External PhD candidates are PhD candidates who are not employed by the university. In the Netherlands, almost 50% of the theses are written by external PhD candidates. Despite of the size of this group of PhD candidates, they are often invisible. The PNN tries to improve their visibility, but the external PhD candidates can also contribute to this, by following our tips and tricks.

  1.  Register at your university
    Many universities have a registration system. By enrolling to this system, you improve your visibility. Also, try to enroll to a mailing list for PhD candidates, so you will be invited to social activities.
  2. Register at a research group or school
    Often, research schools have their own mailing lists to inform members regarding scientific activities, like meetings and conferences.
  3. Create your own network
    For example, by visiting conferences, meetings and theses defenses. Also, ask your supervisor to inform you of interesting activities.
  4. Use the internet to visualize your network
    Use for example LinkedIn, Academia.edu, Academic Transfer en Narcis. Also indicate that you are an external PhD candidate on Facebook and Twitter.
  5. Write reviews and articles to promote your work.
  6. Tell your supervisor what you need in your PhD trajectory.
    Many external PhD candidates work on their theses in their spare time, but sometimes a workstation might be relevant. In that case, ask your supervisor. This also accounts for a mail address, access to the library, courses etc.
  7. Contact your local representative board or the PNN if you like to join them, or if you experience difficulties with your supervisor.