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Talent Policy

Do you want to pursue an academic career? The Faculty of Religion and Theology (FRT) is very keen to support talented students.

With the FRT Talent Policy we aim to scout, coach and actively guide talented students in different phases to become a selected group of promising researchers in the PhD phase and beyond. We guide students from the very first day in their Bachelors to the Masters and to PhD. Below the page you can find information about the guidance we offer at every phase.

Integration of the FRT life

All the faculty's Research Master's and PhD students are invited to gatherings of Faculty Research Groups and Faculty Conversations. Currently, we are in the process of making our social space available.

If you, as a newcomer to the faculty, would like to get a real feel for VU Amsterdam or want to have a buddy, please contact prof. dr. Katya Tolstaya.


For all your questions about the subjects mentioned above, please contact prof. dr. Katya Tolstaya via Questions about the Honours Programme? Send an e-mail to dr. Srdan Sremac.

Maaike de Reuver, Theologie

Maaike de Reuver, Theologie

"The VU Honours Programme offers me a challenging opportunity to intensify my studies. The interdepartmental part of the programme provides me to interact with motivated students from different faculties and different universities, which is very enriching. For the departmental part of the programme I am working on a research project for a company located in Geneva. I am joining an international congress in Chicago to do research for this project.

FRT Maaike de Reuver Honours program

Phases Talent Policy

  • Phase 1. Bachelor

    As a Bachelor student, you can already start preparing for a career in academia.

    Honours Programme
    The faculty offers an Honours Programme for ambitious and talented Bachelor's students. A select group of motivated and talented students can participate in the programme. The Honours Programme offers several advantages to our students such as getting acquainted with the research at the faculty, building up an academic network and broadening disciplinary horizons. 

    For those of you who wish to develop an academic career but also for those who are driven by the passion of learning, the Honours Programme is what you should do! The Honours Programme is an additional block of classes on top of your own Bachelor’s programme that is designed to broaden and deepen your knowledge. The Honours Programme consists of 30 ECTS that you can earn in addition to the 180 ECTS for the standard Bachelor’s programme, without paying any additional tuition fees.

    Find out more about our Honours Programme.

    Each year the Faculty of Religion and Theology awards its most talented Bachelor and (Research) Master students with a Master Thesis prize. Also, VU Amsterdam has the annual StudentTalent and Thesis Prizes for the best Bachelor's and (Research) Master's thesis.

  • Phase 2. (research) Master

    Theology and Religious Studies: Research
    The Master's programme Theology and Religious Studies: Research is thouroughly embedded in the faculty’s Talent Policy. This programme is tailored to prepare you for a PhD-trajectory. Therefore, the Programme engages you with ins and outs of academic research in a specialized area within theology or religious studies. You will learn and actually present at academic conferences, write articles for (peer-reviewed) journals and be actively involved in the life of FRT community of leaders.

    The Research Master offers our graduates excellent and diverse chances on the job market also outside academia. It leads to professions in the field of education, spiritual care, churches, the media, health care, government, NGOs and the business community. There are alumni with their own companies in the spiritual or advisory field. There are also opportunities for our students in civil society, especially where identity is at stake. In general, our Research Master supplies the need of the organisations dealing with questions of ethics, sustainability, ‘the human dimension’, meaning and narrativity.

    Next to choosing one of our specializations, there is a lot of freedom in how you will organize your programme. You will become part of a community of learners by acting as peers to each other’s academic work, by engaging with the Faculty’s life and research, and by participating in NOSTER.

    Read all about the Master's programme.

    Training for NWO applications
    Annually, the Faculty of Religion and Theology prepares their talented students for applications within NWO PhD’s in Humanities grant and other grants. We offer a one-to-one training and writing programme.

    A variety of scholarship programmes exist for international Master’s students. Visit the VU website for more information on the scholarships that are offered by VU Amsterdam, other scholarships options and student loan programmes.

  • Phase 3. PhD

    On graduating with a Research Master’s degree in Theology and Religious Studies, the PhD programme, offered by the Graduate of the Faculty of Religion and Theology, could be the next logical step in your academic career. FRT works on offering at least one PhD-position annually. 

    With more than 250 PhD candidates, our Graduate School of Religion and Theology offers excellent opportunities for high-level academic research and doctorate studies, both residential and non-residential.

    You can expect:

    • First-class personal supervision by leading experts
    • A challenging PhD training and supervision programme
    • Expert meetings and seminars  

    Want to find out more about the PhD programme? Go to our Graduate School page.
    Inform yourself on the costs of PhD studies at VU Amsterdam, and how to get a scholarship.

  • Phase 4. Post doc and further

    FRT develops an infrastructure for actively coaching of the grant applications for raising of external research funding and supporting senior researchers in their career-development.