Affiliation and funding
You can apply for different types of affiliation, summed up as University-funded or self-funded. University-funded PhD research is normally full-time, meaning that candidates are expected to finish their dissertation and acquire other relevant professional experience (e.g. teaching) within four years at 1.0 fte, or five years at 0.8 fte, depending on circumstances such as overall planning for team projects. Self-funded PhD research allows for part-time arrangements.
Under current law, Dutch Universities can only fund PhD research by giving PhD candidates employee status. Hence, academic ranks of employment at Dutch universities include that of promovendus , which pragmatically translates as PhD student. Promovendistatus constitutes a four-year full-time (or five-year 0,8-fte) research position, with full funding sufficient for general subsistence. Application is in response to advertisement by the University. Promovendi-positions are advertized on the Leiden University website, and other online channels. They become available through external research funding (e.g. from NWO or ESF, with the University acting as grant-holding institution and employer), or through special projects on the University, Faculty of Humanities, or institute levels.
About 15% of promovendus time is spent on teaching, under the aegis of your supervisors, usually in the regular curriculum of the relevant BA program(s). In their second and third years, promovendi are expected to contribute to co-taught courses, and to design and teach one full-term seminar course in the general area of their research.
As noted, under current law, Dutch Universities can only fund PhD research by offering PhD candidates employee status. Accordingly, the research of many of our PhD candidates is self-funded, meaning that they bring their own funding for general subsistence, from other sources than Leiden University. They include full-time and part-time candidates (many part-timers do their research concurrently with employment in a range of professional fields). Self-funded candidates bring private funding and/or scholarship from foundations, government-supported internationalization schemes, etc. Application is initiated by the prospective candidate (as distinct from promovendi advertisement by the University). If the applicant has secured and/or plans to apply for institutional funding from other sources than Leiden University, their application should include full and accurate information on same. See the link to 'funding opportunities' below for information on scholarships.
Self-funded candidates are not allowed to teach in the regular curriculum, as this requires University employee status. They do have opportunities for presenting their work during research seminars, and through guest lectures in the regular curriculum.