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Information for prospective PhD students

The Graduate School of the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences often receives requests from foreign students who are interested in following a PhD programme. On this page, we have summarized the answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Can I join the RUG PhD Scholarship programme at the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences?

In September 2016, the University of Groningen has started with the PhD Scholarship Programme. Within the faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences the positions from the scholarship programme are reserved for students from the Research Master Behavioural and Social Sciences. See our Research Master website. However, international students from other educational programmes who have been awarded a competitive scholarship in their country of origin may be eligible for a financial supplement to their scholarship, within the context of the PhD scholarship programme.

Does the Graduate School have a PhD student programme in which I can enroll?

No, in contrast to Graduate Schools in, for example, the USA, we do not have such a system. At the University of Groningen, PhD students are either considered employees or bursary students. As employees, PhD students earn a monthly salary and do not pay any tuition fee. In order to become an employed PhD student, people apply to PhD positions that are advertised. Bursary students have a research grant or stipend/scholarship to pay for their studies. In the case of an own research grant, students contact the staff member with whom they would like to collaborate directly to discuss the possibilities for a PhD position.

Where do I find the job advertisements for PhD positions at the University of Groningen?

Throughout the year, the vacancies are published on the university website and on Academic Transfer.

Can the Graduate School get me in touch with a possible PhD project supervisor?

No. If you want to get in touch with one of our staff members, please contact them directly by email. You can find more information about their research interests on their personal homepages.

Where can I find more information about PhD studies in the Netherlands?

Please visit the Nuffic website.

Where can I find more information about scholarships?

Please visit our website on scholarships.

What language requirements are there for foreign PhD students?

Only students who are proficient in the English language will be accepted for PhD positions. This usually means a minimum score of 7.0 on IELTS, or 600 on paper-based TOEFL (or 250 computer-based TOEFL, or 100 internet-based TOEFL).

What alternatives to the PhD programme are there?

If you have a BSc. degree in a relevant field and want to prepare for a career in research, you can apply for our Research Master programme in Behavioural and Social Sciences. The contact person for the Research Master is Mrs. Evers ( For more information please see the Research Master programme's website.

If you have a question that has not been answered here, please contact us at

Last modified:28 February 2018 2.32 p.m.