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Application and Admission

Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research / AISSR

Prospective PhD candidates are admitted to the AISSR either through an application procedure or through private funding.

  • Application procedure - PhD positions within a research project that is externally funded will be advertised on the UvA vacancy portal
  • Private funding - PhD candidates are welcome to submit their own research proposal. In this case, candidates should cover the fees with private resources, grants or by being under contract with other UvA units, institutes or companies. These PhD candidates are referred to as External PhDs.

If a PhD project is financed by the University of Amsterdam or by a grant given to the University of Amsterdam by a third party, the PhD degree is conferred at the University of Amsterdam.

  • Admission criteria

    The minimum requirements below apply to all PhD candidates. Any additional admission requirements for externally funded research projects will be specified in the vacancy.

    The minimum educational requirement for all PhD candidates  

    Dutch nationals need to hold a Master’s degree. International candidates must prove that their foreign academic degree is equivalent to the Dutch final university examination.

    An English language proficiency test

    Non-native speakers of the English language are required to demonstrate sufficient proficiency in English. All candidates must be able to read textbooks, understand lectures, take part in programme group discussions and produce articles in English.


    • Paper-based test: minimum total score 600; minimum score on each component 57 (components are: listening, structure/writing, and reading)
    • Internet-based test: minimum total score 100; minimum score on each component 22 (components are: listening, structure/writing, reading, and speaking)


    • A minimum of 7.0 for the test, with a minimum of 6.5 for each test component.
    • Cambridge International Examinations
    • CAE and CPE: minimum score of C
  • External PhDs

    Prior to admission privately funded candidates are required to submit a brief description of their proposed project comprising the following details:

    1. The topic they would like to explore
    2. The programme group they would like to join
    3. The supervisor they have in mind
    4. The kind of funding they have obtained, and
    5. A timeplan

    The programme group the proposal pertains to will subsequently evaluate the proposals. Should the programme group director approve the application, the candidate will be admitted conditionally as self-funded student. The admission will become unconditional upon submission of a valid language test score, valid copy of diplomas, original transcripts and proof of funding.

    Fees for External PhD candidates

    PhD candidates who are not employed by the AISSR but receive a scholarship pay a fee of €4.545 up to €15.000 annually (depending on the specific situation). This fee covers a variety of costs such as the selection procedure, supervision, PhD training (core courses, seminars) and a small research budget. Self-funded PhD’s can ask for a tuition fee waiver.