A PhD position is often the first place of employment for many young graduates, ushering in the start of their professional careers. Based on their PhD defence, they can either continue with a career in the academic sector or a different field. During this process of career development, PhD candidates can draw on the services offered by the Staff Careers Counselling Services.

Individual career guidance

  • During their first research year, many PhD candidates are often unsure as to whether they should continue their PhD track, so they seek out a sparring partner with whom to discuss the issue.
  • At the end of the third research year, PhD candidates often struggle with questions such as ‘Do I continue with a career in the academic sector?’ and ‘Do I approach the external labour market?’
  • During their PhD track, certain questions regarding personal/professional development can be addressed through individual coaching.

In these instances, a career counsellor can serve as an excellent discussion partner to help candidates develop appropriate future prospects.

Training programme

In addition to individual career guidance, the Working while learning and learning while working programme offers two courses specifically tailored to PhD candidates:

  • Self-management for PhD candidates: offers tips and tools at the start of the PhD track to ensure the successful completion of the PhD project. Key components of this course not only include organisation, time management, but also negotiation, conflict management and other communication skills.
  • Career management for PhD candidates: supports the PhD candidate in refining their professional profile and in finding appropriate positions, suggests good strategies for approaching the labour market, and teaches them how to effectively present themselves.

Many PhD candidates apply for other courses in the training programme to further develop these basic skills.


Individual coaching sessions and participation in the training programme are centrally funded by UM. No extra costs will apply (do take note of the programme’s cancellation terms and conditions).

For more information

Individual career guidance:
Marlou Tijssens, phone 85324, marlou.tijssens@maastrichtuniversity.nl
Sophie van Roon, phone 85323, sophie.vanroon@maastrichtuniversity.nl

Education and programmes:
Hortense Kallen, phone 85332, hortense.kallen@maastrichtuniversity.nl

Or visit My UM - Human Resources Management - Professionalisation - Staff Career Counselling Services to view all available services.