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Dutch PhD positions are much respected

The high academic standards of the Netherlands give your PhD degree a high value in the global market. For the number of publications per researcher, the Netherlands is #2 in the international rankings and #4 for the actual impact that Dutch research publications have.

This high esteem for Dutch PhDs comes back in the way your degree is awarded, which will be a beautiful ceremony full of classic tradition. However, before you get there, your PhD dissertation must first be prepared to be published and subsequently approved, after which you will have to present your research in a defence that is open for the public.

Benefits of doing a Dutch PhD study

A PhD research in the Netherlands offers you:

  • Paid positions for most PhD employment contracts
  • Various high-level graduate schools to choose from; 12 of the Dutch research universities in this small country position themselves annually in the global top200.
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration opportunities that range across many different fields of study

Graduate or research school?

In the Netherlands, you will always be connected to a research or graduate school as during your PhD research. In both cases, you will be well off, because they both offer study programs that are tailor-made with conferences, master classes, and seminars and both operate within a cutting-edge research environment that is as inspiring as it is rewarding. The difference is in that whereas a graduate school is simply organized within one university, a research school is spread over various research institutes and universities that are partnered together.

So where can you get your PhD degree?

Although research in the Netherlands is also done by companies and research institutes, you can only get a valid PhD degree from research universities. However, exceptions apply if a research institute works narrowly together with a research university, which is then also allowed to give you an official PhD degree.

You can find PhD positions to apply for on our Student-Helpr job board. Alternatively, research universities and research institutions often have their own job boards as well, and PhD jobs are posted in many scientific journals as well. In order to apply for a PhD position, you can simply reach out to the institution. However, Dutch PhD positions are highly competitive, so we also offer you a service in which you can contact us beforehand so we can strategize the best way to secure your PhD position together.

If you want to explore the PhD programs that the Netherlands currently has on offer, have a look at PhD Portal.

Applying for a PhD without a vacancy

If there are no PhD positions that fit with the research proposal that you have in mind, you can always do something like an open solicitation. In this, you will be pitching your proposal to researching groups or universities that are involved in the field of your topic. If you can convince them and get them interested in your proposal, they might be willing to fund you while you conduct your research.