Pursuing a PhD in Holland

Pursuing a PhD means spending a minimum of four years conducting original research and writing a dissertation. Throughout this time, PhD candidates work in close collaboration with their supervisor. A PhD is not regarded as study, but as serious research and PhD candidates in the Netherlands are often in paid employment.

Why choose Holland for your PhD?

  • Holland has excellent graduate schools.
  • Large variety of research fields and extensive interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • World-class research: 12 Dutch research universities are ranked in the top 500 of the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2010.


Research schools and graduate schools

All PhD candidates are part of a graduate school or research school. Research schools are partnerships between multiple research universities and research institutes, while graduate schools are organised within universities. Both provide an inspiring research environment, offering tailor-made study programmes, master classes, seminars and conferences.

A Dutch PhD is highly regarded

Once your dissertation is approved for publication, you will attend the public defence of your research and will be awarded the PhD at a ceremony steeped in tradition. A PhD from a Dutch university is highly regarded because of the high academic standards. The Netherlands has an excellent international ranking for the number of publications per researcher (2nd) and for the impact of research publication (4th).

Where are PhDs offered?

In Holland, research is carried out by research universities, research institutes and companies, but only research universities can award PhD degrees. Other research institutes that work in close collaboration with a research university may also offer PhD positions.

Most PhD posts will often be advertised on job boards, such as EURAXESS, in scientific journals, or on notice boards at other institutions. If you see a PhD position that interests you, contact the institution directly about the application procedure.

Your own research proposal

If you have a specific research proposal of your own and cannot find a vacancy to match it, visit the Studyfinder database (a conclusive database of all English taught programmes in The Netherlands). If any Research University offers a Master's degree programme in your research field, visit their website and contact the institution for more information.

Different types of Admissions and Funding

last modified Apr 19, 2018 12:21 PM