Friday, October 30, 2009

Netherlands: NUFFIC Fellowships in PhD Positions for Developing Countries


The Netherlands Fellowship Programmes (NFP) are demand-driven fellowship programmes designed to promote capacity building within organizations in 61 developing countries by providing training and education to their mid-career staff members. Half of the available fellowships should be awarded to female candidates and the other half should be spent on candidates from sub-Saharan Africa. Apart from this, priority is given to candidates from priority groups and/or from marginalized regions to be defined by the embassies.

The NFP is funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the development cooperation budget.

Eligibility requirements

A candidate applying for an NFP fellowship for a PhD degree programme must:
■ be a national of and working in one of the developing countries on the NFP country list valid at the time of application (See general information Netherlands Fellowship Programmes);
■ be a mid-career professional with at least three years' work experience;
■ have been unconditionally admitted to a Dutch institution as a PhD student. This means that the applicant must have met all the academic requirements set by the Dutch university or institute;
■ have completed an NFP PhD Study application form and have submitted all the required documentation to the Netherlands embassy or consulate;

■ not have received an NFP fellowship or any other fellowship in the three years prior to the start of the proposed PhD;
■ offer proof that the PhD will be pursued according to a ‘sandwich’ or ‘picnic’ model, which means that a large portion of the PhD research will take place in the candidate’s home country;

■ be nominated by his or her employer, who pledges to continue paying the candidate’s salary and guarantees the candidate will be able to return to an equivalent position after the termination of the fellowship period. Partial payment of salary can sometimes be allowed as an exception to the rule. It is up to the Dutch embassy to decide if an agreement between the employer and the candidate about partial continuation of payment of salary is acceptable. It should be realized, however, that the NFP allowances are not sufficient to support family members, either in the home country or in the Netherlands;

■ not be employed by a large industrial, commercial, international or multinational organization, which can be assumed to have sufficient resources of their own to finance staff training;
■ offer evidence that he or she is sufficiently skilled in speaking and writing in the language of communication during the PhD, which may be English, French or Spanish. If this is English, candidates who have received their tertiary education in any language other than English must provide evidence in the form of a score in an internationally recognized test, such as IELTS (a score of at least 6.0) or TOEFL (a score of at least 550 points on the paper based test or 213 points on the computer-based test or 79 on the internet-based test). An exception to this rule is made for candidates who have received their tertiary education in English, and for candidates who have previously attended a course or programme at a Dutch educational institution in this language, but no longer than two years ago;

■ be available full–time to pursue the PhD without interruption, and be physically and mentally able to take part in the entire programme;
■ declare that they will return to their home country immediately after the period of study and research in the Netherlands has ended;
■ comply with country-specific rules set by RNE (for more information please contact the Netherlands Embassy or consulate in your home country).

Application procedure

The application and selection procedure consists of the following eight steps (divided in two phases).

Application for admission at a Dutch institution

1) Candidates must first apply for academic admission to one of the eligible Dutch institutions. Admission as a PhD student is granted on an individual basis. Senior academic staff or a specific PhD committee decides whether or not an applicant will be accepted. Usually the assessment is based on the research proposal submitted by the applicant.

Download the list of institutions eligible to supervise PhD research (35 kB)

A candidate can apply for a PhD fellowship only after a research proposal has been agreed between the candidate and the Dutch institution.

Application for a fellowship

2) After receiving their letter of admission, candidates can apply for an NFP fellowship by presenting a completed NFP PhD Study application form to the Netherlands embassy or consulate in the candidate’s own country, accompanied by the necessary documentation.

Download the application form 2010 (64 kB)

The form can also be obtained from the Netherlands embassy or consulate.

Candidates should NOT send their fellowship application forms directly to Nuffic or to the Dutch institution, but should forward them to the Netherlands embassy or consulate in their own country.

3) The embassy or consulate assesses the application against the criteria for eligibility listed above. Special attention is given to:

■ whether the application stems from a multi-year agreement concluded with selected organizations;
■ the relevance of the proposed research for the candidate’s organization and country;
■ proof that the candidate’s employer and the Dutch institution support the application.
4) The embassy or consulate forwards an application that meets all of the criteria for eligibility to Nuffic, together with its own recommendations.

5) Nuffic selects the candidates who will receive PhD fellowships based on the relevance of the proposed research for the candidate’s employing organization and home country. Nuffic gives priority to applications which:

■ propose that the research project be co–supervised by an institution in a developing country;
■ have a proven link with other activities that are financed by the NFP or other Dutch government-funded activities;
■ are submitted by female candidates;
■ are submitted by candidates from sub-Saharan Africa;
■ stem from multi-year agreements concluded with selected organizations;
■ are submitted by candidates from priority groups and/or from marginalized regions to be defined by the embassies.

6) Nuffic informs the candidates that are not eligible or not selected, as well as the Dutch embassy and the Dutch institution of its decision. The Dutch institution informs all selected candidates about the outcome through the Dutch embassy in their home country.

7) Nuffic awards the grant to cover the fellowship to the Dutch institution..

8) The Dutch institutions administer the fellowships. They pay each fellowship holder a monthly allowance for the duration of the PhD or a maximum of four years; they also administer the fellowships, make logistical arrangements, and give guidance to the fellowship holders.

Application deadlines

Applications for PhD research projects starting in 2011 must reach the Netherlands embassy in Uganda before 4 March 2010 and in all other NFP countries before 1 June or before 1 October 2010.

Find the application form below:


Visiting address:
Kortenaerkade 11
2518 AX The Hague
The Netherlands

Postal address:
PO Box 29777
2502 LT The Hague
The Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)70 - 426 02 60
Fax: +31 (0)70 - 426 03 99


Please kindly mention when applying for this fellowship

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Scholarship Team: Ph.D Scholar Krisstofferson Joniel Scholarship Adviser, PhD Scholar Chea Vitom Scholarship Adviser and Senior Lecturer, PhD Scholar Rebecca T. Dalisay Scholarship Adviser, Ph.D Student Jiao Wang Scholarship Coordinator, MSc Student Dennise Maricel Scholarship Coordinator