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Education PhD programmes Prospective PhD Candidates How to obtain a PhD position

PhD options

Admission to a PhD programme is highly selective and based on academic merit. The best preparation for this is to complete a Research Master’s programme at one of our faculty-based Graduate Schools. In fact, most of our two-year Master’s programmes are at one of the Graduate Schools, and they prepare you well for getting a PhD position and offer you the opportunity to write a PhD proposal.

Other possibilities are to apply for a PhD position offered from an externally funded project (PhD position within a set research theme) or to come to Groningen with a PhD position funded by other institutions (own funding).

Applying for a PhD scholarship within the PhD Scholarship Programme

With the PhD proposal you write during your Research Master you can apply for a PhD scholarship within the PhD Scholarship Programme of the University of Groningen. If you are selected, you will be able to carry out your PhD project in the research group of your choice for an additional period of three or four years. You can find information about these 2+3 (or 2+4) programmes on the websites of the individual faculty Graduate Schools.

If you are not in a Research Master’s programme at the University of Groningen, you can still apply for a PhD scholarship with your own PhD proposal. For this, you should contact a PhD supervisor of your choice (the faculty Graduate School can help you with this) and, if your are selected, he/she will coach you in writing your proposal. Optionally, you can do this through a transfer programme, in which you follow a short (e.g., three to six-month placement to get to know the relevant research group and the desired main supervisor, and to write your PhD proposal. Admission to the PhD programme will subsequently take place in competition with the above-mentioned Research Master’ students.

Applying for a funded PhD position within a set research theme

The PhD positions that are currently available at the University of Groningen appear at the University website under ‘Job opportunities at the University of Groningen’ and ‘Job opportunities at the UMCG’ (the UMCG is the University Medical Centre Groningen). Please be aware that the positions posted here are within a set research theme or are part of a larger research project. If you wish to apply for a position that is posted on the Job Opportunities website, you will need to follow the procedure described in the advertisement.

If you are interested and have the appropriate qualifications, you can apply for these positions:

Applying for a PhD position in your own field of expertise

If none of the positions available match your proposed PhD project, you can contact the coordinator of the faculty Graduate School of your choice. He or she can inform you of alternative possibilities to accommodate your proposal. You will also find specific information on how to obtain a PhD position in your field of expertise on the website of your chosen Graduate School.


If you apply for an available position and are accepted, the funding will be arranged for you and the details will be included in the job description. In other cases, you will have to arrange the funding yourself. You can find information about grants on websites such as that of Nuffic.

Last modified:16 September 2021 2.23 p.m.