Netherlands Fellowship Program (Doctoral) for Developing Countries

Netherlands PhD Fellowship Program (Doctoral)

Course(s) Offered: Projects offered by the institution
Course Level: Graduate (PhD, fellowships)
Provider: Netherlands Government
Country Study in: Netherlands

Scholarship Description
UPDATED: Netherlands Fellowship Programme Scholarships (Short courses, Masters, PhD).
The Netherlands Fellowship Programmes (NFP) are demand-driven fellowship programmes designed to promote capacity building within organizations in 62 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.

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. Nuffic would like to urge fellowship holders to return to their 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.
Eligible Group
Students from 62 developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe.

Half of the available fellowships should be awarded to female candidates and the other half should be spent on candidates from sub-Saharan Africa. Apart from this, priority is given to candidates from priority groups and/or from marginalized regions to be defined by the embassies.

Participating Institution(s)
PhD degrees can be pursued at any one of 21 Dutch universities and institutes for international education. A list of these universities and institutes, together with their addresses and websites can be found at Dutch institutions eligible for PhD studies(71.1 kB) for 2013-2014.

Field(s) of study
Inquire from the Dutch Institution of your choosing for more information on available PhD research projects offered by their institution.

Number of awards
Not specified by provider

Sponsorship duration
The maximum duration of a PhD fellowship is four years. The PhD must be pursued according to a ‘sandwich’ or ‘picnic’ model, which means that at least a quarter of the PhD research will take place in the candidate’s home country.

Scholarship benefits
The maximum NFP budget available for a PhD study programme (for 2012/2013) is €85,000. This amount is intended as a contribution towards the costs of living and to cover visa, travel and insurance costs, as specified in the NFP Rules & Regulations. All other costs are the responsibility of the fellowship holder. PhD students are allowed to seek alternative funding sources.

Method of Application
Candidates first apply for admission directly to the Dutch institution of their choice. Admission requests must always be directed to the Dutch institution. Senior academic staff or a specific PhD committee decides if a candidate will be accepted. Usually, the admission decision is based on the research proposal submitted by the candidate.

A candidate applying for an NFP fellowship must have been unconditionally admitted to a Dutch institution for the course or programme for which the candidate applies for an NFP fellowship. This means that the candidate must have met all the academic and administrative requirements set by the Dutch institution. After this, they may then prepare their application for an NFP fellowship.

For 2013/2014, the fellowship application deadlines for PhD research projects is 5 February 2013 (15.00 hrs CET) or 1 October 2013 (15.00 hrs CET) depending on the Dutch institution.

Candidates are strongly advised to apply as early as possible for admission to the Dutch institution because these institutions need enough time to process all the applications for admission in time. The academic admission process for a PhD study is an individual track. Candidates who wish to be admitted as PhD students have to check with the Dutch institution if an academic admission deadline applies.

If you apply for a PhD fellowship, a letter of a co-supervisor in your own country, if applicable, is required.
If you have obtained academic admission and prepared all the necessary documentation you can submit your NFP fellowship application using Scholarships Online (SOL), Nuffic’s online application tool.

For more information, please contact the Netherlands Embassy or Consulate in your home country.

Application Deadline: 5 February / 1 October 2013
Open to International students: Yes

More Scholarship Information and Application

Related: Top Scholarships in Netherlands for International Students


  1. How do i get university admission application form? I also what to catch up with application dateline thank alot for you cooperation. I remain Anguyo Elias from Uganda

  2. @Angujo, all necessary forms are available on the official site of the scholarship provider. click on 'More Scholarship Information and Application' (or 'how to apply page') links above. Both links take you to the scholarship provider's official site where you may apply via 2 ways: 1) using the 'Scholarships Online (SOL), Nuffic’s online application tool; or 2) the 'download a paper application form' from the downloads page, if you have limited or no access to the internet.

    Bottom-line is that you need to visit the scholarship provider's official website where you'll be offered these 2 means (i.e. online and paper form) of applying for the university admission. Hope this helped.