Recruitment Procedure

General recruitment and requirements


  • The candidate holds a master degree in the relevant discipline (see the PhD position) or will receive this before the appointment date
  • The candidate doesn't hold a previous PhD degree
  • The ability to work in a multidisciplinary team in an international environment and to work independently
  • Strong interest in research and science
  • Excellent English communication skills, orally as well as in scientific writing

For each PhD position the selection process will take place in three rounds.

  1. selection based on the required application documents
  2. an interview by means of a video call
  3. final selection during a recruitment challenge held at the premises of Wetsus in Leeuwarden.

In the selection process the suitability of the applicants is rated using a scoring system. In each round the evaluators will rate the candidate for five criteria and give scores for each criteria. The criteria and maximum scores are:

  1. Motivation (10 points)
  2. Research excellence (50 points)
  3. Enthusiasm (10 points)
  4. Initiative & independency (15 points)
  5. Communication (15 points)

Of course all candidates need to fulfill the general requirements (threshold, no points).

Candidates that score 70 points or more in the 1st round will be invited for a video interview (round 2).

The candidates that score 80 points or more in round 2 will be invited for the recruitment challenge (round 3).

The candidate with the highest recruitment challenge score, but with a minimum of 80 points, will be offered the PhD student position.

The recruitment challenge serves as the final assessment of the suitability of the candidate. During the challenge the candidate will be asked to:

  • present their previous research, e.g. MSc thesis
  • reflect on a scientific article
  • one to one interview with an (external) member of the expert committee
  • one to one interview with the promotor/Wetsus supervisor
  • join a social event (e.g. a network lunch/diner or drinks with Wetsus PhD students)

Travel and accommodation expenses for attending the recruitment challenge will be covered by Wetsus.


Within one month after the application deadline, an application is reviewed and the applicant will be informed if his/her submission meets the requirements to be invited for the video interview (2nd round). The interview will take place as soon as possible but ultimately within one month after a positive evaluation in the first round. Within 2 weeks after a positive video interview the candidates will be invited for the recruitment challenge.

Appeal & redress

Wetsus will take all measures to implement the principles set out in the Commission Recommendation on the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. More information on the Euraxess Rights page.

After each round candidates can appeal within 2 weeks if they feel they are unjustly evaluated for one of the following reasons:

  • relevant information was not taken into account;
  • procedural errors;
  • discrimination on the basis of gender, race, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression;
  • other ethical issue.

An appeal committee will handle the appeal within two months. Appeals can be sent to

For more information:

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