Grotius PhD Track

Undertaking PhD research in international law and international justice

At the Grotius Centre, we offer PhD candidates a flexible programme and a stimulating research environment. It is a programme particularly attractive to and designed for 'external' candidates, that work part-time or full-time and/or are not based in The Hague.
The PhD research environment for international law and international justice is located in the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies and is referred to as the Grotius PhD Track (GPT). Situated at the heart of international law in Leiden and the Hague, the Grotius Centre offers a unique profile and expertise through its high-level academic activities and its close links to international institutions and the legal profession. The highly regarded scholars of Leiden Law School provide the required supervision in their areas of expertise.

The Programme - Flexibility and structure

The Grotius PhD Track is particularly tailored towards candidates that require flexibility in the programme, yet understand the appeal of a structured programme. We offer flexibility in that it is only necessary to be in the Hague whenever supervision, seminars and special courses require it, but at the same time we offer a structure in a 4-year course that is in accordance with Leiden University standards.
We hope to provide a stimulating and scholarly experience at the Grotius Centre.
In the first year, candidates have the option of taking part in methodology and other research development seminars offered at Leiden Law School. Besides the supervision of the PhD process by the promoter and co-promoter, and to ensure the development of a fruitful and collegial research environment, the Grotius PhD Track offers PhD candidates several services, including:
  • Participation in (bi-)annual meetings between internal and external PhD candidates at the Grotius Centre.
  • Participation in academic events organised by the Grotius Centre, such as symposia and conferences.
  • Internet and mail account access in the Grotius centre and remotely.
  • Library access including digital subscriptions and e-journals (Leiden Law School, and general University libraries)
All PhD candidates are supervised by a full Professor from Leiden University. Most candidates will also be assigned a second or co-supervisor (usually an Assistant or Associate Professor from the Law Faculty). A third supervisor can also be assigned.
The Leiden University PhD Regulations can be accessed here.

Fee and Fee Waiver

As of 1 November 2010, the fee has been set at €5,000 per annum.
We are aware that having talented external PhD candidates at the Grotius PhD Track requires some form of flexibility in terms of the fees. The fee should thus not be a hindrance for excellent candidates that will be an asset to the Grotius Centre. Under certain circumstances, a fee waiver may thus be decided upon by an independent panel, headed by the Programme Director of the Grotius PhD Track, Dr. Eric De Brabandere. The panel will consider the applications for fee waiver on the basis of merit and hardship considerations. Please note that the application for a fee waiver will only be taken into consideration upon submission of a full-fledged PhD proposal, in accordance with the standard admissions procedure for PhD’s at Leiden Law School (see ‘How to apply’).
If you would like to apply for a waiver of this fee, please fill in the following form. Once you have completed the form, please send it to .

How to apply

The online application form is available here.
General information on external PhD candidates at Leiden University’s Law Faculty, including on the online application form and the documents necessary for the online application is available here.
Please note that there is no specific starting date, and that applications can be made at any time during the year.

More Information

If you are interested in learning more about the Grotius PhD Track, including the possible supervisors in your area of interest and the fees of the course, the Programme Director of the Grotius PhD Track Dr. Eric De Brabandere will gladly assist you: .


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