In the Dutch PhD system, students that finished their master can apply for a 4-year PhD position. In this period their main task it to do research and write a successful dissertation.
They are also often involved in a limited amount of teaching (<15%), and especially in their first year they follow courses organized by the Graduate school in collaboration with the National Research Schools (EPOS, IOPS, KLI, EPP). All PhD students automatically become a member of one these schools.
An important part of the education of PhD students is in the hands of the supervisors of the dissertation research.
All four educational programs share the aim of training highly qualified, autonomous and critical scientific researchers. Students should have an in-depth overview of their research area, be acquainted with relevant research techniques, and be able to present and publish their results. Ph.D. students receive a certificate on completion of the entire regular Research school curriculum.