PhD Training

Anyone who started his or her PhD-research after April 1, 2015 with the goal to eventually defend the thesis at the VU, has to acquire a total of 30 EC worth of training during the PhD tract.

At the Faculty of Law, the PhD training is offered by the Graduate School. The training consists of several mandatory, mandatory optional and optional components. Here you can find the exact content of the PhD training.

PhD candidates are expected to participate in the mandatory section, exemptions are only granted in exceptional cases. For the mandatory optional and optional sections PhD candidates can chose to submit relevant work experience or equivalent training followed elsewhere for approval. 

At the start of the doctoral tract, each PhD candidate composes a Training and Guidance Plan that includes an outline of the intended PhD training tract. This plan can always be adjusted at a later time, if done so in consultation with supervisor and the PhD coordinator. When a PhD is registered for and participates in a Graduate School event, the obtained EC will be automatically processed. When training components are completed elsewhere at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam or outside of the university, the candidate is expected to be able to hand over proof of participation and completion. To apply for exemptions and to submit proof of completed training components, candidates can contact the PhD coordinator Maj Eimers: m.eimers@vu.nl.

Nature of the Graduate School PhD training

The Graduate School of the Faculty of Law aims to offer research activities that act as a means to:

  • discuss one’s own research;
  • receive and give feedback;
  • talk about the strategic, ethical and professional aspects of doing research;
  • discuss broader developments in Law, Criminology and scientific research in general;
  • get acquainted with ‘big shots’ in the field;
  • develop a lasting professional network.


Activities organized by the Graduate School are usually part of the PhD training, but they are always open to all researchers and interested parties.