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PhD, Fellowships and Grants

Annually, approximately 20 PhD candidates enroll in the PhD programmes of the School of Business and Economics.

Most of the PhD candidates, internally or externally paid, are employed by the school. Only the part time- and scholarship PhD candidates are not employed.

Our mission is to attract highly motivated, talented PhD candidates to further cultivate their talents through extensive supervision, by welcoming them in an international, open and inspiring environment where knowledge exchange and research cooperation are highly stimulated, and by providing a safe, informal and friendly atmosphere. Your supervisor will help you draw up a training and guidance plan at the start of the project, and guide you in planning your research dissemination activities and seminars at international conferences and at other academic institutions.

Being a member of SBE gives you the opportunity to:

  • receive high level course work with leading international scholars at the Tinbergen Institute and/or the Amsterdam Business Research Institute. They also host seminars with speakers from leading US, European and Asian universities. Having access to this network will provide an important asset for your future research career. Our PhD programmes are entirely taught in English;
  • be involved in research and social activities, like seminars, workshops, social gatherings;
  • be introduced in numerous networks, in and outside the Netherlands;
  • have a research budget (for conferences, research visits and /or other research costs);
  • gain experience in teaching.

Research at SBE

In recent decades, inequality in the world has been increasing. Governance for Society looks at the underlying causes of inequality and how they relate to differences between regions, between urban and rural areas, and between educational levels. For example, Professor of Policy Evaluation Bas van der Klaauw focuses his research on economic inequality. What makes someone successful? And to what extent does education play a role in this?

Grants and fellowships

  • Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action fellowships

    SBE invites proposals for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action fellowships on one of its major research themes. The School offers an inspiring, open, international environment and a high quality training infrastructure. The application process is highly competitive. Therefore, SBE invests in selected candidates that provide a good fit with our expertise and interest and supports them in drafting a competitive research proposal and in applying for the fellowship at the EC. When awarded, funds may be granted to postdoctoral researchers who aim to enhance their career development by an intensive research period abroad (12-36 months) covering salary, some travel and other research expenses.

    Who can apply

    Candidates must be in possession of a doctoral degree on 11 September 2019.
    Two types of individual fellowships exist:

    European Fellowships (EF)

    • Open to promising researchers either coming to Europe or moving within Europe.
    • Duration fellowship 12-24 months, based at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
    • Can help to restart research careers after a break such as parental leave.
    • Can also help reintegrate researchers coming back to Europe.
    • The researcher much not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in The Netherlands for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the call deadline.

    Global Fellowships (GF)

    • For researchers currently based in the EU or associated countries.
    • Initial outgoing phase of 12-24 months outside Europe (e.g. US, Australia, Japan)
    • A mandatory 12-months return period at VU.
    • Total fellowship duration is 24-36 months
    • The researcher must not have resided or carried out the main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the partner organisation where the initial outgoing phase takes place for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the call deadline

    Application process

    We invite talented researchers to submit a short research proposal (around 1,000 words) on one of the School's major research themes. Selected candidates will be supported in the further development of their project proposals towards the European Commission for the deadline of September 11, 2019.

    Please provide us with the following documents for our selection committee:

    • Research proposal (use template)
    • CV
    • A minimum of one respresentative research paper/working paper/job market paper
    • Two reference letters, sent directly by your references to our mail address
    • We offer a selection of talented applicants, working on one of our major research themes, the opportunity to develop their proposal in collaboration with one of our experts in the field.

    Timeline

    Activity
    Date

    1. Call opens


    April 11, 2019 
    2. Mail your documents to VUMay 28, 2019
    3. Selection of candidates by VU and assigning supervisor
    June 15, 2019 
    4. Proposal development by fellow and supervisor
    June-Sept, 2019
    5. Submission deadline European Commission
    September 11, 2019
    6. Results review panels European Commission
    January/February, 2020
    7. Start fellowship
    April 2020 - April 2021 
  • China Scholarship Council PhD opportunities

    The Chinese Scholarship Council offers Chinese PhD students and postdoctoral fellows the opportunity to apply for a scholarship to follow high quality research training abroad. SBE offers its expertise, supervision and infrastructure to accommodate candidates.

