To-do list for new PhD Candidates at ILLC

Disclaimer: The information below may be outdated or your contract may state different terms! Always consult the official information sources for serious issues. Information on this page has last been updated in October 2016.

Here is a list of things to do for new PhD students at ILLC, within the first months.

For everyone
Practical matters

  • Apply for a Medewerker (Employee) card: go to, upload your picture and request the card, then collect it at SP 904 at the reception. At the same reception you can activate the card to have free coffee from the black coffee-machines. You should receive this information from UvA ICT services by e-mail before your start.
  • Explore the A-Z information under your faculty on as well as the Self-Service/Zelfbediening tool where you can ask for reimbursement of travel, will see your salary statements, can edit your personal info, can request and see an overview of your holidays.
  • Read the employment conditions in the Collective Labour Agreement (CAO) applying for all Dutch universities as well as UvA regulations on doctorate.
  • Gather information about holidays (how to register your holidays, etc).
  • Learn how the teaching duties are distributed among PhDs.
  • Learn which Soft skills courses you have to attend and when they will be available (e.g. Presentation course). Be aware that there are additional soft skills courses being offered by the Faculty of Science and Humanities, so if you want you can follow other additional courses there.
  • If your master’s degree is not from a Dutch university, remember to ask for an exemption from the formal education requirement (or to send the Institute your Dutch Master Diploma, if you have one).
  • Within the first 3 months, fill in the OBP (Training and Supervision plan) form together with your supervisor.

Personal matters

  • Meet the ILLC staff and learn who is in charge of what.
  • Get in touch with the PhD Council and meet the representative of your research program (LoCo, LaCo, LoLa).
  • Ask a colleague to be invited to the ILLC community on Slack where some quick announcements are made and interesting matters are shared (e.g. upcoming conferences, parties).
  • If you are using Facebook, you can stay up to date with news and events by following these groups: The MoL Gang – for MoL and PhDs at ILLC; Ex Falso – student association organising social activities at ILLC; general ILLC staff Facebook group; Facebook page for FNWI PhDs and postdocs.
  • Learn that there are two institutions you can refer to in case of complaints\reports\questions about the functioning of your work as a PhD: the PVC committee, internal to the ILLC, and the Vertrouwenspersoon, a senior staff member that is available at the Faculty level to advise you in problematic situations .
  • Learn the timing of the gates and what are the email and telephone contact of the security.
  • Build your personal website/homepage.
  • Set up your SURFdrive (Dropbox analog) – 100GB of free storage for UvA employees, hosted in The Netherlands.
  • Get your 125 euro ICT-allowance by logging in to SURFspot with your UvA credentials. You can use this amount to purchase software and hardware.

Financial matters

  • Apply for a traveling allowance, a subsidy that is meant to repay the expenses to travel to and from work. This applies to everyone. You can do this in the Zelfbediening (UvA administrative service portal).
  • Gather information about the budget for conferences and research visits available to you. Usually, there is a separate budget for summer schools.
  • Learn how to apply for the conference money (i.e. how to ask the money once you have the bills).
  • If you have already a pension fund, consider unifying it with the pension fund associated to your UvA contract (usually managed by ABP).

For international PhD candidates

  • Register to the municipality and get your BSN number. You probably cannot be paid before you have your BSN number.
  • Apply for the 30% tax ruling plan if you are eligible for it.
  • Get information concerning your health insurance and apply for a plan.
  • Register to the studio of a General Practitioner (Huisarts) near your house.
  • Request a DigiID which will come in very handy when you pay taxes and want to check your residency status online.
  • See if you are eligible and apply for the Zorgtoeslag, a subsidy that refunds a portion of the health insurance cost. If you are not getting paid, but are in the Netherlands on a grant, you can most probably get it.
  • See if you are eligible and apply for the Huurtoeslag, a subsidy that refunds a portion of your rent. Again, if you are not getting paid, but are in the Netherlands on a grant, you can probably get it.
  • If you want to learn Dutch, ILLC can pay for two courses.