Coaching and training

The Academy considers talent development, training, and the right support for general skills development important. Thanks to the Career Centre KNAW, it offers support in this area in several different ways. Some of the workshops and courses are specifically meant for PhD students and post-docs.

Before you sign up, you and your supervisor must agree on the right intervention for you.

Career advice or career interview

Career advice gives you a clearer picture of your options or helps you take the next step in your career. You can also use it as the basis for individual career guidance, for example to help you prepare a Personal Development Plan (PDP). The following training courses are possible:

  • Simple career advice
  • Tailor-made career guidance


Sometimes your work requires you to gain new competencies, for example because you’ve been assigned new tasks or notice that your behaviour is not producing the looked-for results. A coach – who functions as an independent sparring partner – will give you new insights, help you improve your skills and offer you possible solutions.

Coaching is an individual learning process focused on achieving specific aims. It gives you a better understanding of your own behaviour and its effects. It also makes you more conscious of your workplace environment and the role you play there. As a result, you can plan more effectively, take strategic decisions and be more conscious of your actions.

For example:

  • dealing with a troubled working relationship or stress
  • heading a project or chairing a meeting
  • taking a difficult decision
  • dealing with ambiguities in roles and levels of authority
  • time management
  • various aspects of leadership

Leiden University

Leiden University also offers a range of courses. Most of these address how to improve your research skills, communicate more effectively, and maintain a healthy career. (Select 'University' in the pop-up screen and click 'Confirm’. Click on the training course or programme that interests you and check under ‘target group’ whether Academy staff are allowed to enrol.)

Employability outside Academia

This three-day course is ideal for PhD students and post-docs who are wondering whether or not to remain in academia. You will learn what you consider important in your career, which fields to explore, and how you can transition to a job outside academia.

Influencing skills training

Influence plays an important role in the everyday work of many Academy employees. They may need to generate support for a project, persuade people to take a certain decision, or explain an idea. In this training course, you will work on getting others on your side, at the right time and in a way that suits you. You will learn how to extend your influence so that your communication is crystal-clear and convincing. You will gain confidence and, as a result, make a bigger impact.

Respectful and effective communication training

How do you take other people’s opinions into account without abandoning your own ideas? In this training course, you will learn to recognise and set boundaries, thus showing your respect for yourself and others, without losing contact with them. You will learn to give your own plans room to thrive while remaining open to other ideas.

Training in writing competitive European funding proposals

This course, meant for employees who have experience writing grant proposals, emphasises writing proposals for European Union funding. For researchers to gain an award under EU funding programmes such as Horizon 2020, they need more than a technically sound project. In this training programme, they will learn about the socio-political background of EU funding programmes, how proposals are structured, and what the application process entails. They will gain experience in identifying EU funding options and set goals for future research projects. They will then be able to position themselves ideally, thus satisfying the European Commission’s socio-political priorities.

Career Vitality Training

A three-day course for employees over the age of 50 who want to continue enjoying their work and their careers. This course offers tips on remaining vital, innovative and useful at work in the future.

Networking Training

Building and maintaining effective relationships: a two-day workshop for current and former Academy employees who would like to master the art of networking. You will learn to recognise and overcome personal obstacles so that you can build, maintain and expand your network.

Self-knowledge Training

This three-day course helps you map your ambitions, qualities and competencies to discover which career paths suit you and how to develop a career plan.

LinkedIn: Digital networking and job search

This half-day workshop shows you how to create a profile on LinkedIn and how to use this digital networking platform.

ProActief UvA

Academy employees can also contact the Career Centre KNAW to register with ProActief UvA for training courses and workshops on improving your CV, networking, writing a good letter of application, and the smart way to apply for jobs.

Language courses

The Academy also offers employees language courses for long-term career development.

Read more on these language courses

Applying for funding

The Academy and the Local Consultations Committee (the Academy’s trade unions) consider it well worthwhile to spend part of the employee benefits budget on sustainable career development. Training, courses and coaching meant to support sustainable career development are therefore funded from this budget.

Staff employed by the Academy may use the form below to apply to the Career Centre KNAW for training/courses/activities funded from the employee benefits budget. The Career Centre KNAW will then contact you about your enrolment, the relevant paperwork, and invoicing.