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Research Design for Policy in Practice


Admission requirements

Only students who are admitted to the master’s programme Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, specialisation Sociology of Policy in Practice can take part in this course.

The study coördinator grants permission to conduct field research once the following conditions are met:

  • The individual supervisor must approve the language proficiency of the student, as applicable to the field research envisaged.

  • The Research Proposal has to receive a passing grade (6-10) from the individual supervisor.

  • The ‘Letter of Liability’ must be completed and forwarded to the Coördinator of studies

  • The ‘Pre-departure form’ correctly filled in and sent to the Coördinator of studies

  • The ‘Ethics form’ must be correctly filled in and sent to the Coördinator of studies


A list of Sociology of Policy in Practice Research internships is available on our website (Sociology of Policy in Practice > About the programme > Sociology of Policy in Practice Research Internships). This list is continually updated.

In the context of a Policy Oriented Research Internship students are offered by the institute the opportunity to work on an individual three-month research project with a NGO, government agency, small or large-scale company, museum or knowledge institute, either in the Netherlands or abroad, provided that the location is safe. The institute’s staff members actively encourage students to make use of the technical means available to conduct both ‘ethnography at a distance’ (making video calls, and so on), as well as ‘digital ethnography’ (doing research on and in online environments.

Policy Oriented Research Internships are offered, but still require the student to develop an individual research project, although the Leiden-based supervisor will be responsible for affiliation with the internship provider. Supervision of the processing and reporting of field data is also the responsibility of the Leiden-based supervisor.

Financial Matters

A master’s field research can be a costly endeavour for the student, as it will usually involve travel and the costs of additional accommodation. These expenses are not covered by the tuition fee for the master’s programme.

To ease the financial strain a number of funds may be applied for:

  • Funds made available by external partners in the context of some research projects listed under ‘Research Opportunities’.

  • Scholarships and grants offered by Leiden University.

  • Funds from the home country (in case of international students).

  • Also check the Dutch study grant/loan provider DUO for additional information.

If planning research outside The Netherlands, also check the university's website for other practical matters regarding studying abroad.


For the duration of the three-month research period, three Fieldwork Reports must be written (each 1,000-3,000 words).

  • Report 1: Operationalization in the field, to be submitted to your supervisor after 3 weeks in the field)

  • Report 2: Reflection on the fieldwork experience, to be submitted to your supervisor after 6 weeks in the field

  • Report 3 (final): Preliminary Analysis/Interpretation of the data.

The fieldwork is graded based on performance in the research setting.


January-March 2021 for the September 2020 intake; April-June 2021 for the February 2021 intake.


Master's programme coördinator Dr. Erik de Maaker