3 Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP) Scholarships for Developing Countries

Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP) Scholarships

Course(s) Offered: All approved field
Course Level: Graduate (short courses, masters, PhD, fellowship)
Provider: Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Country to Study in: Netherlands

Scholarship Description
The Netherlands Fellowship Programmes (NFP) targets international students from several countries of the world to pursue masters or PhD studies, or short courses in Dutch universities and institutions of higher learning.

The programme is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the budget for development cooperation, and promotes capacity building within organizations in 50 countries by providing training and education through fellowships to professionals.

The overall aim of the NFP is to help increase both the number and the competencies of skilled staff at a wide range of governmental and non-governmental organisations. This is done by offering fellowships to mid-career professionals to improve the capacity of their employing organizations.

A new phase of the NFP (NFP II) started on 1 July 2013. This new phase leads to policy changes which have an impact on procedures and criteria. The country list has been reduced from 62 to 50 (this change was already effective starting with the 1 October 2013 fellowship application deadline).

You must meet a number of criteria that support the aim of the NFP to be eligible for a fellowship.

You must:
  • be a professional with at least three years’ relevant work experience;
  • be a national of, and working and living in one of the countries on the NFP country list valid at the time of application;
  • be nominated by your employer, who pledges to continue paying your salary and guarantees that you will be able to return to the same or an equivalent position at the end of your fellowship period;
  • have been unconditionally admitted by a Dutch institution to one of the Master’s degree programmes or Short courses on the course list, or have agreed upon a PhD research proposal with the Dutch institution. This means that you must have met all the academic requirements set by the Dutch institution;
  • not be employed by:
    • a multinational corporation (e.g. Shell, Unilever, Microsoft);
    • a large national and/or a large commercial organisation;
    • a bilateral donor organisation (e.g. USAID, DFID, Danida, Sida, Dutch ministry of Foreign affairs, FinAid, AusAid, ADC, SwissAid);
    • a multilateral donor organisation, (e.g. a UN organisation, the World Bank, the IMF, Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank, IADB);
    • an international NGO (e.g. Oxfam, Plan, Care).
  • have completed and submitted an NFP PhD study, master’s degree programme or short course fellowship application, including all the required documentation, before the applicable fellowship application deadline;
  • be employed in a subject area to which the study will make a relevant contribution;
  • have a clear-cut, work 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 for the entire period of the programme or course and be physically and mentally able to take part in the entire programme;
  • endorse the objective and the aim of the NFP and use your new knowledge and skills to support your employing organisation and your country. Nuffic urges you to return to your home country upon finishing the course or programme to meet the NFP aim in the most effective way.
If you apply for an NFP PhD fellowship, you must:
  • 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.
If you apply for an NFP short courses fellowship, you must:
  • not have accepted more than one NFP short course fellowship in the past;
  • not have accepted an NFP short course fellowship in the year prior to the fellowship application.
If you apply for an NFP master’s degree programme (NFP-MA) fellowship, you must not have accepted an NFP master’s degree programme fellowship in the past.

Scholarship Criteria:
Priority will be given to candidates who:
  • live and work in Sub-Saharan Africa;
  • are a woman;
  • belong to a priority groups and/or are from a marginalised region as defined by the Dutch embassy in your country. You can find these priorities on the embassy’s website.
Eligible Groups
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.

Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Guinea-Bissau, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Burundi, Tanzania, Kenya, Cape Verde, Uganda, Mali, Zambia, DR Congo, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Egypt, Namibia

Other Developing Countries:
Afghanistan, Eritrea, Nicaragua, Albania, Armenia, Georgia, Pakistan, Autonomous Palestinian Territories, Peru, Bangladesh, Guatemala, Philippines, Bhutan, Honduras, Bolivia, India, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Iran, Suriname, Jordan, Cambodia, Thailand, Kosovo, Colombia, Macedonia, Vietnam, Costa Rica, Yemen, Cuba, Moldova, Mongolia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nepal

Participating Institutions
Dutch universities, academic institutions and institutions of higher learning

Field(s) of study
The NFP offers three sub-programmes to choose from (Masters, Short courses, PhD studies). It is very important to see the list of eligible programmes for 2014/2015 with their various deadlines.

Sponsorship duration
For the whole duration of the course

Scholarship benefits
The fellowship is a supplement to the candidate’s salary which s/he should continue to receive during the study period in the Netherlands, and is a contribution towards the expenses related to the course or study programme.

The fellowship compensates for three main categories of costs: a) study-related fees; b) travel expenses; 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.

Method of Application
To apply for an NFP fellowship, you must be admitted to the master’s degree programme, short course or PhD study for which you would like to use the fellowship. Thus before applying for the scholarship, you need to apply for admissions directly at the Dutch institution that offers the degree programme of their choice.

Candidates are strongly advised to seek academic admission as early as possible to allow the institution to process your application in time. Fellowship applications then have to be submitted through Scholarships Online (SOL) by the deadline.

For detailed and complete information on how to apply for this scholarship, you should read the NFP Rules and Regulations(pdf), visit the How-to-Apply page, and also visit the official website (link to it is below).

For 2014-2015, the first deadline for fellowship applications is 4 February 2014 (Masters & Short courses). The next deadlines are 6 May 2014 (Masters & Short courses) and 7 October 2014 (PhD & Short courses). You are only allowed to apply for one NFP fellowship per deadline.

A new phase of the NFP (NFP II) started on 1 July 2013. This new phase leads to policy changes which have an impact on procedures and criteria. The country list has been reduced from 62 to 50 (this change was already effective starting with the 1 October 2013 fellowship application deadline).

Do not wait until last minute to submit your application. When many applicants log into SOL at the same time, chances are the system will become overloaded and you may miss the deadline. Please note that questions received close to the deadline may have a longer response time than the usual three working days.

Each programme or course has a specific academic application deadline set by the institution. These deadlines may change during the year. Before you apply always check the website of the institution to find out which academic application deadline applies for the course or study programme you are interested in.

What has changed in the NFP programme in August 2014?
The main change is that candidates now need to apply for an NFP fellowship directly at the Dutch education institution, instead of applying with Nuffic. Only the Dutch institution will provide information about the programmes, selection criteria, application procedures and deadlines.

Different institutions may have different procedures.

Application Deadline: 7 October 2014
Open to International students: Yes

More Scholarship Information and Application

Related: Top Scholarships in the Netherlands for International Students

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  1. I am looking for scholarship, but couldn't find any application form. Will any one help


    1. Habtamu, visit the official website through the link above

  2. Thomas Mburu RaingoJanuary 26, 2015 7:34 PM


    My name is Thomas Mburu Raingo.
    I am from Nairobi,Kenya.

    I am seeking for a scholarship in Netherlands but I cannot seem to find any.

    Would you kindly assist me by replying to my e-mail address: Raingotm@gmail.com.

    Your reply will be highly considered.

    Thomas Mburu Raingo