The Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Dual Career Network

In order to maintain and strengthen the leading position held by the University Leiden, TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam, it is important to remain attractive to international academic talent. As the Dutch economy grows, the number of available jobs is increasing dramatically, a trend also reflected in academic teaching and research.It is more likely that international academics come to work in the Netherlands and maintain links with our universities for longer if there are also attractive prospects for their partners. This is the focus of the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Dual Career Network.

staff leiden

In 2018, more than a third of all registered academics in the Netherlands were from overseas. The majority of these international researchers were from other European countries, China, North America and India. More than half of all academics at TU Delft in 2018 were from outside of the Netherlands. These international academics often bring a partner with them who is also keen to carry on working. In 2018, Leiden-Delft-Erasmus established the Dual Career Network (DCN) to assist them. 

The three universities joining forces to help the partners of international academics simply makes good sense. The universities are located close to each other, collaborate closely and all aspire to retain their leading position in a competitive market. They also have plenty to offer: South Holland is an attractive and prosperous province that is home to countless companies, governmental agencies and networks. The individual universities already offered assistance for partners of academics and are now combining forces in the Dual Career Network.

Peter de Bruijn, coordinator of the DCN explains the importance of DCN: ‘The Leiden-Delft-Erasmus universities are keen to connect with international academic talent. We are a more attractive employer if we also have something to offer their partners. Numerous universities overseas have already embraced this concept. It is increasingly expected of us and sometimes plays a role when the academic is choosing which university to apply to. Our database of candidates and companies is expanding rapidly. I meet with parties including companies, NGOs, municipalities, research agencies, universities and schools. I am also in contact with specialist recruitment, selection and executive search agencies.’ 

How will the Dual Career Network set to work?

Based on an initial meeting and the candidate’s profile, the sectors in which the candidate is most likely to succeed are identified. Contacts are then made with a view to employment, either contracted or on a freelance basis. This helps kill two birds with one stone: organisations gain access to (often well-educated) candidates, who find a job to their liking, helping them to feel at home in the province. 

The Dual Career Network is the third element of a programme consisting of three steps: 

  1. Orientation
  2. Training
  3. Network

The first two components make up the individual universities’ Dual Career Programmes. The programme is tailored to partners of new academics (in the case of TU Delft, also to partners of academics already employed at the university). The university at which the academic is employed arranges for the partner to join the programme. All (English-language) information on the subject is available on the websites of:

Erasmus University Rotterdam 

Leiden University                      

TU Delft                                    


Peter de BruijnPeter de Bruijn studied South Asian Studies at Leiden University and conducted his doctoral research in South and Southeast Asia. After working for a German bank and an international management consultancy firm, he spent several years as an expat in India where he was the director of a branch of Nuffic, the official representative of Dutch higher education outside of the Netherlands.

Do you want more information about the Dual Career Network? Contact Peter via p.j.j.debruijn@tudelft.nl and +31 (0)640 15 67 76. He is at the Erasmus University Rotterdam on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays (Sanders building, room L4-53), at Leiden University on Wednesdays (Service Centre for International Staff) and at TU Delft on Thursdays (HR, CEG, 5th floor).


The Dual Career Programme of Erasmus University Rotterdam greatly helped me in settling and finding a job in the Netherlands. They registered me with a Dutch language course, assisted me in updating my application materials and align it with expectations of the Dutch labour market, and, most importantly, supported me in building up a local network. Thanks to the university's network, I got a nicely fitting job as a data scientist at Allianz Benelux through one of these contacts.

George Camehl, moved to Rotterdam with his partner from Berlin, Germany