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Application and Admission

As a PhD candidate, you will execute original scholarly research, receive high-end supervision from a team of (full) professors, develop research skills and transferable competences and grow in terms of knowledge. At the end of your PhD journey, you will not only deliver a doctoral thesis, but graduate as a person with a combination of specific academic skills and social and communicative competences.

Categories of PhD Types and Vacancies

In general, at the Faculty of Humanities, PhD tracks take 4 years. A PhD position in the Netherlands is considered employment for most PhD candidates. This means you have associated rights and duties, according to the type of employment contract you have. The website of VU Amsterdam regularly features vacancies for new PhD positions at the faculty, for which you can apply. On Academic Transfer, PhD positions are also advertised.

However, other types of PhD candidates exist as well, under which, scholarship, externally funded and self-funded PhD candidates. In the occasion that we cannot employ you, you may want to look for funding in your country of residence or private scholarships.


You should have a supervisor before you can start your PhD. Please visit the websites of the Departments of the Faculty of Humanities to find out which specialisation best accommodates your own interests in scholarly research. You can contact the researchers directly or via the Graduate School of Humanities, to review the possibilities.

Please note that a master or equivalent degree is needed to be admitted to the PhD track. If you do not possess a Master (or equivalent) degree, you need to follow a different procedure such as described in the VU’s Doctorate regulations.

Read more about doing a PhD on the VU Amsterdam's website

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