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6 PhD Scholarship positions Spatial Sciences (6.0 FTE) (B052-57218)


The Faculty of Spatial Sciences at the University of Groningen (RUG) consists of 95 members of staff and focuses on high quality teaching and research in the fields of spatial planning, economic and cultural geography and demography. Also, the Faculty of Spatial Sciences belongs to the top of worldwide top schools in Regional Science. The research theme of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences is 'Wellbeing, Innovation and Spatial Transformation'. Our mission is to produce research, which is world-leading, distinctive, and policy-relevant. With two bachelor and eight master programs, the faculty offers a wide range of courses within the field to about 900 students.

Scholarship opportunities

We offer up to 6 fully-funded PhD at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences, starting on 1 September 2018.

The award of a PhD scholarship will be based on the quality of your PhD research proposal and your qualities as a researcher. The proposed PhD research topic must both fit within, and explicitly contribute to, the Faculty Research Programme tWIST - towards Wellbeing, Innovation and Spatial Transformation. Both the fit and the contribution will be an explicit consideration in the evaluation of the PhD proposal. Whether you have been able to secure the commitment of a tWIST professor to work with you as a supervisor is also part of the evaluation.

The two years of a Research Master are regarded as a preparation for the PhD trajectory, and your Research Master work ideally provides a smooth start into the PhD trajectory so that the PhD thesis can be completed in three years. It is therefore mandatory that you build on previous work in your research proposal. For excellent Master students, it is also preferred that they build on previous work. Especially previously written work that can be included in the thesis or be used as a first draft of a chapter, such as a scientific paper or a master thesis, will be considered as a big plus.

The University of Groningen offers scholarships for excellent students for a period of 3 (or 4) years. Scholarships are available for Research Master students (for 3 years), or excellent other Master students (for 3 or 4 years). We offer coaching and ensure progress and results are assessed to ensure a smooth process to ensure timely completion of your PhD thesis. You will participate in the Faculty’s FSS training program for PhD students as part of your personal training and supervision plan. Part of the training consists of following the Career Perspectives curriculum, which aims to prepare you for your (academic or non-academic) careers after your PhD trajectory.


In order to apply for the fully-funded PhD scholarship we are looking for a candidate with:

  • a Research Master degree in Regional Studies/ Spatial Sciences or Master degree in Economic Geography, Real Estate, Planning, Social, Cultural Geography, Demography, or a related social-science discipline
  • excellent study results
  • good writing skills and fluency in English; preferably experience in academic writing
  • interdisciplinary affinity with social sciences and a keen interest in topics related to the Faculty's research program
  • strong conceptual thinking with the desire and capacity to relate theoretical topics to practical challenges and solutions;
  • strong motivation, good communicative skills, proactive and independent work attitude
  • strong planning skills, good in organizing its own work and related activities
  • a great drive and enthusiasm; being passionate.

We warmly invite you to apply if you are interested and have completed your Master degree before September 1, 2018.


The PhD student will be enrolled in the PhD Scholarship Programme and receive a scholarship of € 2,099 per month (gross) from the University of Groningen for a period three or four years. Information about the terms and conditions of the PhD Scholarship Programme can be found at:


We ask you to:

  • write a PhD proposal; you are allowed to ask for help from potential supervisors, but the proposal must be your own. Please structure your application according to the RUG RSI Research Proposal format. Please click on the link: (extra attachment)
  • initiate contact with a potential supervisor at the faculty
  • if a potential supervisor has indeed been working with you on your proposal, it is important that you make your own original contribution to the proposal very clear.
  • write a motivation letter (no more than 1 page) about why you want to become a PhD researcher (Letter of motivatoin attachment)
  • add your CV (CV attachment)
  • add the results (grades) of your Research Master or Master program (extra attachment 2)

We will follow a formal procedure so that we will be able to select the best candidates for the positions. Among proposals of similar quality, those with a Research Master from the Faculty of Spatial Sciences will be prioritised. A shortlist of candidates will be selected, who will be asked to:

  • present their proposed research topics
  • have an interview with the selection committee. This interview will take place on the 14th and 15th of June, 2018.

You may apply for this position until 31 May 23:59 h / before 1 June 2018 Dutch local time by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


For information you can contact:

Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.