    Types of scholarships offered by CSC

    • Full PhD students: selected Chinese students can enroll in doctoral (PhD) programmes of Vrije Universiteit provided that they complete the programme in no more than 48 months. If the selected Chinese students successfully complete the requirements of the programme and defend their dissertation, they will be conferred a PhD degree by Vrije Universiteit.
    • Sandwich/joint PhD students: selected Chinese students can complete part of their doctorate, ranging from 6 to 24 months at Vrije Universiteit. If the student’s home university and Vrije Universiteit agree, this can be constructed as a joint doctorate but this is not mandatory.
    • Postdoctoral fellows: selected Chinese postdoctoral fellows can be hosted in a postdoctoral programme for 3 to 12 months at Vrije Universiteit.

    Scholarship amount

    • Vrije Universiteit covers accepted candidates’ registration fees, tuition fees, research fees, supervision fees, and visa fees
    • CSC provides a living allowance of € 1350 per month (including health insurance) and international airfare
    • You are eligible for the SBE PhD Fund Research Scholarship of up to to €2,000 (for conferences, research visits and /or other research costs).

    The living allowances will be paid via CSC. Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange will book the tickets for the departure from Beijing, and the Chinese Embassy in the Netherlands will book the return tickets.

    VU Amsterdam

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) is an internationally renowned research university. We are ranked 101-150 on the Shanghai University Ranking and offer a supportive community approach to learning. Our campus is a meeting point for free academic endeavour. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is a truly international university, with a highly diverse population. At Vrije Universiteit, the Chinese community is the second largest and delivers important contributions to the university’s education and research programmes. Furthermore, the Chinese community is involved in social activities, such as celebrating Chinese New year together with the university. We are located in lively and multicultural Amsterdam, the city with the largest concentration of students in the Netherlands and where English is the second language. Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands and the largest city of the country. Amsterdam is a very safe city with many interesting museums, bars and good restaurants. The University will help the PhD candidates to find relatively cheap housing.

    Hosted by the School of Business and Economics (SBE)

    SBE offers a great institutional research setting and has ample experience in hosting external international visitors. The School hosts a large number of researchers belonging to the international top of their field. In terms of Research Impact (citations) the School ranks highest amongst its peers in the Times Higher Education ranking and belongs to the top 50 research schools in economics and business ranked by THE worldwide in terms of research impact. Information on our research activities is provided by the Research Portal. High level course work is available at Tinbergen Institute and ABRI, as well as participation opportunities in all international research seminars. SBE seeks to combine quality education with excellent research and is the largest faculty of VU Amsterdam. It has a modern, up-to-date ICT infrastructure and variety of licensed databases for research and accommodates approximately 4000 students, 1450 postgraduate students and 460 employees.

    What the School of Business and Economics offers to CSC PhD candidates

    Our mission is to attract highly motivated, talented students and junior researchers to further cultivate their talents through extensive supervision, by welcoming them in an international, open and inspiring environment where knowledge exchange and research cooperation are highly stimulated, and by providing a safe, informal and friendly atmosphere. Your supervisor will help you draw up a training and guidance plan at the start of the project, and guide you in planning your research dissemination activities and seminars at international conferences and at other academic institutions.
    Being a member of SBE gives you the opportunity to:

    • receive high level course work with leading international scholars at the Tinbergen Institute and/or the Amsterdam Business Research Institute. They also host seminars with speakers from leading US, European and Asian universities. Having access to this network will provide an important asset for your future research career. Our PhD programmes are entirely taught in English.
    • to be involved in research and social activities, like seminars, workshops, social gatherings.
    • to be introduced in numerous networks, in and outside the Netherlands.
    • be eligible for the SBE PhD Research Scholarship of up to €2,000 (for conferences, research visits and /or other research costs).

    Please have look at the requirements to apply.

  • Hermine Weijland Fellowship

    For female assistant and associate professors SBE established the Hermine Weijland Fellowship in 2017 with the aim of attracting and promoting female academic talent. This prestigious fellowship seeks to encourage promising female academics to join SBE and to improve the gender balance at senior levels.

    The fellowship bears the name of Hermine Weijland (1932-2001), who started at SBE in the 1960s, first as a student, and later as an employee. She was one of the first women to attain her PhD at SBE and went on to build a successful career as an academic.

    Hermine's life and outlook still serves as inspiration for female academics today: brief description of Hermine Weijland’s life and career (pdf).

