Obtaining a PhD

General information

The Faculty of Law of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam provides a fruitful research environment for PhD students: both for those students with a position within the faculty itself as for external students who do research in their own time. The faculty employs PhD students on individual basis. They write a PhD dissertation under tutorship of a professor in the applicable Law or Criminology subject. All PhD students in the Faculty of Law participate in one of the research programmes of the faculty and are automatically enrolled into the Graduate School.

The recruitment of PhD students is done by actively approaching students and through advertisement on the website of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

For more information on obtaining a PhD, please contact PhD coordinator Joost Meijer or Maj Eimers.

External PhD candidates

If your research proposal is of outstanding quality and will contribute to one of the research programmes, it’s possible to write a thesis at your own expense under tutorship of a faculty professor. As an external PhD candidate you are not officially a VU Amsterdam employee or student. The process of earning a PhD degree takes four years and consists of conducting research and writing a dissertation independently.

If you wish to apply as an external PhD candidate, please send a copy of your PhD proposal and your curriculum vitae to Joost Meijer or Maj Eimers.


The PhD Board is the successor of the PhD Discussion Forum. The PhD Board organizes activities for the PhD candidates of the VU Amsterdam Law Faculty. The following persons are currently part of the PhD board: Lisette ten Haaf (Chair/Treasurer), Hjalmar Duin (Secretary), Tamara Last (Public Relations) and Hein Scholtens (Representative to the Research Board). The PhD board organizes a lunch meeting every month at which one of our PhD candidates presents on his or her research, and the PhD Board shares news from the Faculty Research Board, ProVU (the organization that represents the interests of young researchers at the University on the Employees Council, see www.provu.nl) and any other business. The PhD board also organizes social drinks every few months and a PhD dinner once a year.