to apply

If you are an outstanding and highly motivated candidate, we would like to encourage you to apply for the PhD positions at Wetsus. The application documents have to be uploaded exclusively via the web-based application form on the specific webpage of the research project of choice. The list of research projects can be found here.

Candidates can only apply to one research project and indicate their second and third preferences on the application form. Multiple applications for different research projects will result in the candidate’s disqualification.

  • Eligibility criteria

    To be eligible, at the deadline of the call, the candidate must fulfil the following mandatory criteria

    • Hold an MSc degree in the discipline associated with the research topic.
    • The candidate’s full-time equivalent research experience must be less than four years, measured from the date when the candidate obtained the degree entitling them to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the candidate is recruited, even if a doctorate was never started or envisaged.
    • The candidate must not hold a doctoral degree.

    Moreover, other criteria for the candidates are:

    • During their academic path, have shown research excellence either through high grades and/or an outstanding thesis.
    • Being able to work in a multidisciplinary team in an international environment, and also to work independently.
    • Preferably having previous international experience, outside their home country.
    • Have excellent English communication skills, both verbally and in scientific writing.
    • Suitability for scientific entrepreneurship and to potentially develop business related skills.
  • Documents/information to be submitted

    These are documents/information required to be submitted on the web-based application form.

    • A motivation letter max of 1 page.
    • An up-to-date curriculum vitae (CV), including the following information: complete name, date of birth, current location, education, list internships and thesis (subject, name supervisor, grade, etc.), publications (if applicable), work experience (if applicable), scientific interests, complementary qualifications, achievements and other relevant information.
    • A copy of MSc diploma(s) (or a letter from university stating the expected graduation date) and grades (with explanation of the grading system).
    • One/two signed recommendation letter(s), dated no longer than 1 year before the application deadline, with contact information of the referee(s). If your referee(s) is only able to give a reference letter just under request by Wetsus, please contact us beforehand maximum a week before the deadline at

    Please compile all the application documents in one single PDF file, named with first and last name of the candidate. Additionally, see our application guidelines for the application documents checklist.

    Only applications that are complete, in English, complied with the application rules, and submitted via the application webpage before the deadline, will be considered eligible. Please do not send your application to the email address of the listed academic and Wetsus supervisors.

  • Language proficiency requirement

    In order to be admitted to the Wetsus’ PhD programme, the candidate must demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Doing a PhD at Wetsus and the affiliated university(s) requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, write scientific articles, and write and successfully defend their PhD dissertation.

    If the candidate is not Dutch, from a non-Anglophone country and has not completed a higher education with English as the language of instruction, the candidate has to submit an internationally recognised Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language. This must be done prior to the start of the PhD-project and before the PhD registration at the affiliated university(s). Please check for the language proficiency requirement based on the university that your project is affiliated to.

    You do not need to present the test results as part of your application; these results will be requested at a later stage during the selection procedure, but if you have one, you may provide it together with your application.

    Exemption: Candidates who have completed their Bachelors/Masters at a Dutch University (WO) are exempted from submitting an English Proficiency test. Candidates who have completed their higher education entirely taught in the English language (except online and double degree programmes) are exempted from submitting an English proficiency test.