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Overview PhD skills courses

PhD Training

Candidates can choose from four generic categories of skills development courses: organisation, co-operation and networking, communication and presentation, and preparing for the future (in or outside academia). The Graduate school offers both core and elective courses. It is essential for your research skills that you participate in the core courses.

Please note: the courses in the programme for 2020-2021 will be online due to COVID-19. There are few exeptions, details about fysical meetings are mentioned when relevant.

Core courses

  • Introduction new PhD candidates

    When you start your PhD project you will come across a lot of different faculty offices, procedures and regulations. This meeting will help you to find your way and offers an introduction to project planning.

    • Date Spring 2021
      Group A: Tuesday 9 February 15:00 - 16:00 Followed by drinks!
      Group B: Thursday 11 February 14:00 - 15:00 Followed by drinks!
      This course will be online due to COVID-19

    Register for Group A

  • Advanced Academic Writing

    The Advanced Academic Writing course is designed for PhD students who write their dissertation in English. The course addresses different aspects of the writing process, such as becoming aware of disciplinary requirements, improving text coherence, writing effective sentences, using punctuation effectively, using varied vocabulary and improving the overall style of writing.

    N.B. please participate in this course when you have already started writing as you will work on your own texts during the course.

    • Dates Spring 2021: 8 sessions on Tuesday 13:00-15:30
      9 February, 16 February, 2 March, 9 March, 16 March, 23 March, 30 March, 6 April
      This course will be online due to COVID-19

    Register start February

    • Dates Spring 2021: 8 sessions on Wednesday 9:30-12:00
      7 April, 14 April, 21 April, 28 April, 12 May, 19 May, 26 May, 2 June
      This course will be online due to COVID-19

    Register start April


Elective courses

  • Academic English

    This course is designed to improve the English speaking and writing skills of PhD researchers.

    • This course will be offered again in 2021-2022
  • Advanced Academic Writing follow-up

    The goal of these follow-up workshops is to provide individualized and in-depth writing assistance to PhD candidates in the final year of their PhD programme. We will focus on the challenges that you face in the writing-up stage of your PhD, such as developing your self-editing skills and writing effective and coherent paragraphs, sections and chapters. In these workshops we will further develop and reinforce your advanced academic writing skills.

    • Dates Autumn 2020: 4 sessions Tuesday 13:00 - 15:30
      6 October, 27 October, 17 November, 8 December
      This course will be online due to COVID-19
    • Dates Spring 2021: 4 sessions on Tuesday 13:00-15:30
      20 April, 11 May, 1 June, 29 June
      This course will be online due to COVID-19


  • Bounce back

    The Bounce Back workshop offers practical tools to boost your resilience in uncertain times. Resilience is the ability to bounce back when life is getting difficult. Especially in Covid times this is a very attractive and useful skill. This workshop is offered by Alexandra Gerny, a special Covid-19 addition to the PhDskills programme 2020-2021.

    • Dates Winter 2021:
      Group A: 2 sessions on 17 and 24 March 14:00 - 16:30 (full)
      Group B: 2 sessions on 23 and 30 March 14:00 - 16:30 (full)
      Group C: 2 sessions on 31 March and 7 April 14:00 - 16:30 (full)
      Group D: 2 sessions on 12 and 19 May 14:00 - 16:30 registration will go through the waiting list as I first want to clear the waiting list, so jump in line there. (see below).

    This course will be online due to COVID-19

  • Building a Career

    It is important to start thinking about your future career in the second year of your PhD project. This course will discuss the various paths in and outside academia and will show you how to be prepared when you graduate.

    • Dates Spring 2021: 3 sessions TBA
      This course will be online due to COVID-19


  • Creative Writing

    Online Workshop by Dr. Jane Lewty on 19 January 2021 | In this day-long generative workshop, participants will examine texts that interact with the creative process in a variety of ways, as models and prompts for our own narratives written in a time of crisis. What happens to our work when we have to place it within a larger context? What kinds of actions might be foregrounded, complicated, or transformed? How do we write something new?

    • Date: 19 January 2021 

    Extra workshop on 21 January

    The course on 19 January is fully booked and we will organize an extra workshop on 21 January, so please sign up if you want to participate!

  • Dutch Language courses

    The courses are organized by the Institute for Dutch language Education/Instituut voor Nederlands Taalonderwijs en Taaladvies (INTT) at the UvA. The INTT offers a wide range of language courses for foreign students and staff. Through the Graduate School skills courses programme, PhD researchers can enroll in one extensive or semi-intensive course.

    • Dates and registration: see INTT website
  • Peer Consultation

    Peer consultation or intervision is a way to find solutions for, and learn from, issues and problems in everyday work with a group of colleague PhD researchers.

  • Research Skills Methodology tutorials

    Because PhD candidates may need to train very different and specific research skills, it is not feasible to include the broad variety of these skills in the GSH skills training programme. That is why The Graduate School has set up a system of small scale research tutorials under the supervision of faculty experts.

  • Teacher Training BKO/ UTQ

    Funded PhD candidates who started their project after September 2018 are expected to teach in their second and third year for a maximum of 0.2 fte. Within this 0.2 fte they have the possibility to earn their BKO/UTQ (University Teaching Qualification). The BKO-course is exclusively reserved for PhD candidates with a substantial teaching load which meets the BKO criteria:

    • The PhD candidate is substantially involved in the design of the aims, means and examination of the course;
    • The PhD candidate can adjust the course on the basis of the evaluation (this implies that they teach a course twice);
    • The PhD candidate will both be teaching a group and be involved in individual teaching/supervision;
    • The PhD candidate has a role in the organisation of the teaching programme in their department/teaching team.

    Generally, during their first year the PhD candidates will take a UTQ course, and during their second year they will create a portfolio that will be presented to the UTQ assessment committee for assessment.


    PhD candidates who are about to start teaching and who have little or no teaching experience can take the pre-BKO training. This course deals with basic didactic knowledge and also with important rules maintained by the UvA within education, such as those concerning assessments.

  • Valorisation

    This course provides participants insight into how academic knowledge in the humanities can be made applicable for social and economic utilisation. Participants will be trained in translating their research topics into concrete applications that can benefit society. This exercise will not only help in preparing future grant applications but can be equally useful as a preparation for job interviews in and outside of academia.

    • Date Spring 2021: 1 half-day session on Tuesday 11 May morning session 9:00 - 12:20 OR afternoon 13:30 - 17:00 (you can indicate your preference on the registration form)
      This course will be online due to COVID-19