Tilburg Graduate Law School

Good training for PhD researchers and best evaluated legal research.

PhD in Law

After you have completed a Master program it is possible to obtain a doctorate at Tilburg University. A PhD project is research training leading to a professional research qualification. You will have two supervisors, or more, to help and advise you. Your doctorate is a demonstration of your ability to do research independently.  Due to our international orientation the majority of PhD candidates write their thesis in English. In that case we require a reasonably high proficiency in spoken and written English.

Tilburg Law School is increasingly internationally oriented, which is reflected in the curriculum, the exchange and research programs. There are close ties with universities abroad and Tilburg Law School encourages its researchers to work abroad and publish in international journals.

PhDs are invited to attend various TGLS training sessions. During our educational program starting researchers are trained to improve their personal professional and research skills. Tilburg Law School values thorough supervision tailored to your individual needs. An employed PhD candidate is entitled to financial support through a personal PhD budget. The PhD council of Tilburg Law School represents the Law School's PhD candidates.  This platform keeps track of developments affecting the position of PhD candidates and maintains contact with the director of Tilburg Graduate Law School.

Employed PhD researcher

PhD candidates have an employment contract with a department, research center or institute at Tilburg Law School. They are appointed for at least 32 hours a week to write their PhD thesis. They usually write their PhD thesis in three or four years. The projects of these PhD candidates are funded by Tilburg Law School, the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research or by external organizations such as the Dutch Tax Authority.

Tilburg Law School also has options for Dual PhD candidates. Dual PhD candidates are partially employed by Tilburg University and partially employed by another party (e.g. a company or government agency).

How to apply?

Once a year, general in springtime, Tilburg Graduate Law School offers a number of PhD research positions. Please see PhD vacancies for the application procedure. Other PhD vacancies, usually related to research projects, are posted on this website.


External PhD

External PhD candidates (in Dutch: buitenpromovendi) are not employed by Tilburg Law School. They write their PhD thesis in their own time and are instructed by a PhD supervisor who is employed by Tilburg Law School. External PhD candidates intend to take their doctoral degree at Tilburg University. There is no fee charged. Both Dutch and international external candidates are welcome.

How to apply?

The first step is finding a professor of Tilburg Law School, especially from the field of knowledge relevant to your topic who is interested in your topic and your profile and who is willing to supervise your thesis. To give you an impression of the research at Tilburg University and Tilburg Law School, please visit these websites for an overview of experts and expertise and more information on the departments and institutes of the Law School. The second step is to approach your preferred supervisor by sending an e-mail to introduce yourself and your topic; professors are familiar with this procedure. If the professor is interested he will ask you to send in an official application.

Your application, the third step, must include a research proposal in TLS format as well as a detailed curriculum vitae; a certified copy of your Master's degree and transcript of records (a translation in English is necessary if these documents are in other languages than English, French, German, Spanish or African), a copy of your passport and your photo.  

After having made arrangements with your supervisor the fourth step is to register at the Tilburg Graduate Law School (TGLS) by filling out the form Application for the appointment of a PhD thesis supervisor and send it to Tilburg Graduate Law School together with all the required supplements. Please note that your Master diploma and transcript of records can be subject of a degree recognition check by the Nuffic. This is part of the standard procedure. 

Our facilities

Once you are registered at Tilburg Graduate Law School you will receive an administration number, a Tilburg University e-mail address and a library account via the HR department. The service can be extended if you decide to visit Tilburg Law School.

PhD researchers with a grant/scholarship

We welcome PhD candidates with scholarships/grants to our Law School. Please note that potential candidates need to go through an assessment procedure to meet our quality requirements. Applicants of the Chinese Scholarship Council, please see the special paragraph below.

PhD candidates with scholarship bring their own funds and are based at Tilburg Law School. They write their PhD thesis under supervision of a professor who is employed by Tilburg Law School. There is no fee charged.

The first step to obtain a PhD position with a scholarship is to find your own financial resource(s), Tilburg Law School itself has limited possibilities for funding.

How to apply?

The second step is finding a professor of Tilburg Law School, especially from the field of knowledge relevant to your topic who is interested in your topic and your profile and who is willing to supervise your thesis. To give you an impression of the research at Tilburg University and Tilburg Law School, please visit these websites for an overview of experts and expertise and more information on the departments and institutes of the Law School. The third step is to approach your preferred supervisor by sending an e-mail to introduce yourself and your topic; professors are familiar with this procedure. If the professor is interested he will ask you to send in an official application. There is no specific deadline for the application.
Your application, the fourth step, must include a research proposal in TLS format as well as a detailed curriculum vitae; a certified copy of your Master's degree and transcript of records (a translation in English is necessary if these documents are in other languages than English, French, German, Spanish or African), a copy of your passport and your photo.  
After having made arrangements with your supervisor the fifth step is to register at the Tilburg Graduate Law School (TGLS) by filling out the form Application for the appointment of a PhD thesis supervisor and send it to Tilburg Graduate Law School together with all the required supplements. Please note that your Master diploma and transcript of records can be subject of a degree recognition check by the Nuffic. This is part of the standard procedure. 

Our facilities

Once you are registered at Tilburg Graduate Law School you will receive an administration number, a Tilburg University e-mail address and a library account via the HR department. The department or institute you are attached to will arrange facilities during your stay in Tilburg.

Applicants through the China Scholarship Council

Currently multiple PhD candidates from China with a CSC scholarship are doing a PhD project at Tilburg Law School. We offer thorough supervision by experienced supervisors. Please note that potential candidates need to go through an assessment procedure to meet our substantive quality requirements.

If you wish to apply, please use our contact form to indicate your interest in the CSC scholarship and to request more information on the application process. We will send you subsequently an email with more details on the application procedure. After having received your application, Tilburg Graduate Law School will evaluate your application. Part of the selection procedure is a (Skype) meeting with your future supervisor.

Other PhD possibilities

Joint doctorate degree

Tilburg University provides the opportunity to obtain a joint doctorate degree in collaboration with one or more international universities. Joint doctorates can be awarded to PhD candidates who conduct their research at two (or more) universities. Please see article 29 of the PhD regulations for more information.

Visiting Scholar

Tilburg Law School welcomes current PhDs researchers from both within and outside European Union countries as Visiting Scholar. As a Visiting Scholar you are able to enlarge your academic network and to get acquainted with the department’s research activities.

Please approach the department or professor of your choice yourself. If the department or professor is interested, they will provide you with further information on the application. To benefit from a stay at Tilburg Law School it is highly recommended to have a reasonably high proficiency in spoken and written English. A visiting scholarship will not be financially supported by Tilburg University. To give you an impression of the research at Tilburg University and Tilburg Law School, please visit these websites for an overview of experts and expertise and more information on the departments and institutes of the Law School.

Research Master in Law Program

This program for talented students is an excellent preparation for a possible PhD position. The Research Master in Law is a two-year program designed for Bachelor in Law students (or equivalent) with strong analytical skills and an interest in academic research.