CERES is the only research school in the Netherlands that offers training for Dutch and foreign PhDs in the field of international development. Its training courses offer a unique learning experience. PhD students benefit from their exchanges within a heterogeneous group of students, becoming acquainted with geographically diverse academic traditions, as well as gaining multidisciplinary insights in relation to contemporary development issues, debates and methodologies. The CERES PhD training programme is characterized by a ‘hands-on’ learning-through-practice approach. Its programme aims to increase the skills and knowledge required for writing a viable, implementable and academic research proposal. The programme consists of a coherent set of theoretical and methodological modules, interspersed with interactive exercises aimed at applying the newly acquired knowledge to one’s individual project. It is open to all beginning PhDs (and also to Research Master students) who are working on their research proposals.