Erasmus Graduate School of Law


Doctoral Programme: two phases

EGSL offers a two-phased structure for the four-year doctoral programme: a probationary phase of 14 months followed by a 34 month doctoral programme.

First phase -  Probationary phase

After careful recruitment and screening, EGSL offers PhD researchers in the first ‘probationary’ phase an educational programme of 60 credit points (henceforth ects). This programme contains a variety of courses to foster talent and to facilitate the completion of the doctoral programme. The educational programme is split into two parts: one part being the internal curriculum, consisting of general courses in methodology, reflection and practical skills, consisting of 30 ects. Intensive guidance in a “Research Lab” serves to write a research proposal that meets the quality criteria of the NWO.

The other 30 ects consist of external courses geared towards the specific theme or methodological approach of the thesis - chosen by the PhD researcher and approved by both the supervisor and EGSL - and time reserved for independent study on the researcher's research project. Drafting the research proposal, in addition to the successful completion of the curriculum and visible progress of the research, forms a requirement for participation in the second part of the PhD trajectory.

By the end of the probationary phase, PhD researchers present their research (the present state of affairs as well as the future plans regarding their research) to the academic staff of ESL at Review Day. After Review Day, the various doctorate committees evaluate the progress that has been made and decide on the continuation of their PhD project. After successful completion of the probationary phase with approval of the doctorate committee, the ESL-funded PhD researcher then is offered a 34 month appointment as a PhD researcher.

More information about the Educational Programme

The Erasmus Graduate School of Law (EGSL) offers young researchers in the field of law and criminology a broad postgraduate Educational Programme consisting of (1) courses into writing skills, (2) research methods and (3) courses elaborating the PhD theme as such. The Educational Programme is set up in an inspiring, multidisciplinary and dynamic research environment, in which reflection is stimulated and in which senior and junior researchers can exchange ideas and experiences in order to learn and grow.

Participation in the Educational Programme is formalized within the trajectory of the PhD trajectory in the first year, and depends on how a PhD researcher is affiliated with ESL:  it is compulsory for fulltime (1,0 fte-0,8 fte) PhD researchers with an ESL-employee status and other fulltime PhD researchers, and it is optional for PhD researchers with a parttime appointment of less than 0,8 fte and other parttime PhD researchers. When participation is optional, the PhD researcher can select  - in consultation with the supervisor and EGSL -  the courses he or she wants to participate in.

Participants in the EGSL Educational Programme will receive professional guidance by a variety of senior researchers, a process which will be monitored by a thorough internal system of quality control. PhD researchers also will be invoked to take part in scientific and social activities – such as attending and presenting their findings at a national or international conference – and will be stimulated to publish multiple articles in scientific journals.

Second phase - dissertation

Whilst focusing on education and formulating the right research questions and a sound plan of the thesis in the first phase, PhD researchers can devote all their time to their research and the completion of their thesis in the second phase. They are welcome to attend follow-up courses and other activities organized for PhD researchers at ESL. Unless different arrangements are made, PhD researchers do not have any teaching obligations.