    Overview of the fellowship

    The fellowship will be used to recruit two Assistant/Associate Professors every year. This will be done within the SBE personnel and professorship plan. This means that every year two vacant positions will be earmarked as suitable for a Hermine Weijland Fellow. Every calendar year, a decision will be made about which departments can accommodate the Hermine Weijland Fellows. The SBE Board together with the faculty's HR department will ensure that the HW Fellowship positions are distributed fairly between the academic departments over consecutive years.

    Recruitment and selection

    Each calendar year, a decision will be made about which departments can accommodate the Hermine Weijland Fellows. The two vacancies for Assistant/associate Professorships will be filled using open recruitment procedures. Applications must include a CV, publication list, teaching dossier, letter outlining vision on development of Teaching and Research, and two reference letters. Candidates will be selected by a selection committee within the department. The HWF Steering Committee (see below) will play an advisory role in this process. The selection committee will nominate the selected candidate by submitting the relevant proposal to the SBE Board.

    Hermine Weijland Fellowship Steering Committee

    The HWF Steering Committee consists of three professors, including two female academics, who represent the various research disciplines of SBE. This committee plays an ambassador role for the Fellowship in the networks in which it operates. In addition, the committee takes an advisory role in the recruitment and promotion of Fellows, with the aim of monitoring and upholding the quality of the Fellowship. The committee, which also acts as a sounding board for the SBE Board and the HR department, will be actively involved in the future development of the Hermine Weijland Fellowship. The members of the steering committee are: Prof. Anna Gold; Prof. Marleen Huysman; and Prof. Maarten Lindeboom.

    Hermine Weijland Fellowship: Associate Professor

    The selected Fellows will be offered:

    • a tenure track position in the position of Associate Professor which, upon successful completion, will lead to an appointment as Professor;
    • 50% research time, over a three-year period. In the following years, research time will be allocated on the basis of research output, up to a maximum of 50%.
    • Supervision of a PhD candidate
    • an attractive research budget to be used for scientific publications, the preparation of applications/requests for indirect and commercial funding, and attending conferences;
    • personalized support from the VU Grants Desk and the SBE Research Office for the preparation of VENI/VIDI/VICI/ERC grants;
    • nomination for participation in VU Amsterdam’s course in Female Leadership;
    • following consultation, coaching in the form of participation in the VU Mentoring scheme for talented academic personnel or some other form of individualized coaching.

    Target group

    The Hermine Weijland Fellowship focuses on promising scientists who specialize in research in the field of Economics and Business Administration. Candidates are expected to distinguish themselves through their well-defined teaching and research profile and their clear potential and ambition to achieve the position of full professor.

    Entrance requirements

    We are looking for female candidates who meet the following requirements:

    • the candidate must have at least (lifetime): six publications of which two publications with an AIP of at least 90; or the candidate must have at least (lifetime): six publications of which two have an AIP of at least 80 and two have an AIP of at least 70; or the candidate must have at least three publications with an AIP of at least 90;
    • Experience with acquisition of external funding for research projects (ERC or NWO)
    • supervised at least one PhD candidate;
    • membership of editorial board of international journal(s);
    • potential to make important contributions to science;
    • active in valorisation of research;
    • good teaching reviews and a completed Basic Teaching Qualification;
    • well-defined research plan;
    • international recognition through scientific prizes/awards or membership of well-regarded Academies;
    • experience at a university or research institute abroad.

    Terms of employment and procedures

    Hermine Weijland Fellows who enter as an Associate Professor receive a temporary employment contract for a period of six years. (This is not possible for internal candidates, for them individualized agreements regarding the contract will be made). Depending on the Fellow’s profile and CV, the Associate Professor will be placed at salary grade 13 (Associate Professor 2) or 14 (Associate Professor 1). For Fellows who have entered at the level of Associate Professor 2, a dossier relating to an application for promotion will be submitted to the SBE Appointments Committee at the end of the second year, in order for the criteria for Associate Professor 1 to be evaluated, as specified in SBE’s Career Path for Academic Staff Members. In the event of a positive result, the staff member will be promoted to the position of Associate Professor 1. By no later than the end of the fifth year of the six-year contract, in consultation with the head of department, a dossier will be submitted to the HWF steering committee in order to evaluate with the HR Division whether the Fellow is eligible for promotion to the position of professor under the established criteria. If the steering committee’s evaluation is positive, the nomination process will be initiated after the approval of the SBE Board.

