Admission and funding

Admission criteria for PhD positions are rigorous, and potential candidates must have a solid background in the theory and methods of their field as well as a recognised master’s degree. PhD students from other countries generally choose to write their dissertation in English and will therefore need to demonstrate a good command of English idiom and grammar before the dissertation begins.

Funding your PhD position

In Holland, there are generally three ways to fund your PhD:

  • employed by the PhD-awarding institution;
  • with a fellowship or grant awarded by a supporting body;
  • with sponsorship from your employer.

Employed by an institution

The majority of PhD candidates in the Netherlands have an employment contract with the institution where they will be conducting their research.

Fellowship or grant

About one sixth of PhD candidates in the Netherlands find funding in the form of a fellowship or grant, and many of these come from abroad. Once you have found a fellowship or grant, you will need to find a supervisor at a research institution willing to support you. Organisations offering fellowships and grants can be found at and

Sponsored by your employer

It is sometimes possible to study for a PhD part-time while working. If you and your employer are interested in this option, you should contact the institution of your choice for more information.

Tuition fees

Some Dutch institutions charge fees for enrolment, supervision and access to laboratories and other facilities. Each research university is free to decide on how much it charges and fees do vary from one discipline to the next, depending on whether expensive equipment is required or not.


The Euraxess website provides detailed practical information useful for researchers (including PhD candidates) coming to Holland, covering immigration procedures, social security, taxation, healthcare insurance, etc. If you need an entry visa, your prospective institution will advise you on the correct procedure for your particular situation.

More information

Download more information about doing a PhD in Holland in our publications section.


last modified Mar 29, 2018 02:52 PM