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As a new PhD candidate at the Faculty of Humanities, you will be confronted with a complex organization. First advice: cling to the coordinator of your school, your fellow PhD candidates and ask for help! Below you will find some general information and a few practical links which may help you find some things out.


PhD candidates at the Faculty of Humanities have two supervisors, one of them being a full professor or Associate Professor with ius promovendi (the right to promote). In principle, PhD candidates see their supervisor(s) once every six weeks to discuss progress.

First year assessment

In their first year, PhD candidates are evaluated on the basis of a pilot study — a 30-50 page paper or chapter which demonstrates the candidate’s ability to handle the material and object of the thesis in an academic way (see below). If the supervisors and the Director of the Research School are satisfied with the quality of the pilot study and the revised work plan, the contract/affiliation with the PhD candidate will be extended by three years. After this first evaluation, the PhD candidates are asked to report on their progress on a yearly basis.

UvAnet and Library Access

PhD candidates receive a UvAnet ID which gives access to databases and electronic journals to which the UvA Library subscribes. The UvAnet ID will also give access to email facilities, both with an email client and with webmail.

Office Space

At the Faculty of Humanities the departments are responsible for providing office space. Office space is only available to PhD candidates employed by the Faculty of Humanities. Not for self-funded PhD candidates.


The research schools, the Graduate School of Humanities and the National Research Schools all offer PhD training. Their programmes are open to all PhD candidates.

  • Welcome letter

    In the welcome letter you will find a lot of practical information regarding the your position, facilities for PhD candidates, regulations, and social opportunities.

  • Training and Supervision Plan

    All PhD candidates are required to fill in the Training and Supervision Plan. This plan is not set in stone, but can and will be adjusted as the PhD evolves. However, it is essential that you discuss and agree with your supervisors on how to proceed. Also we ask you to select and join one of the national research schools.

  • Pilot Study

    All faculty-funded PhD candidates are expected to hand in a pilot study for evaluation in their first year. The pilot study is evaluated by the supervisors, an external reader and the director of the Research School. The director of the school decides on the basis of the evaluations if the project will be continued. Since the continuation of the PhD project depends on the quality of the pilot study, the timely completion of the pilot study should be the absolute priority for both the PhD candidate and the supervisors in the first year.

    The month in which the evaluation will take place is stipulated in the PhD candidate’s employment contract and is usually 6 months before the end of the contract date (normally for PhD candidates with a full time contract in the 9th month of the contract period).

    Each school provides both the supervisors and the PhD candidates with guidelines regarding the pilot study and the first-year assessment at the start of the PhD candidate’s contract period. These guidelines are also available from the respective websites.

  • Research Budget

    All PhD candidates are entitled to a research budget for presenting papers at conferences, research travel to archives/fieldwork/research trips, and the production of the thesis.

    Self-funded PhD candidates (all PhD candidates who do not have a contract from the Faculty of Humanities) have a total budget of up to 4.500 euro* (for their entire trajectory) for the conferences, research travel to archives/fieldwork/research trips (travel and accommodation, participation fee); and for the production of the thesis (printing, light editing). 

    * The budget has recently been increased from 3,750 to 4,500.. The higher amount is only available for PhD candidates who started after 31-12-2022.

    To apply for this funding, and receive details how to claim, please contact Astrit Blommestijn via E:

    Externally funded PhD candidates (who receive external funding through the Faculty of Humanities) as well as postdocs have a personal budget (‘bench fee’) available to them via their project budget. For more information, please contact your project manager.

    Faculty funded PhD candidates have an annual budget, which can be accessed at the following link:

  • UvA Profile

    All PhD candidates will be visible on the UvA website. Please make sure to create and update your online profile.

  • Staff ID

    In the Netherlands, PhD candidates are considered to be 'employees' and not 'students'. Hence you are entitled to a staff ID, which also serves as your library card.

  • Admission to the Doctorate Programme

    At the time of your registration, you will be asked to register for the Admission to the Doctorate Programme. This is a separate administrative track handled by Nathalie Smit who can be reached at

  • Faculty PhD Regulations

    All formal regulations regarding PhD candidates at the Faculty of Humanities can be found in PhD Regulations.

  • UvA Doctorate Regulations 2020

    When you approach the completion of your thesis, please read (at least twice) the PhD Defense Guidelines. All documents related to the admission to and completion of the doctorate programme can be found here.

    In November 2020, the Faculty of Humanities organised an explanatory meeting on the current doctorate regulations. You can download the presentation below.

  • International PhD candidates

    There is a special section on the UvA website for international students and employees which will help them with practical matters