    Hermine Weijland Fellowship: Assistant Professor

    The selected Fellows will be offered:

    • a tenure track position in the position of Assistant Professor which, upon successful completion, will lead to an appointment as Professor;
    • 50% research time, over a three-year period. In the following years, research time will be allocated on the basis of research output, up to a maximum of 50% (and, while in the position of Assistant Professor 2, with a minimum of 40%)
    • supervision of a PhD candidate;
    • an attractive research budget to be used for scientific publications, the preparation of applications/requests for indirect and commercial funding, and attending conferences;
    • personalized support from the VU Grants Desk and the SBE Research Office for the preparation of VENI/VIDI/VICI/ERC grants;
    • following consultation, coaching in the form of participation in the VU Mentoring scheme for talented academic personnel or some other form of individualized coaching.

    Target group

    The Hermine Weijland Fellowship focuses on promising scientists who specialize in research in the field of Economics and Business Administration. Candidates are expected to distinguish themselves through their well-defined teaching and research profile and their clear potential and ambition to achieve the position of full professor.

    Entrance requirements

    We are looking for female candidates who meet the following requirements:

    • a PhD degree;
    • excellent track record in research, with a high quality job market paper;
    • one paper without the candidate’s previous (PhD) supervisor is highly recommended;
    • teaching experience, with positive teaching evaluations (the candidate must complete the Basic Teaching Qualification within two years after her appointment);
    • description of research plan for the next five years, including a section on knowledge utilization resulting from the proposed research.

    Terms of employment and procedures

    Hermine Weijland Fellows who enter as an Assistant Professor receive a temporary employment contract for a period of six years and are included in the Tenure Track System. Depending on the Fellow’s profile and CV, the Assistant Professor will be placed at salary grade 11 or 12. By no later than the end of the fifth year, the Tenure Test will take place and, if passed, the Fellow’s employment contract will be converted into a permanent contract. For Assistant Professor 2, this is accompanied by a promotion to Assistant Professor 1.

    Due to the demanding entrance requirements, many Assistant Professor Fellows are expected to meet the tenure requirements within two years.

    After obtaining tenure, Hermine Weijland Fellows are expected to progress towards the level of Associate Professor 2. A dossier relating to an application for promotion will be submitted to the SBE Appointments Committee within three years, in order for the criteria for Associate Professor 2 to be evaluated, as specified in SBE’s Career Path for Academic Staff Members. In the event of a positive result, the staff member will be promoted to the position of Associate Professor 2. The same route will be followed within (no more than) two years in relation to promotion to the position of Associate Professor 1.

    Within (no more than) three years, and in consultation with the head of department, a dossier will be submitted to the HWF steering committee in order to evaluate with the HR Division whether the Fellow is eligible for promotion to the position of professor under the established criteria. If the steering committee’s evaluation is positive, the nomination process will be initiated after the approval of the SBE Board.

  • Visiting Professorships

    Each year, the Amsterdam Business Research Institute (ABRI) offers six one-year Visiting Professor positions (0.2 FTE) for distinguished international researchers in the field of business administration. The Visiting Professor positions are offered by SBE, and are specifically connected to the research activities of ABRI. The purpose of these appointments is to stimulate development of new research on the topics relevant to the appointed professor.

Graduate School & PhD track

  • Training

    The PhD candidates of the School of Business and Economics receive training at one of the two graduate schools. The PhD candidates in economics, econometrics or finance receive training at the Tinbergen Institute, and the PhD candidates in Business Administration and Operations Research receive training at the Amsterdam Business Research Institute.

  • PhD trajectory in Economics, Econometrics or Finance

    If you are interested in a PhD trajectory in Economics, Econometrics or Finance, you have the following possibilities at the SBE:

    MPhil programme + PhD programme (2+3 years): Economics, Econometrics or Finance

    Candidates who are interested in a PhD in Economics, Econometrics or Finance can apply for the MPhil program at the Tinbergen Institute.

    The Tinbergen Institute offers a graduate programme consisting of two years of intensive graduate coursework in the institute's Master of Philosophy in Economics programme (MPhil) and three years of PhD thesis research.
    The MPhil programme is a research master in economics, econometrics, and finance, and is an excellent preparation for PhD thesis research in these fields. The MPhil programme is taught by the best researchers of the three economics departments participating in the institute and by internationally renowned guest lecturers. Students are carefully selected from a large international pool of applicants. Each year at most 30 students are admitted and thorough selection is part of the admission procedure. The MPhil programme has been accredited by the Dutch and Flemish Accreditation Organisation for higher education (NVAO) and leads to a Master of Philosophy in Economics degree.
     
