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PhD Programme

Admission and Application


PhD candidates are admitted to the AISSR through the following ways:

  1. Through an open recruitment procedure, applying for a PhD vacancy within a research project that is externally funded (by e.g. the NWO, the EU, NICIS). Vacancies are announced on the AISSR and UvA websites.
  2. Through own funding. PhD candidates can submit their own research proposal, which means candidates must bring their own funding ascertained through private resources, grants (e.g. the Ford Foundation, a scholarship from a national or local government, Nuffic) or by being under contract with other UvA units, institutes or companies (these students are referred to as buitenpromovendi or 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

  • Minimum educational requirement for all PhD Candidates: A legal minimum educational requirement needs to be satisfied. In order to enter a doctoral programme (PhD) at the UvA, national candidates need a minimum of a Masters degree and international candidates must prove that their foreign academic degree is equivalent to this Dutch final university examination. Technically, international candidates must request to be exempted from the legal Dutch educational requirements.
  • English test requirement for all non-native speakers: All non-native speakers of English 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 undertake written work in English. Applicants with a nationality other than American, Australian, British, Canadian, Irish or New Zealand - as proven by the identity papers submitted - are required to submit an English test score meeting the entry requirements:
    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
  • Additional admission procedures in externally funded research projects: Additional admission procedures are spelled out in the vacancy descriptions in case of PhD candidates who apply on PhD positions in externally funded projects.

External PhD

Self-funded candidates have to submit (through the application form below) a short description of a) the topic they would like to explore, b) the programme group they would like to join, c) the supervisor they have in mind, c) the kind of funding they obtained and d) a timeplan. The concerning programme group will evaluate such proposals. If the programme group director approves the application, the candidate will be admitted conditionally as self-funded student. The admission will become unconditional after submitting a valid language test score, a valid copy of diplomas, original transcripts and proof of funding.

You can send the form to the AISSR secretariat, 

AISSR application form external PhD

Fees for participation in the PhD programme or single core courses

PhD candidates who are not employed by the AISSR pay a fee of €4.545 up to €15.000  annually (depending on your specific situation). This covers the selection procedure, core courses, seminars, dissertation clubs, Methodology seminar, individual consultation and supervision, annual evaluation of progress, admission procedure concerning public defense of dissertation, study, PC, printing and telephone facilities.

PhD Guide

The guide provides essential information on doing a PhD at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR). It includes guidelines and policies relating to formal admission to the PhD programme and deadlines and evaluation procedures for the overall programme and courses in the training programme. The guide can be found here