The PhD Training Course is the classic centrepiece of the CERES offering, designed for PhDs in their first year from member institutions across the Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders), although PhDs from non-member institutions are also welcome. The course provides them with a unique learning experience and is specifically tailored to support PhDs in preparation for the defence of their research proposals at the end of their first year, or for Research Masters students who wish to gain insight into this stage of doing a PhD or to prepare a research proposal for a PhD application. A range issues is considered, relating to epistemology and ontology, positionality and subjectivity, philosophy of science, and an overview of the spectrum of interdisciplinary methodologies and methods that researchers commonly draw from in Development Studies, both quantitative and qualitative.

The course begins on 24 March with an opening day at the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague (or online if not possible), followed by four modules of four to five days, ending in June. The June Safety and Security course is also included as part of the course package. Access the PhD Training Course 2022 page, for more detailed information.



Module Topic Date
Opening Day 24 March
1st Module Proposing Research in Development Studies week of 4/04
2nd Module Moving from Questions to Methodology week of 25/04 (Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Friday, skipping King’s Day on Wednesday)
3rd Module Overview of Methods in Development Studies Research weeks of 9/05 and 16/05
Comeback Day 02/06 (tbc)
Presentation Training in week of 6 June (tbc)
Safety & Security course 14-16 June (hoping in person)
4th Module Presentation Tutorials week of 21/06 (hoping in person)




Participants are expected to be resident during these modules (unless online). Three of the modules will be in a resident retreat setting and one at the ISS, where participants will be accommodated at the ISS residences. At the fourth and last module, PhDs present their proposals and receive feedback from their peers and teachers.

Participants are expected to attend all four modules, in addition to the opening day at ISS and one ‘come-back’ day in June. However, an exception is made for the third module at ISS, which is focused on methods. PhDs not involved in other parts of the course can participate in this module as a stand-alone.

Member institutions recognise the Training Course as contributing 16 ECTs towards those required for a PhD degree (the 3rd module, if taken alone, is worth 4 ECTs).

Course leaders: Dr Andrew M Fischer
Teachers: to be confirmed (although see the outline for 2021 to have an idea of the likely teachers)
Location: Residential and online via Zoom (to be confirmed)
ECs: 16 (full course) or 4 (3rd module)

Tuition (to be revised if fully or partially online):

Full Tuition
PhDs from member institutions:  € 2500
PhDs from non-member institutions:  € 5000

Tuition for Module 3 only
PhDs from member institutions:  € 600
PhDs from non-member institutions:  € 1200