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Funding Opportunities

For Prospective PhD candidates, a number of different scholarships are available for the purposes of doing research in the Netherlands.

There is a variety of resources available depending on the support from either the Netherlands or your home country. The list below is not exhaustive and we encourage you to research your own funding options. You may also contact the Graduate School or research institute that covers your discipline. They will be able to advise you on the most relevant grant/scholarship providers in your specialist field.

Once you have completed your PhD, you may also be able to apply for a grant to pursue an academic career after graduation. The Grants Office of IXA-GO at VU Amsterdam helps researchers find their way through the jungle of schemes and funds available for research funding. IXA-GO offers support in the search for and writing of research grants and provides administrative and legal support throughout the full cycle of research grants.

Employees and PhD candidates of VU Amsterdam can also use the database "Research Connect" to search for subsidy possibilities.

Funding opportunities

  • General scholarship resources

  • Dutch grant/scholarship providers

  • European grant/scholarship providers

  • US grant/scholarship providers

  • Asia Pacific, Africa and Latin America grants/scholarship providers

  • China Scholarship Council



    • Full PhD students: selected Chinese students can enroll in designated doctoral (PhD) programmes of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam provided that they engage in the programme for no more than 48 months. If the selected Chinese students successfully complete the requirements of the designated program and defend their dissertation, they will be conferred a degree by Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
    • Sandwich/joint PhD students: selected Chinese students can enroll in designated research programmes of Vrije Universiteit and complete part of their doctorate, reaching from 6 to 24 months. The selected Chinese students are to return to their home institutions in China for their dissertation defense upon completion of their research at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
    • Postdoctoral fellows: selected Chinese postdoctoral fellows can enroll in a Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam postdoctoral training programme for 3 to 12 months.


    IMPORTANT: The 2023 application cycle has now closed. The website will be updated in due course for the 2024 application cycle.

    For whom?
    Chinese PhD students, who will take a full PhD study, or a period of PhD dissertation research at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The China Scholarship Council (CSC) scholarship for a period of PhD dissertation research at Vrije Universiteit can be applied for in the first round.

    Which programmes?
    All programs can be applied for, as long as the department/faculty/graduate school you’re applying to is willing to waive all tuition fees and research fees. Priority will be given to the areas of study mentioned in the introduction.

    Maximum of 48 months for a full PhD study at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

    Scholarship amount

    • Exemption from registration fee, tuition fee, research fee and other allowances as specified in the new Memorandum of Understanding with the China Scholarship Council
    • Living allowance of € 1350 per month (including health insurance)
    • International airfare 

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


    • Candidates are citizens and permanent residents of the People’s Republic of China at the time of application.
    • Applicants for the doctoral degree program must have a Master’s degree and be under the age of 35.
    • The relevant academic entry requirements must be fulfilled, including a high level of English language proficiency and a Master degree.
    • Candidates must hold an acceptance letter (standard format) from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
    • Candidates should satisfy the CSC selection criteria by completing the CSC Application Form and the CSC Employer Reference Form.
    • Successful candidates must return to China upon completion of their research.

    How to apply?
    In order to apply for a CSC scholarship you need an acceptance letter of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. This acceptance letter is to be written by the professor who has agreed to supervise you during your PhD-research. Please turn to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam PhD website for PhD application procedure. This application procedure can be used for all applications to a full, joint and sandwich PHD program, as well as application to a postdoc in any field of knowledge.

    Application timeline

    (Optional) Visit the annual CSC workshops in November and upload your CV and research proposal beforehand in the CSC database.16-25 November 2021 (Interviews with VU delegates will take place 22-23 November 2021 from 15.00-18.00)
    Getting in touch with preferred supervisor until February 2022
    Selection of candidates by professors, contact by skype and email, elaboration of research proposalJanuary-March 2022
    Final selection and Letter of Acceptance10 March 2022
    Candidate applies through the CSC websiteto be announced
    Decision by CSCMay/June 2022
    Arranging practical matters for preparing your stay at Vrije UniversiteitJune 2022
    Starting your project at Vrije UniversiteitSeptember – December 2022


    In 2019, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the China Scholarship Council (CSC). Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and CSC collaborate to provide high quality research training to qualified students and postdoctoral fellows from Chinese universities. They prioritize support in the following areas of study: Environment, Medicine, Life- and Neuroscience, Biomedical Sciences and Public Health, Economics, Business, Law, International studies and Social Sciences. Additionally, we included special provisions and allowances for all incoming full, joint and visiting PhD candidates with the CSC scholarship which can be found in the MoU document.


    For more information either visit our Chinese website or contact our China representative in Beijing Kathy.
    For more specific university relevant information see email below: