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PhD training

The attraction of highly qualified and motivated PhD candidates and the subsequent successful completion of their PhD track is an integral part of Naturalis’ ambition to belong to the top international scientific institutions in the field of systematics and biodiversity research.

Because these candidates are seen as an important part of the future of the institute and we expect the most excellent ones to pursue a further career with us, it is important for Naturalis to create a pleasant and stimulating environment for PhD candidates to thrive, to connect to the institute, to be able to finish their PhD project successfully within four years, and to prepare themselves for a career in biodiversity science.

The supervision and education of the Naturalis candidates is done in close concordance with the Graduate Schools of our partner universities and the national Wageningen based Graduate School Production Ecology and Resource Conservation (PE&RC).

Since 1995, the institutes now united in Naturalis have been part of the national Research School Biodiversity that merged with PE&RC in 2012. All the courses previously part of the Research School Biodiversity are continued within PE&RC or in the curricula of the partner universities. Central to PE&RC is the facilitation of PhD and postdoctoral training and education by organizing a wide variety of activities such as post-graduate courses, seminars, discussion groups, theme days and annual meetings. These courses and meetings not only concern research topics central to the research agenda of Naturalis, but also the training of basic skills for candidates as well as their supervisors. It is not obligatory for Naturalis PhD candidates to register with PE&RC. Some candidates are registered with the Wageningen Based Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences (EPS), or the Research School for Socio-economic and Natural Sciences of the Environment (SENSE).

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At Naturalis, all candidates have a € 2.500 personal training budget at their disposal for personal and professional skills development. Naturalis is well represented within PE&RC, with members on the Board (prof.dr. Smets), Research Committee (prof.dr. Schilthuizen) and Education Committee (dr. Roos).

The Naturalis PhD candidates are also members of the Graduate School of the university where they will defend their thesis. In most cases our candidates are registered at one of our three partner universities.

Currently there are also Naturalis PhD candidates enrolled at UU and Uppsala University, Sweden. In 2014, the HRM department and RCO will discuss with our PhD candidates the set-up of an additional basic training program. Currently courses are planned based on specific needs indicated by the candidates. In order to support the PhD candidates and standardize the Naturalis PhD track, the RCO is setting up a PhD procedure that deals with all aspects of importance required during a PhD track from appointment to defense. This procedure will consist of the implementation of a standard Education & Research plan, PhD project plan, periodic evaluation (including the standard first year go / no-go decision), setting up of PhD meetings and a PhD council, familiarity with the university PhD procedures, and administrative support during their track.


If you are interested to make inquiries for PhD vacancies at Naturalis, please contact the Research Coordination Office at RCO@naturalis.nl