How to finish your PhD in time

Professional skills courses

Course information

ECTS: 2.5 
Number of sessions: 3
Hours per session: 4 or 3.5
Course fee: 

  • This course is exclusively available to PhD candidates of the Erasmus Graduate School
  • consult our enrolment policy for more information


  • Enrolment-related questions:
  • Course-related questions: /

Telephone: +31 (0)10 4082607 (Graduate School)

In the academic year 2021-2022 this course will take place online.

Edition 1 (online)

Session 1
November 5 (Friday) 2021

Session 2
November 12 (Friday) 2021

Session 3
November 19 (Friday) 2021

Edition 2 (online)

Session 1
March 4 (Friday) 2022

Session 2
March 11 (Friday) 2022

Session 3
March 18 (Friday) 2022


In this intensive program for first-year PhD students (with a minimum of 3 months of experience) a variety of practical exercises is used. You will receive personal feedback to assignments and can apply the tools and experiences to your own work situation.

The program focuses on the things you would like to achieve in your work, taking into account your personal ways of working and the difficulties you encounter while keeping a healthy work/life balance.

Aims and working method

The tools we will hand to you are various ways of analysing and planning your time on a day-to-day basis, as well as in the long term. 
Once you know what you would like to achieve and how to plan your activities you need to communicate these plans to your colleagues and establish effective ways of collaboration. You might also want to interest people you meet at conferences in your research. Therefore we also practise the art of negotiating and networking. 

You will receive the book ‘Projectmanagement’ for PhDs’ and learn to work with the special web-based planning tool

Learning objectives

After completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Apply time management and project management tools to writing a dissertation, taking into account your personal goals;
  • Negotiate in an academic setting ;
  • Prepare and practise networking at a conference.

Session descriptions

  • Session 1:
    Academic research and project management
    • Differences between micro, meso- and long term time management
    • Discussing personal goals and work methods
    • Differences between urgent and important tasks
    • Prioritization
    • Make a planning for the next week
  • Session 2:
    Work-life balance and time management 
    • Manage the differences between your ideal and realistic plannings
    • Objectives
    • Practise planning of a research project
  • Session 3:
    Collaborating / negotiating / networking
    • Group work and decision making
    • Make a plan for the coming years of your PhD project
    • Healthy work-life balance and time management

About the instructors

Maarten Bordewijk, MA, is one of the senior trainers of Hertz, training for scientists. He is an experienced professional in personal and organizational development.  He is specialized in Time management and Project management. 

Work-life balance coaches

Doing a PhD can at times be stressful. Balancing research with teaching and a social life might at some point even raise difficult questions. How do I say ‘no’? How do I set the right priorities? What are the factors that makes me feel stressed? What gives me energy and how do I retain pleasure in my work?

In order to help you answer these questions, Erasmus University has assigned several work-life balance coaches. On your initiative and when it suits you best, you can contact one of these coaches and request an individual coaching session. The conversations will be during working hours and are strictly confidential. You do not have to inform your supervisor.