Home/Education/PhD Programme

PhD programme

The PThU offers a PhD programme for excellent students. Pursuing a PhD in the Netherlands means spending a minimum of four years (fulltime) conducting original and independent research and writing a dissertation. During that time, you will be under the supervision of a full professor of the university. There are no set deadlines for application: you can apply for and start the PhD programme at any time.

How to apply for the PhD programme?

There are a few steps you need to take to apply for the PhD programme.

  1. Send a brief research proposal to one of our full professors and ask them if they would be willing to be your PhD supervisor. Please use our research proposal format for your proposal.
  2. Once the professor indicates their willingness to be your supervisor, you will need to further develop the proposal until it is ready to be submitted to the research committee.
  3. Submit your proposal to the research committee, along with:
  4. Final admission will be provided by the PThU Doctorate Board. Admission is based on the advice of the committee and an external evaluation of your prior education.

You can download the dissertation protocol and the doctorate regulations.

Supervision and training

After admissions to the PhD programme, you will be registered as a Graduate School student. The PThU Graduate School offers you a mix of expert supervision and tailor-made training. Aside from your supervisor, you will be co-supervised by a team of at least two experts in your specific field(s) of interest. You will also have the opportunity to follow a PhD training programme based upon your needs and interests, consisting of: 

  • courses (mostly offered by NOSTER and other external institutions)
  • workshops
  • seminars
  • participation in international conferences or expert meetings

Your training and supervision plan will guide you in this process. The PThU also offers a yearly Graduate School meeting in Amsterdam or Groningen, where you will be able to present your research and obtain feedback from fellow students. 

How to find PhD scholarships and other funding?

The PThU has a very limited number of contract PhD students (employees). Competition for these positions is fierce. Most candidates need to fund their own PhD or find a scholarship or alternative sources of funding. Fortunately, the institution’s tuition fees are relatively low (under € 400 annually). However, costs of living in the Netherlands are relatively high. Because of this, we have developed the so-called ‘sandwich model’ for international PhD students. This means you spend two or three months a year doing fulltime research at the PThU in Amsterdam or Groningen. During the rest of the year, you combine your research with your work in your home country.

Questions about the PhD programme?

Please contact our international officer Albert Nijboer.

Albert Nijboer, MA, International Officer