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Overview PhD skills courses

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.

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 Autumn 2019: Tuesday 1 October 15:00-17:00 Followed by drinks!
    • Date Spring 2020: Friday 21 February 15:00-17:00 Followed by drinks!
  • 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.

    • Dates Autumn 2019: 8 Wednesdays 9:00-11:30
      2 October, 9 October, 16 October (cancelled), 30 October, 6 November, 13 November, 20 November (new), 27 November, 4 December
    • Dates Spring 2020: 8 Tuesdays 9:30-12:00
      4 February, 11 February, 25 February, 3 March, 10 March, 24 March, 31 March, 7 April

    This course will be online due to COVID-19

    • Dates Spring 2020: 8 Wednesdays 9:00-11:30
      22 April, 6 May, 13 May, 20 May, 27 May, 3 June, 10 June, 17 June (TBC)
  • Research Data Management

    Since a great deal is invested in obtaining valuable research data, good data management is important. But what does that involve? How do you ensure that your data remain accessible and usable in the future, for yourself and others? This introductory workshop will help you get started.

    • Dates Autumn 2019: 2 Tuesdays 9:30-11:30
      8 October, 29 October
    • Dates Spring 2020: 2 Thursdays 9:30-11:30
      5 March, 19 March
  • Academic Integrity

    When discussing academic integrity in broad lines researchers tend to have very similar ideas as to what academix integrity is and how to avoid it from being compromised. But when discussing concrete cases, things may not be as clear as they seem. In this course you will receive information about academic integrity and its different contexts. Discussion will raise awareness of possible pitfalls.

    • Date Autumn 2019: Monday 9 December 13:00-16:00
    • Date Spring 2020: Thursday 6 February 12:00-15:00


Elective courses

  • Academic English

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

    • Dates Autumn 2019: 10 Mondays 9:30-12:30
      23 September, 30 September, 7 October, 14 October, 28 October, 4 November, 11 November, 18 November, 25 November, 2 December
  • 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 2019: 4 Tuesdays 13:30-16:00

      29 October, 19 November, 10 December, 4th meeting TBA (N.B. the meeting on 1 October is cancelled)

    This course will be online due to COVID-19

    • Dates Spring 2020: 4 Tuesdays 13:30-16:00
      14 April, 12 May, 2 June, 30 June
  • CANCELLED Building a Career

    N.B. This course has been cancelled due to COVID-19.

    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 2020: 3 Wednesdays 15:00-17:00
      2 April, 6 May, 20 May
  • 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.

  • Popular Writing for Academics
  • Presentation skills

    The course focuses on PhD candidates who want to enhance their presentation skills for lectures and conferences.

    • Dates Autumn 2019: 4 Fridays 10:00-16:00 N.B. 4th session 10:00-14:00
      15 November, 22 November, 29 November, 6 December
    • Dates Spring 2020: 2 Mondays 9:00-17:00
      3 February, 24 February
  • 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.

    Dates Autumn 2019: ca. 10 Mondays 16.00-18.00, 11 November, 18 November, 25 November, 2 December, 9 December, 13 January, 20 january, 27 January, 3 February, 10 February, 30 March, 6 April, 20 April


    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.

    Dates Autumn 2019: 4 Mondays (2nd session is a Thursday!) 16:00-18:00, 26 and 29 August, 2 and 9 September 2019

  • Valorisation

    This course will be online due to COVID-19

    This course provides participants insight into how academic knowledge in the humanities can be made applicable for social and economic utilisation.

    • Date Spring 2020: Thursday 7 May 9:30-17:30
  • Writing of Postdoc Research Proposals

    This course will be online due to COVID-19

    This course is designed for PhD researchers who aspire to a career in academics, and who are in the third year of their PhD program. The course aims at preparing the participants in writing excellent postdoctoral research proposals, with specific attention to early career grants. An additional goal is to help the PhD researchers to shape their academic careers.

    • Date Spring 2020: Wednesday 13 May 10:00-15:00