PhD appointment

Vrije Universiteit PhD programmes typically take three to four years, depending on the scientific discipline and the type of appointment and funding in question. There are two types of PhD appointments:

  1. Internal PhD position: an internal appointment means that you are employed by one of the Vrije Universiteit faculties for the duration of your programme. This is the most common appointment and allows students to be embedded in one of our Graduate Schools. In these cases, PhDs are either pre-funded or self-funded.
    a. Pre-funded vacancies are listed as scientific vacancies on our website. In most cases this means that a scholar or a research group has acquired funding for a research project and is recruiting PhD candidates for that particular project. Self-funded positions are those for which a PhD candidate has independently acquired funds for her or his own research topic, in close cooperation with future supervisors.
    b. Self-funded positions may be financed by either personal means or scholarships or grants. In both cases, the candidate is employed by the faculty for the duration of the PhD programme and receives a salary administered by the university with funds that candidate has independently obtained.
  2. External PhD position: external PhDs are not employed by the VU faculty. This second type of PhD appointment is represented by the small number of PhD students at Vrije Universiteit who choose to complete a doctorate programme in their free time with the support of their own financial resources. In most cases, they are employed elsewhere during the period of their PhD trajectory.

Doctorate Regulations and admission procedure apply to all candidates regardless of their type of appointment.