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Admission requirements

Final permission for conducting field research is obtained once the following conditions have been met:

  • Formal admission to MA programme CA-DS

  • Declaration of liability

  • Submission of budget

  • Approval of final research proposal

  • Proof of sufficient language proficiency (declaration by the supervisor)

Two types of field research

The students can opt for one of the two kinds of field research:

1) Individual fieldwork
Individual field research may be conducted anywhere in the world, including The Netherlands, provided that the location is safe and not afflicted by armed conflict.
This type of fieldwork is arranged by students themselves. It is expected that the student will independently establish the necessary contacts with local authorities, acquire research permission and affiliation as well as accommodation in the country of research. Supervision during this preparatory period if provided by the thesis advisor in Leiden. Guidance in this preparation phase will be done by a supervisor in Leiden. It is expected that the student will be locally affiliated with an institute or person willing to take (partial) responsibility for the fieldwork conducted in the research area, and able to review the fieldwork period thereafter. Supervision of the processing and reporting on field data is the responsibility of the staff in Leiden.

2) Collective fieldwork
This type of fieldwork is organized and directed by the Institute for CA-DS. Two different collective field research programs can be organized annually in Indonesia (Central Java) and West Africa (Mali and Gambia).
Although the field research is organized collectively, each individual student carries out their own individual field project within these two general areas. Departmental staff oversee the preparation for fieldwork as well as the fieldwork itself. The Department also arranges contact with the appropriate local authorities, arranges research permission and affiliation, and, in most cases, the accommodation of students in the research area. Subsequently, institute’s staff supervise the processing and reporting on field data.
It is important to remark that this type of research can only be organised if there are at least 5 students (per location) interested in taking part. Students are required to make their choice of fieldwork-location by “October 1st” each year, so that the necessary arrangements can be made.

Financial matters

Field research, especially abroad, can be a costly endeavor for the student. Total expenses, including teh airplane ticket, visa and accommodation will approximately be € 3.000 – € 4.000, depending on the country where the fieldwork takes place. These expenses are not covered by the tuition fee for the MA programme.

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

  • Funds of the Institute CA-DS
    If all requirements for fieldwork are met, the student may apply for a 50% subsidy on their accommodation and (international and local) transport costs up to a maximum of € 365,-.

  • Student counselor
    In some cases a student may ask the student counselor for supplementary subsidy. Information can be obtained at the following address: Kaiserstraat 25, Leiden, tel. 5278011.

  • Other funds
    At the the student centre Plexus you may take a look at the so-called “Book of Funds”. This book contains information on all funding organizations in the Netherlands. Relevant funds can also be found through the scholarship website of the International Office (in Dutch).
    Most often the students of CA-DS acquire grants from the LUF and the LUSTRA but can also be sucessful in acquiring financial aid from smaller, private funds and trusts. Since most of the information about funds is available in Dutch language, foreign students might need assistance from their Dutch fellow-students when looking for relevant information.


The fieldwork is rated “pass” based on performance in the research setting.


January, February, March 2011


Fieldwork coördinator dr. Jan Jansen: room 3A36 (Pieter de la Court building), tel. 071-527 3996, e-mail