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PhD degree in the Netherlands

Holders of a MSc or MA diploma of a recognized research university, in the Netherlands or outside the country, can continue scientific carrier and apply for a PhD degree programme, that refers to the third stage of Dutch higher education system.

Abbreviation PhD (or Ph.D) stands for a Doctor of Philosophy degree, that addresses research studies in any selected field of studies, and considered as the highest academic degree to be awarded in Holland.

It is important to know, that only Dutch research universities can award a Phd degree. There are also PhD vacancies at institutions or companies running the research activities These organisations should have agreements with the research university to provide the position for PhD candidates. The list of research universities and institutions, where it is possible to enrol for a doctorate programme see below.

PhD studies procedure in Holland

PhD studies in Holland are generally consist of research activities and culminate in a dissertation (thesis) which should be written and defended in English.

Some parts of thesis are usually published in international scientific magazines. When research work is finished the supervising professor evaluates it and decides if whether the dissertation is ready for publication and oral defence. A commission will be assigned to approve the dissertation and to discuss it with the candidate during the traditional oral defence ceremony. The PhD programmes last 4 years.

How to enter a PhD programme?

1. To find a PhD vacancy

The student can employ to the existing PhD vacancy and get the salary for performing the research in the offered project. The easiest way to find the vacancy is to visit the university website. In case no vacancy appeared to be completely fitting for the student, he can offer his research topic to group he employed to.

2. The grant or fellowship for a doctorate

  • The candidate can suggest original research proposal and look for the professor ready to give him supervision, financial support and assistance. It’s possible to find the professor through the publications worldwide, through the Internet, by his scientific publications or using international contacts between student’s native university and Dutch one. The best option is to find the person with leading reputation in the needed field.
  • Candidate can find a fellowship or grant which allow him to conduct the research. Around 16% of of the PhD candidates use this way to finance the PhD studies in Holland

3.The PhD research programme

The candidate can as well get involved in the educational PhD programme offered by the research school, which is the part of the Dutch Research University.

Admission requirements

In order to be admitted for a doctorate studies shall have the solid background in theory and practice in the chosen field and provide:

  • a recognized research Master degree diploma which gained upon completion of 2 years master's programme;
  • the required level of English: scores 600/250/100 for TOEFL or 7 for IELTS);
  • a research activities statement (a research proposal);
  • a CV (resume) and reference letter(s).

Each university determines whether to admit the candidate on the individual grounds, based on motivation and  reference letter provided during application.

PhD programmes fees

Usually PhD position is a paid position, which means that participants get a salary corresponding with wages of research staff. Salary of first year PhD students is approximately 1300 EURO and reach up to 1700 EURO.  Wages of starter scientists are around 2000 EURO per month.

Some universities charge additional fees for the supervision or enrolment. The sums depend on the university, the chosen discipline and the other aspects like the use of an expensive equipment. All additional information can be found at euraxess.nl. Look for PhD tuition fees and programmes at Eurogates' database.

List of research universities' departments and institutions

  1. Delft University of Technology (CICAT, Management Centre for International Cooperation)
  2. Eindhoven University of Technology (International Relations Office)
  3. Erasmus University Rotterdam  (Academic Affairs Division)
  4. Intsitute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHIHS)
  5. International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus Univesity Rotterdam
  6. Leiden University
  7. Maastricht School of Managment (MSM)
  8. Maastricht Unverisity MUNDO Maastricht University Centre for International Cooperation in Academic Development
  9. Nyenrode Business Universiteit  (Nyenrode Research & Innovation Institute - NRI)
  10. Protestantse Theologische University
  11. Radboud University Nijmegen
  12. Tilburg Unversity (Development Research Institute - (IVO)
  13. UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education (Department of Academic and Central Services)
  14. University of Groningen (International Service Desk, Office of International Relations)
  15. University of Amsterdam (International Student Affairs)
  16. University of Humanistics
  17. University of Twente (including ITC) International Office
  18. Utrecht University
  19. VU Amsterdam ( International Office)
  20. Wageningen University (Wageningen PhD Council - WPC)
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Comments (14) Comment the article

17/03/2014, 14:43 # lloyd

hello, if i graduated from a 1 year master programme in belgium could i apply for a phd programme in holland?

