At Wetsus, we have unique and challenging rounds for candidate selection, please read this important information to apply for EMPOWER doctoral programme:.

  • Eligibility criteria

    The candidate must fulfil the following mandatory criteria according the early-stage and mobility MSCA criteria:

      • Hold an MSc degree in the discipline associated with the research topic.
      • The candidate‚Äôs full-time equivalent research experience must be less than four years, measured from the date when the candidate obtained the degree entitling them to start a PhD study.
      • The candidate may not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the deadline of the call.
      • The candidate must not hold a previous PhD degree.

    Moreover, other criteria for the candidates are:

      • During their academic path, the candidates 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.
      • Have excellent English communication skills, both verbally and in scientific writing.
      • Suitability for scientific entrepreneurship and to potentially develop business-related skills.
  • Selection process

    The EMPOWER selection procedure consists of three rounds:

      • Round 1: Application documents screening.
      • Round 2: Video interview.
      • Round 3: Recruitment challenge at Wetsus in Leeuwarden*.

    *In case of travel ban related to the SARS-CoV2 pandemic or similar international emergency-related issues, the recruitment challenge will take place online in a video conference platform. Please refer to the guideline for applicants for more detailed information in each round.

    In each round, the suitability of the applicant is assessed using a scoring system, considering five criteria with maximum scores as listed below.

      • Motivation and affinity for the proposed topic (15 points)
      • Research skills and basic knowledge (40 points)
      • Affinity for personal development and business oriented training (15 points)
      • Initiative and independency (15 points)
      • Communication skills (15 points)
  • Deadlines

    The deadline of the application is on the 29th of October 2021 at 15.00 CEST.

  • Appeal and redress

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

    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.

    Appeal can be filed through email at:

If you have questions or you want more information about the recruitment procedure please send an email to