Pilot scholarship program for PhD students

22 Jun 2015 | Genoveva Geppaart

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Attracting additional international talent


PhD students in the Netherlands are currently employed at the university where they are doing their research. As of 2016, there will also be an opportunity to undertake a PhD on scholarship.

Contrary to PhD students who are employed, these students will not have any teaching tasks. They can focus completely on their study and graduate sooner.


Pilot program

This pilot program will last for 8 years, and up to 2000 students can participate.

PhD students will have to pay tuition fees and will expect value for their money. This will, according to the Dutch government, lead to a better preparation for the job market.


Scholarships for three levels of higher education

Having PhD students on scholarship means that students seeking a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree or a PhD will now all be eligible for scholarships. Including scholarships for PhD students will make it easier for foreign students to favourably compare the costs of study in the Netherlands with study in their home country. The Dutch government believes that this will result in more international students choosing to do their PhD in the Netherlands



During the pilot, several evaluations will be undertaken. In 2021, there will be a final evaluation, and it will become clear if this pilot has resulted in additional PhD students and in more international students. The quality of the research performed by these students will also be evaluated.

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