Stephanie Kernwein Thrane

PhD Recruitment Coordinator


Doing a PhD at VU Amsterdam

At VU Amsterdam we have two types of PhD candidates: internal and external. Internal PhD candidates are paid employees of the university and enter into an employment contract with VU Amsterdam. External PhD candidates do their PhD at VU Amsterdam with foreign funding or a scholarship, or are self-funded professionals or candidates.

Application and admission

Internal PhD candidates are paid employees of VU Amsterdam and they can apply through our dedicated site for vacancies: PhD vacancies.

External PhD candidates can apply for a PhD trajectory which is funded through external means. Application as an external PhD candidate is usually done by:

  • Contacting a member of the VU Amsterdam faculty, Graduate School or Research Institute directly to indicate your interest in working with them.
  • Using the PhD application form where a member of the PhD recruitment team will facilitate the contact to your preferred supervisor on your behalf: Apply for a PhD.

Within the Research Portal it is possible to search for a suitable supervisor for a PhD trajectory.

In order to apply for a PhD programme at VU Amsterdam you will need the following documents:

  • Master's degree certificate or equivalent qualification
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Preliminary research proposal (up to 800 words to indicate fields of interest)
  • Copy of ID
  • Language requirements/Scores from TOEFL and GRE tests (if applicable)

For more detailed information about doing a PhD at VU Amsterdam please visit our dedicated PhD page where you can find sections on how to apply, immigration, housing and the requirements of a PhD trajectory.

We also encourage you to take a look at our PhD brochure for further insight into the life of a PhD candidate at VU Amsterdam.


About VU Amsterdam

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU Amsterdam) is an internationally renowned research university hosting more than 30,000 students in the international, multicultural and vibrant city of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The high quality of research and education at VU Amsterdam can be demonstrated by its excellent performance in international rankings.

At VU Amsterdam we provide three or four year research intensive PhD programmes, or part time PhD programmes with a duration above four years, organized in graduate schools of nine VU Amsterdam faculties. We expect our doctoral graduates to become internationally engaged scientists with transferable skills and opportunities to plan a career in or outside academia.

We offer customized training and supervision with a strong emphasis on the development of research as well as professional skills such as the ability to work in teams and collaborate. In short, we wish to develop engaged and responsible academics and future professionals who constantly explore and push back the boundaries of existing knowledge. Our doctorates are internationally-oriented, multi and interdisciplinary, curiosity and results driven, creating an impact in science, society and economy.

Earning a doctorate from VU Amsterdam often leads to a career as a scholar and researcher in universities, and non-universities (universities of applied sciences); non-profits and think tanks; consultancies and corporations.

Visit the Visual tour of VU Amsterdam

An interactive tour of various buildings