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How to obtain a PhD position

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 Graduate Schools. In fact, most of our two-year Research Master’s programmes are at one of the Graduate Schools, and they prepare you to write a PhD proposal. If your proposal is successful, you will be able to carry out your PhD project in the research group of your choice for an additional period of three years. You can find information about these 2+3-year programmes on the websites of the individual Graduate Schools.

Another possibility is a PhD position with or without funding. The options here are:

Applying for a funded PhD position within a set research theme

The PhD positions that are currently available at the University of Groningen appear on the University website under ‘Job Opportunities at the University of Groningen’ and ‘Job Opportunities at the UMCG’ ( job opportunities website ). 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.

Some Graduate Schools have application rounds for ‘open’ PhD positions: ‘open’ means that you can formulate your own research proposal as long as it corresponds with the discipline and research expertise of the faculty to which the Graduate School belongs. If you are interested and have the appropriate qualifications, you can apply for one of these positions:

Applying for a PhD position in your field of expertise

If none of the positions available match your proposed PhD project, you can contact the coordinator of the 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:06 May 2016 5.56 p.m.