grants/prizes; experience abroad; extracurricular activities)
  • A draft research proposal (maximum 3950 words according to the EGSL application format).   
  • Proof of your Master’s degree, including grade transcripts of your Bachelor and Master studies

If the professor agrees on being your supervisor, the conclusion of a hospitality agreement is necessary. This can be requested by the department of your supervisor. Required annexes are a copy of your passport, short research proposal,  training and supervision plan.

Erasmus Graduate School is open to host PhD candidates with a scholarship.

Erasmus School of Law is an international oriented faculty with its heart and soul rooted in Rotterdam. Our faculty is a breeding ground for academic talent in the field of (Tax) Law and Criminology. We aim to be a partner of legal practice, government, business, science and art. Erasmus School of Law facilitates education and research at an outstanding level. A key aspect of Erasmus School of Law is that research groups work across the boundaries of legal disciplines, applying modern tools of social science research, such as empirical and experimental methods.


Erasmus School of Law is willing to host ambitious PhD researchers who want to conduct excellent research in the field of Law or Criminology. As a PhD researcher, you will join a law school ranked in the top 50 of the prestigious Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings of global law schools, which is committed to promoting excellent international and interdisciplinary research with a high positive societal impact.

This is an open application round, in which candidates are selected on the basis of their professional qualification, the letter of motivation, the quality of their own research proposal, and the extent to which the research proposal fits within the research profile of ESL. See below for the specific requirements regarding the application procedure.


  • You have a master's degree in Law or Criminology. Current master students who will graduate before the preferable start date, are welcome to apply. Bear in mind that proof of a master’s degree is a formal requirement for admission.  For some research projects an exemption is possible, and a master’s degree in another discipline relevant for your research project is also eligible: please elaborate on that in your motivation letter. It is up to the prospective supervisors to determine whether you will have a sufficient (legal) knowledge for this PhD project.
  • You can demonstrate relevant scientific research skills.
  • You have excellent oral and written skills in English (see minimum requirements in application format).
  • You must have obtained a scholarship already, with a minimum amount of monthly 1,350 euros
  • The duration of a PhD trajectory in the Netherlands is 4 years, funding should also be for 4 years.
  • You are willing to relocate to the Netherlands.
  • There is no fee required.

Additional information

For more information about this hosting offer, please contact the EGSL office via

Application procedure information

You are asked to elaborate a (short) research proposal, included in the application format. Next to that you will have to deliver a motivation letter, CV, the proof of a master’s degree, an English proficiency test and a proof of your scholarship (which also includes the amount granted).
Your application is written in English and according to the application format. Applications which are not complete, are not according to the application format and/or from candidates who didn’t obtain a scholarship already, will not be taken into account.

You may apply by sending your application to


If you are interested, you must contact a professor to discuss your ideas and ask whether they are willing to host you. The names and research topics of professors are listed on the Erasmus School of Law website

If the professor agrees on hosting you, the conclusion of a hospitality agreement is necessary. The department can request this from your supervisor.

During your stay at Erasmus School of Law, a workplace will be available for you, and you can participate in EGSL activities, e.g., we will ask you to present your research during one of our lunch meetings. The duration of the research visit is 3 to 6 months.

Please be aware that EGSL doesn’t provide financial support. Next to that, for housing, we refer you to this webpage of Erasmus University Rotterdam


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