There are several ways of obtaining a PhD position with us:
- Regular PhD positions financed by HHP
- Positions financed by the Institute of Culture and History (ICH)
- Positions financed through external funding
- Positions as an “external PhD student”
Regular PhD positions financed by HHP
HHP offers two regular PhD positions. As a rule, both positions will become vacant every four years, at which point there will be a formal call for applications. The last round of applications was in May 2016. As of September 2016, both regular positions are occupied. A new call for applications is not expected until 2020.
Positions financed by the Amsterdam School for Culture and History (ASCH)
Amsterdam School for Culture and History (ASCH) organizes research in the Humanities at the UvA. Once a year they announce open rounds for PhD positions, which can be awarded in any discipline in the humanities, including study of Western esotericism at HHP. These positions typically start in September, and may be announced as early as December the year before. Keep an open eye for announcements at the ASH website. If you see opportunities for yourself here, make sure to get in touch with us as early as possible. This is imperative because ASCH will not consider your application without written confirmation by the chair of HHP, Wouter Hanegraaff, that he is willing to act as your PhD supervisor in case your application is successful; and Hanegraaff, in turn, can consider your request only on the basis of a formal written research proposal that contains at least (1) a project title, (2) one or more central research questions, (3) a detailed description of the project, (4) a bibliography, (5) a preliminary time schedule, and (6) a CV To have a chance of success, your personal qualifications and your research proposal must be of excellent quality, and you must have taken action early enough. Don’t surprise us with a request one week before the application deadline!
Positions financed through external funding
If you have an excellent research proposal in the field of Western esotericism and believe you will be able to acquire funding from an external source (for instance the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research or another national or international research foundation), please get in touch with us. To have a chance at being considered, here too you will need to submit a formal written proposal that contains at least (1) a project title, (2) one or more central research questions, (3) a detailed description of the project, (4) a bibliography, (5) a preliminary time schedule, and (6) a CV Again, make sure to approach us not right before the application deadline but as early as possible.
Positions as an “external Ph.D. student”
In the Dutch system, an “external PhD student” means a person who works on a PhD dissertation in his/her own time but does not need funding from a university or research organization (please note that no entrance fee is required to pursue doctoral research in the Netherlands). Examples are students who do their research parttime in the evenings and weekends, who can benefit from the income of their partner, who are retired, or who are financially independent. It is possible at least in principle to obtain a PhD with us if you fit this category, but please note the following: (1) in order to be considered, you will be asked to submit a formal written proposal as described under the two previous sections above, (2) your personal qualifications as a researcher and the quality of your proposal must be excellent, and (3) we are forced to give priority to candidates who actually need a Ph.D. title in view of pursuing an academic career. This greatly lessens the chances of mature students who wish to obtain a PhD only for their own satisfaction.