Ph.D. Program


The research program consists of a number of basic elements including supervision, the research proposal, the research, manuscript preparation, and finally the Ph.D. thesis

I) Supervision

Supervision involves a close monitoring of the project across all years by a team of faculty members, among which at least one full professor (the ‘promotor’), and usually one or two other faculty.

II) Research proposal

Every Ph.D. project should be guided by a research proposal. The proposal should refer to, and provide clarity with respect to, the following key-aspects: composition of the supervisory team; problem definition and sub-questions of the graduate research; review of relevant literature; definition of central theoretical concepts of the research; research design; dissertation outline; and basic time schedule.

III) Ph.D. research

Ph.D. research and fieldwork is usually concentrated in the second and the third year of the program. Since NESCoR research is rooted in the empirical analytical tradition, where research is aimed at theory development and theory testing based on empirical data, this will usually involve the conduct of interviews, surveys, experiments, content analysis, analysis of secondary data, or a combination thereof.
Students are further invited to work with faculty on research projects in which they are interested, with the aim of broadening and deepening their understanding of the research process and generating conference papers and publications. However, research that is directly related to a student’s own project should always take priority.

IV) Manuscript preparation

Every Ph.D. project should lead to a number of (submitted) publications in peer reviewed journals and presentations at scientific meetings and conferences. Preparation of manuscripts will usually be concentrated in the third and fourth year of the project.

V) Ph.D. thesis

The final part of the program is writing the Ph.D. thesis. The writing of the Ph.D. thesis, in combination with the preparation of manuscripts for publication, will usually be concentrated in the fourth and final year of the program. Theses should take the format of either a book, or either a collection of research articles combined with a general introduction and conclusion. After the dissertation has been read and approved by a committee, there is a public defense. Students are highly recommended to write their dissertation in English.

Access to the degree of Doctor at a Dutch university is given to those who have obtained their ‘drs’ degree at a Dutch university. Those who have obtained their Master’s degree at a foreign university should inquire where to apply for exemption from legal Dutch educational requirements.