Universiteit Leiden

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PhD psychologist

A substantial part of PhD candidates have an increased risk for mental health problems, stress complaints or burnout. As of April 1, 2022, Leiden University has appointed a psychologist especially for PhD candidates: Agnes van Rossum.

For whom?

The PhD psychologist offers psychological support for all PhD’s at Leiden University, no matter what kind of contract. So for employed PhD’s (a paid PhD position), contract PhD’s (subsidised by a grant) or external PhD’s (supported by own funds). The psychological support is free for all PhD’s and is strictly confidential.

What kind of problems?

You can contact the PhD psychologist with psychological issues caused by the promotion process or that have a direct effect on it. You can think of:

• physical stress, (work) pressure, exhaustion, disbalance in work and private life, burnout
• demotivation, concentration problems, procrastination
• anxiety, fear of failure, future uncertainties, perfectionism, assertiveness, imposter syndrome
• mood issues, low self-esteem, negative self-image
• mismatch in needs and supervision, problematic work environment
• social isolation, loneliness, adjustment problems, culture shock, corona crisis.

The aim is to increase the well-being of PhD candidates so that they can design and complete their PhD trajectory in a healthy way. On the one hand by offering individual help to solve problems and to prevent worse, on the other also taking a preventive approach with information and education.

Intake interview

You can make an appointment for an intake interview by sending an email.  The purpose of the intake interview is to determine together which help is appropriate for you. The interview will take one hour and can take place via Teams video call or on location at the Plexus Student Centre in Leiden.

Who is the PhD psychologist?

Agnes van Rossum has worked for many years as a scientist in the position of technician, PhD candidates (doctorated in 2006) and post-doc. In 2010 she decided to quit science and started studying clinical and health psychology at Utrecht University and started her own practice. In the role of PhD psychologist, she brings her two worlds together. She is well aware of the unique position of the PhD candidates. This allows her to provide adequate help that meets the specific needs of the PhD candidates.

Agnes: “I would like to make the threshold to be as low as possible, so that PhD candidates come as early to ask for help when needed.”


E-mail: phdpsychologist@sea.leidenuniv.nl
Phone: +31 6-38 55 70 46;  Secretariat: +31 71-527 2727
Working days: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday.

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