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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

    The China Scholarship Council (CSC) provides scholarships for outstanding Chinese master's students, recent graduates and young (academic) professionals who want to do either a full-time PhD programme or a part of their PhD programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

    If you are a prospective CSC candidate this page will help you understand the application process and requirements for doing a PhD at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

    Eligibility

    Who is eligible for the CSC Scholarship:

    • Full PhD candidates: selected Chinese candidates can enrol as a PhD candidate at 6 of our 9 faculties at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. PLEASE NOTE that we are not accepting application for the Faculty of Science (BETA), Faculty of Dentistry (ACTA) or Faculty of Medicine (Amsterdam UMC).
      For a full PhD the scholarship covers a max. of 48 months of research.  Upon the successful completion of all requirements of the trajectory and defense, candidates will be conferred a degree by Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
    • Visiting or joint PhD candidates: selected Chinese candidates can enrol as a PhD candidate at 6 of our 9 faculties at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. As a visiting or joint PhD candidate your stay at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam can be of a max. 24 months. Candidates are to return to their home institutions in China for their dissertation defense upon completion of their research visit at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

    Which faculty?

    The eligible faculties for CSC candidates are listed below:

    • Faculty of Humanities
    • School of Business and Economics
    • Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences
    • Faculty of Social Sciences
    • Faculty of Law
    • Faculty of Religion and Theology

    Application

    The scholarship includes:

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

    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.

    Requirements

    • Candidates are citizens and permanent residents of the People’s Republic of China at the time of application.
    • Doctoral candidates must have a Master’s degree and be under the age of 35.
    • Academic requirements are set by each faculty/department, however standard requirements for all PhD candidates are successful completion of a Masters degree and a good level of English:
      IELTS (academic): 6.5 overall - Most programmes do not accept subscores below 6.0.
      TOEFL Internet-based test: 92.
    • In accordance with the CSC regulations, candidates must return to China upon completion of their research.
    • The current CSC scholarship allowance of € 1350 per month is lower than the Dutch income requirements to obtain a visa to the Netherlands. Please be aware that you will need to show proof of personal finances to cover the difference between your scholarship and the income requirements.

    Housing:

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has limited housing options available for all degree students and doctoral candidates. Once you have been accepted by the CSC, we will contact you on how to apply. You can find more information on housing here.

    Immigration:

    Once you have been selected as a CSC scholar at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam we will contact you regarding submitting your visa application. You can find more information about the process and requirements here.

    The current CSC scholarship allowance of € 1350 per month is lower than the Dutch income requirements to obtain a visa to the Netherlands. Please be aware that you will need to show proof of personal finances to cover the difference between your scholarship and the income requirements.

    How to apply?

    Your first step is to identify a potential supervisor. All Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam professors can be found here. You can contact a supervisor based on their research expertise and how it aligns with your PhD research proposal. Each supervisor will conduct their own interviews and assessment of your candidacy. If you are successful in obtaining support from a supervisor, they will support your CSC application by providing a conditional offer letter. The letter is conditional upon receipt of a CSC scholarship. Once you have obtained the letter, the supervisor will contact the International Office who will issue a conditional offer letter from the institution (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam). You can use both letters in your application to the CSC.

    If you prefer that we help facilitate the contact to a professor, you may submit an application form and we will make contact on your behalf. Please note that your application form must include the following:

    • Your CV
    • Your Research Proposal
    • The name of your preferred supervisor

    Application timeline

    ActivityDate
    Contact preferred supervisor or fill in application formuntil February 2024
    Interviews conducted by supervisor (online) until March 2024
    Final selection and conditional offer letter issuedby mid March 2024
    Candidate applies through the CSC websiteto be announced
    Decision by CSCMay/June 2024
    Onboarding process at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (immigration, housing, general set-up in systems)June-August 2024
    Starting your PhD at Vrije Universiteit AmsterdamSeptember 2024-January 2025

    Memorandum of Understanding

    In 2019, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the China Scholarship Council (CSC). Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the 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.

    Contact

    E: phd@vu.nl