PhD Programme / ILLC



Quick links

  • Looking for open PhD positions? If any are currently available, you can find them here.
  • If you have secured your own funding, you can apply for admission to the ILLC PhD programme with the online application form.


In order to be a PhD candidate in the Netherlands, you need a degree equivalent to a Dutch Master's degree. The ILLC only hires PhD candidates with research experience. Typically, this has been acquired by writing an MA or MSc research thesis.

How to become a PhD candidate

There are two ways of becoming PhD candidate at the ILLC:

  1. By being selected for a funded position advertised by the ILLC. You are then hired as a PhD employee (employed promovendus) by the ILLC.
  2. If you have another source of funding (a grant, or self-funded), you can apply directly to the ILLC PhD programme.

Please do not send unsollicited job applications to the ILLC directly. Instead, follow the instructions in the job advertisement or on the application form closely.

Funded positions

In order to be hired as an employee, you will need to apply for one of our vacancies. Current open positions can be found here. Typically, there will be around five to ten advertisements for PhD positions per year. There is no particular time of the year during which you should look out for these; they may be advertised at any time throughout the year.

The ILLC advertises two types of funded positions:

  1. Positions funded externally by the NWO, the EU or other organisations. These positions come with a precise project description specifying the PhD thesis topic and the supervisor. Only apply if you are fascinated by the project described!
  2. Positions funded by direct UvA funding. These positions may specify the area of research but leave the precise project description open. Here, you are expected to set up a research project yourself, together with a mentor/supervisor.

For every open position, the institute will put together a selection committee. This committee consists of at least three qualified researchers, of which at least one is full professor and at least one is female.

Applying directly to the PhD programme

You can also apply directly to the ILLC PhD programme, if you have secured funding via an international programme or scholarship from a foreign ountry, or if you have your own private funding. In that case, you may send an application requesting admission. The admission procedure is as follows.

  1. Fill in the online application form.
  2. If your application is positively evaluated, you will be invited for a Skype interview with an ILLC staff member and/or the director of the institute.
  3. You will receive a definitive decision regarding admission within six weeks of your application, except during the summer months when this may take longer.
  4. For the first six months, you will be assigned an academic mentor who helps you with your scientific orientation until an official supervisor is assigned, which will happen within six months.
    Finding a supervisor is a very important step, because without supervisors you cannot continue your PhD track at the ILLC.
  5. In accordance with the procedure followed for all PhD candidates, a report must be drawn up and submitted at nine months, after which an assesment interview will be held at 12 months. During the assessment interview, a decision will be taken as to whether or not your position will be extended to the full four years. More details can be found here.

Non-EU applicants

Work permit for non-EU candidates

If you are not from an EU country, becoming a PhD candidate at the ILLC - with or without employment - involves the application for a work permit by the University of Amsterdam. This is generally no problem if you are going to be employed. In order to be eligible for a work permit as a non-employed PhD candidate, you will need to prove that you have a certain minimum amount of money available. Currently (2014), the minimum monthly amount for a single person is around € 1,150 (gross), if you come with your partner € 1,625 (gross). You can prove this either by having an appropriate grant from your home country or by providing proof of personal savings. Because legislation in this matter changes rapidly, it is not possible to give more specific information. This matter can either be discussed during your application to the ILLC PhD programme or after your admission. For general information on immigration procedures and work permits for academic visitors, please see the relevant UvA pages.