Reply
17/03/2014, 17:20 # staff

Hi Lloyd, in order to be accepted for a PhD programmes you have to finish a Research Master programme which usually has a duration of 2 years.

Reply
22/04/2014, 16:40 # emmanuel

Pls. I want to apply for PhD Business Administration of PhD Marketing in Netherland. Pls. I want a guide on the university that I can apply to in Netherlands or Holland. I have B.Sc in Business Administration (second class upper) and also a MBA (Ph.D grade) from Nigerian universities (Ahmadu Bello university and University Zaria, Kaduna state and University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State) respectively.

Reply
22/04/2014, 20:16 # staff

Hi Emmanuel,
Please look at the sites of the following Business Schools:
http://www.eurogates.nl/universities/tiasnimbas-business-school/
http://www.eurogates.nl/universities/nyenrode-business-universiteit/
http://www.eurogates.nl/universities/maastricht-school-management/

Reply
25/05/2014, 19:21 # August

Hello there,

May I ask if it is possible to apply for a PhD in Netherlands if I have done a taught MA? I am currently coming towards the end of my Master in International Journalism in England. Please advise if it is not possible for a taught MA degree to apply for PhD in Netherlands,how else can I apply?

Thank you and best regards,

August

Reply
25/05/2014, 19:35 # staff

Hi August, in order to be accepted for a PhD programmes you have to finish a Research Master programme which usually has a duration of 2 years.

Reply
02/07/2014, 07:52 # timmy

I am currently an MSC student of anglia ruskin university in England,studying international management practice, I just submitted my dissertation and will be rounding up by September 2014, I would like to apply for a PHD programme In business management in Netherlands , please I want a guide on the university that will be suitable for me and how I can go about it.

Reply
02/07/2014, 08:59 # staff

Hi Timmy, you need select a university which is specialised in Business and Management and look for a PhD programme or vacancies on its website. You can also look at the site of Business schools. http://www.eurogates.nl/universities/tias-business-school/

Reply
11/07/2014, 16:03 # Amit Koirala

Hello,

I am Amit Koirala from Nepal. I want to do my PhD in education. I have completed Masters in education MED from Tribhuvan University, Nepal and also completed my MPhil in Education (Thesis on progress) from Kathmandu University Nepal. Beside these I also have two Journal article at national level and one Journal article at Internal level (with DOI Prefix). I have also done two International conference presentation and one national level conference presentation. So, Please help me by giving necessary advice.

Reply
15/07/2014, 19:58 # staff

You need to look a PhD vacancy on any university which have programme in education.
For instance: University of Twente: http://www.eurogates.nl/universities/university-twente/ or University of Amsterdam: http://www.eurogates.nl/universities/university-amsterdam/

Reply
18/08/2014, 23:56 # Madaki L S

Hi, I am a graduate of Veterinary Medicine from University of Maiduguri (DVM), and did my MSC in Ahmadu Bello University Zaria all in Nigeria. I wish to do my PhD in a reputable university in Holland. Please would you recommend a university or two? Waiting to hear from you soon.

Reply
19/08/2014, 10:40 # staff

Here is the ranking of research universities per field of study: http://www.eurogates.nl/news/a/3572/universities-netherlands-the-times-rankings/

Reply
03/10/2014, 16:12 # Martina

Hi, I am finishing my MA in International Relations. Apart from the PhD which requires at least Research Master level, can I still work as a Researcher/Assistant in the Netherlands and where can I find such websites offering similar positions in the academic field? Thanks!

Reply
05/10/2014, 11:15 # staff

You can look at the sites of research universities: http://www.uva.nl/en/about-the-uva/working-at-the-uva/vacancies/vacancies.html

Reply
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