Flagship Course: The CERES PhD Training

You can register for the flagship course through this form.

March โ€“ June 2024 (Please find the course schedule below)

Course leaders: Prof. Andrew M Fischer and Prof. Tom De Herdt
Teachers: to be confirmed

Location: In-person and residential (The Hague, Antwerp and Delft)

ECs: 16 (full course)


Full Tuition

  • PhDs from member institutions:ย  โ‚ฌ 2500
  • PhDs from non-member institutions:ย  ย  โ‚ฌ 5000


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.

Two additional objectives of the course are to cultivate a general and shared understanding about what it means to do a PhD degree in the field of Development Studies, from the perspective of both theory as well as empirical research, and to cultivate a support network among the annual cohort of first-year PhD peers, which participants can continue to rely on throughout their PhD trajectory. The course also provides a safe space for PhDs, where they can discuss their research openly and creatively with their peers and senior researchers who are not (necessarily) in their supervision team.

The course begins in the beginning of March with an opening day at the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague, followed by four modules of four days, ending in June. . Participants are also advised to take the June Safety and Security course for a complete first-year training.

Participants are expected to be resident during these modules. The first and fourth modules will be in a resident retreat setting, one will be at IOB in Antwerp, and another at the ISS. At the fourth and last module, PhDs present their proposals and receive feedback from their peers and teachers.

Participants are also expected to attend all four modules, in addition to the opening day at ISS and one โ€˜come-backโ€™ day at the end of May.

Member institutions recognise the Training Course as contributing 16 ECTs towards those required for a PhD degree.

Module ย  Dateย 
Introduction Day ย  1 March
Module 1: Proposing Research in Development Studies 11-14 March
Module 2: Moving from Questions to Methodology 9-12 April
Module 3: Methods clinic for development studies research 14-17 May
Come-back day ย  30 May
Module 4: Presentation Tutorials 10-13 June

A detailed programme will be released in November

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