Netherlands PhD Fellowship Program for Developing Countries

Netherlands Government
PhD Degree

Deadline: 7 Oct 2014 (annual)
Study in:  Netherlands
Research study starts 2014

Brief description:

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. The NFP is funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the development cooperation budget.  There are fellowships available for PhD research with a maximum duration of four years. You can follow PhD studies at one of 21 Dutch universities and institutes.

Host Institution(s):

PhD degrees can be pursued at 21 Dutch universities and institutes for international education. For 2014/2015, see the list of Dutch institutions eligible for PhD studies.

Field(s) of study:

Inquire with the Dutch Institution of your choosing for more information on available PhD research projects offered by their institution.

Target group:

The NFP target group consists of professionals who are nationals of and work and live in an NFP country. The chances of obtaining an NFP fellowship increase if you live and work in Sub-Saharan Africa and/or if you are a woman.

Scholarship value/inclusions:

The fellowship compensates for three main categories of costs: a) study-related fees b) travel and c) subsistence. Costs in the categories a) and b) are entirely covered by the fellowship, whereas the amount provided in category c) is a contribution towards the actual costs. If applicable, the fellowship holder is expected to cover the difference between the actual costs and the NFP subsistence allowance.


A candidate applying for an NFP fellowship for a PhD degree programme must:

•  be a mid-career professional with at least three years’ relevant work experience;
•  be a national of, and working and living in one of the developing countries on the NFP country list valid at the time of application;
•   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;
•    be unconditionally admitted to a Dutch institution as a PhD student. This means that the candidate must have met all the academic requirements set by the Dutch university or institution;
•    not already have received an NFP PhD fellowship;
•    not be employed by:   a multinational corporation (for instance Shell, Unilever etc.); a large national and/-or commercial organisation; a bilateral donor organisation (for instance USAID, DFID, Danida, Sida, FinAid, AusAid, ADC, SwissAid etc.);  a multilateral donor organisation, (for instance a UN organisation, the World Bank, the IMF, Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank, IADB, etc.); or –  an international NGO (for instance Oxfam, Plan, Care, etc.)
•   have completed and submitted an NFP PhD fellowship application with all the required documentation before the NFP fellowship application deadline;
•  be employed in an area to which the study will make a relevant contribution;
•   have a clear-cut, functional relationship with a relevant organisation and be in a position to introduce the newly acquired skills and knowledge into that organisation;
•     be available full-time to pursue the PhD without interruption, and be physically and mentally able to take part in the entire programme;
•  endorse the objective and the aim of the NFP. The aim of the NFP cannot be reached if the fellowship holder does not return to his or her own country.

•  not have accepted an NFP PhD fellowship in the past;
• pursue the PhD study following a ‘sandwich’ or ‘picnic’ model, which means that at least a quarter of the PhD study must take place in the candidate’s home country and/or region. A quarter of the PhD study is calculated from the start date of the PhD-study (research) until the end of the NFP-PhD fellowship.

Application instructions:

Candidates must first apply for admission directly to the Dutch institution of their choice. Admission requests must always be directed to the Dutch institution. The academic admission process for a PhD study is an individual track. Ask the Dutch institution what the requirements and deadlines are.

If you have obtained academic admission and prepared all the necessary documentation you can submit your NFP fellowship application using Scholarships Online (SOL) starting 1 August 2014.  There is one fellowship application deadline per year for PhD. For 2014/2015, the deadline is 7 October 2014.

It is important to read the NFP  Rules and Regulations 2014-2015 and visit the official website (link found below) for detailed information on how to apply for this scholarship.


Official Scholarship Website:

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