Drs. Joyce Fongers

Senior Policy Advisor for Latin America University of Groningen & Head International Graduate School of Medical Sciences (UMCG)


About Joyce Fongers

Joyce Fongers is a senior policy advisor at the Department of International Strategy & Relations at the University of Groningen & University Medical Center Groningen. If you are a prospective PhD student, Joyce may assist you in finding your way to prospective supervisors and in navigating all (administrative) requirements for a successful PhD application. Contact her.

About the University of Groningen

The University of Groningen (UG, www.rug.nl, founded 1614) is one of the largest comprehensive research universities in the Netherlands with about 35 thousand bachelor & master students and more than two thousand PhD candidates. In recent years, UG has consistently ranked among the Top-100 of the world’s best universities (ARWU Shanghai & THE World University). UG has a broad offer of teaching and research programs at eleven faculties, ranging from Health Sciences, Life Sciences, and Science & Technology to the Social Sciences & Humanities.

In 2019, UG opened its first representative office abroad, at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). The UG Office at UNAM, via its representative Luis Andrés González Gutiérrez, supports UG in developing its strategic relationships with UNAM, Mexico in general, and Latin American institutions in a wider sense.

PhD Program

In 2020, a total of 591 students successfully defended their PhD thesis at UG. Since 2019, Groningen ranks first among all Dutch universities for number of annual PhD thesis defenses! Approximately 50% of the PhD population is international and the large majority of PhD theses is written and defended in English. In those cases, no knowledge of Dutch is required.


In the Netherlands, only research universities may award PhD degrees and they do so based on their institutional accreditation as per Dutch law. This means that there are no separately accredited PhD programs as there are in most other countries. Instead, your admission to a UG doctoral program is based on two main criteria:

  1. the availability of research expertise in the field of your interest, and the pre-acceptance by a supervisor affiliated to UG;
  2. the availability of funding for the duration of your PhD program (about 4 years for a full PhD program).

Find a supervisor

In order to locate a researcher with expertise in your field, you may:

  1. review the UG website (all fields) or the biomedical/health sciences website;
  2. send an e-mail to Joyce Fongers or Luis Andrés González Gutiérrez with an English-language CV and a summary of your research project/interests.

Funding: Groningen tops up your scholarship!

UG is unique in The Netherlands because it provides admitted PhD students with a top-up of their scholarships (conditions apply): externally funded doctoral students currently receive a combined total of more that €1.850 per month. In practice, this means that many PhD students who have been admitted to UG and have acquired an external grant for full PhD studies abroad will receive about €650 extra per month from UG!

More information

For more information, please contact:

More information on the UG Representative Office at UNAM: www.rug.nl/unam.