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First year (GS1)

The first year of the UvH Graduate School has three main objectives:

  • to develop academic knowledge and – skills, including writing academic English, which is needed to write a strong research proposal and a theoretical/empirical article or a review article which is publishable in a peer reviewed international academic journal.
  • to introduce PhD candidates to key concepts and research methods in the interdisciplinary fields of Humanistic Studies and the Ethics of Care. 
  • to create a supportive environment in which PhD students can build a ‘community of researchers’ to discuss their work-in-progress and share experiences. 

Additionally, all PhD students will schedule regular meetings with their own PhD supervisor(s). 

In May, PhD students submit their research proposal and article to the UvH Board for the Conferral of Doctoral Degrees, where it will be reviewed and assessed. After approval, students may proceed to the subsequent years in the Graduate School.  

Participation in the GS program is compulsory. The minimal requirement of attained credit points (ECTS) in the first year is ten (10) of which nine (9) are compulsory and one (1) elective. 

Subsequent years (GS2+)

In the subsequent years, PhD students partake in elective courses in research methodology (such as ‘participant observation and shadowing’ or ‘narrative research’) and academic skills development (such as ‘presenting academic work’). Together with their supervisors, they have designed a tailor-made education program which responds to their individual needs in pursuit of doctoral research, writing a thesis, publishing in international academic and professionally oriented journals and for a broad audience and readership. In addition to UvH-based courses, PhD students may be guided to specialized courses from other universities, institutes and/or research schools.

PhD students are required to minimally once present a paper at an (inter)national academic conference. However, they are strongly encouraged to do so regularly. They are also encouraged to take part in: 

  • UvH Reading groups 
  • UvH Chair group meetings
  • Monthly UvH research seminars or other research fora in which draft academic work is discussed
  • Research meetings at Universities of Applied Sciences (if employed by such an institution)

Participation in the GS program is compulsory. A total of 12 ECTS, attained in the GS2+ phase, is the minimum to qualify for submission of the final PhD thesis to a PhD reading committee.


Cluster /chair group

Contact person


Care Ethics

Carlo Leget


Citizenship and Humanisation of the Public Sector

Evelien Tonkens



Doret de Ruyter


Humanist Chaplaincy Studies for a Plural Society

Gaby Jacobs


Humanism and Social Resilience

Anja Machielse