    PhD programme
    The PhD programme takes three years and leads to a PhD degree. These three years are primarily spent on writing research papers for the PhD thesis and on participation in international conferences, workshops, and seminars.
     
    Currently, about 120 students are enrolled in our graduate programme. Roughly half of all students come from abroad; students have come from Europe, Asia, North-America, South-America, and Africa. 
     
    More information
    For more information and application procedures see www.tinbergen.nl

    4 year PhD programme on an externally funded project: Externally funded PhD positions

    In addition to the annually PhD positions in Economics, Econometrics, Finance, and Business Administration, there are throughout the year specific project based PhD positions advertised separately on the vacancy pages. For current PhD-job-openings please check vacancies.

    Part time PhD programme: Part-time PhD in Economics

    Candidates who wish to write a dissertation on a part-time basis are facilitated through supervision, access to the library and research seminars organized by the School. In some cases office space is provided as well.

    Applicants are advised to write a short research proposal which fits in one of the research programmes of the School (for more information on our research see the research portal and the departments) and send this, together with a cv and motivation letter, to the potential supervisor. This is possible throughout the year. There is no application deadline.

    If the potential supervisor is interested in supervising the research project, the proposal will be elaborated. When the research proposal is finished, the candidate can start her or his research. The candidate will receive a ‘VU-NET-ID’ which will give access to the library and an email-address. If needed a tailor made plan for education (up to 30ECTS) will be made in consultation with the supervisor and the Director of the Graduate School. The part time PhD student is required to pay a fee of €5,000 euro for the entire period. The fee will be used by the School to pay the courses at the Tinbergen Institute, or the Amsterdam Business Research Institute and or other graduate schools.

    Part time PhD students will not receive a salary or scholarship, and thus must be financially independent. Only candidates with a university master degree are eligible for this programme.

    For questions, please contact Ina Putter (i.putter@vu.nl).
    For information about the dedicated part-time PhD programme in Business and Management, please click here

  • PhD trajectory in Business Administration

    If you are interested in a PhD trajectory in Business Administration, you have the following possibilities at the SBE:

    Research Master Business in Society programme + PhD programme (2+3 years): Business and Management

    4 year PhD programme on an externally funded project: Externally funded PhD positions

    In addition to the annually PhD positions in Economics, Econometrics, Finance, and Business Administration, there are throughout the year specific project based PhD positions advertised separately on the vacancy pages. For current PhD-job-openings please check vacancies.

    Part time PhD programme: Part-time PhD in Business and Management

    The Amsterdam Business Research Institute (ABRI) offers a new part-time PhD programme for management practitioners. This programme supports executives and management professionals with a relevant background in conducting PhD-level research, and facilitates them in matching their professional experience with excellent academic insights. 

    ABRI’s part-time PhD programme offers a conveniently structured trajectory, intensive academic and mentoring support, access to VU Amsterdam facilities, a great research community, a professional and innovative environment and an extensive array of enrichment activities. For more information and application details, please visit the programme’s webpage.

    With the part-time PhD programme, ABRI aims to support business leaders in:

    • Leveraging their expertise for the creation of innovative business concepts
    • Leveraging existing research findings into a new integrated knowledge
    • Learning to conduct high quality research
    • Publishing their work in international business and scientific journals
    • Becoming part of a stimulating academic community

    What makes ABRI’s part-time PhD programme a great choice?

    • Teaching and supervision by internationally renowned professors
    • Research support from VU research centres specialising in different business topics (e.g., servant leadership and professional services)
    • A unique programme design, focused on a sequential development of academic research papers
    • Intellectually stimulating research community
    • Excellent location and facilities
    • A module-based programme enabling participation of highly-mobile and international participants

    Unique characteristics of the programme

    • Each programme year follows a cycle of research paper development
    • The learning process is deliberately divided into the six sequential modules
    • Attainable milestones are set to allow working professionals to stay on track
    • The focus on developing academic writing skills enables participants to publish their research work in international peer-reviewed journals

    For information about the part-time PhD programme in Economics, please click here

  • PhD Council

    The SBE PhD Council (henceforth PhD Council) aims at being an accessible portal to both SBE PhD's and the School board. In doing so, we have developed four main goals through which we wish to manifest ourselves. For more information see: PhD council