Applying for a PhD position at CML

Every year CML has a very limited number of paid positions within EU or NWO projects available for PhD students that are filled on a merit basis. A paid position includes limited assistance in undergraduate teaching. But there is, however, a restriction in capacity in terms of desk space and supervision. Each request is therefore assessed on its suitability and potential, paying attention to other requests as well.

For PhD positions at CML, the following applies:

  • Basically there are two options
    1. Internal applications: CML defines the subject, and usually has full or partial funding. There then is a public advertisement and open competition to fill the place. Please see our website for currently available places (often none).
    2. External applications: these are based on a subject of interest of the applicant, where the applicant takes care of the project description to be agreed upon and also takes care of funding.

  • General conditions
    • PhD projects last for four years, unless already building on previous research.
    • The fee to CML (workspace and supervision) is Euro 11000 per year. (For candidates from developing countries adapted fees may apply). This fee is next to the salary for the candidate and a budget for visiting conferences etc. The candidate has to take care of the latter him-/herself.
    • You are advised to demonstrate your proficiency in English, preferably by means of an IELTS test or a Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English. Only Academic modules are accepted. The certificates need to be recent: not older than 2 years. Minimum score: IELTS at least 7.5; TOEFL paper based at least 623; TOEFL computer based at least 263. This requirement does not apply if you have completed your Master's degree in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia.
    • Dutch is optional and for a four years stay advisable for social reasons. The University offers courses, see the website, also for all other general options and conditions.
    • The candidate takes care of his/her accommodation during the stay in the Netherlands. We advise to check the international student housing pages on the website of Leiden University.

  • External PhD-applications go through the following steps.
    1. A candidate sends us:
      • A short description of the PhD research subject, maximum 600 words, and a motivation why CML has been chosen for that subject, maximum 200 words.
      • A short CV, including the levels achieved in subjects already finalised.
      • The contacts of two referees.
      • The outcome of the TOEFL score.
    2. CML will decide in principle on if and how to proceed, possibly after discussion of the subject with the candidate. If accepted in principle, CML will advise on the directions for further detailing the proposal, in a format as supplied by them. Also, support needed in funding applications will be given if required.
    3. A full project description will be made by the candidate.
    4. The full project description will be sent to Doctorate Board of Leiden University, and to the SENSE Research School for review and acceptance.
    5. With the approval by the Doctorate Board of Leiden University and by SENSE and funding obtained, the PhD project can start.

Please address any requests to:

Leiden University, Institute of Environmental Sciences
att. ms. S.W.M. van den Oever
P.O. Box 9518
2300 RA Leiden
The Netherlands

or e-mail to:

Last Modified: 07-10-2013