PhD Programme / ILLC


PhD contracts

Status, salary and duration of appointment

The ILLC PhD programme is, in principle, a four-year programme, also for bursary or self-funded PhD candidates. The actual duration, however, depends on the source of funding and the financial possibilities at ILLC, and can vary from three to four years.

In the Netherlands, PhD candidates (promovendi) are not considered students, but academic researchers. They therefore pay no tuition fees. If hired on a PhD position, the gross monthly salary will be in accordance with the University regulations for academic personnel.

As can be seen in the table below, there are five different sources of funding. The employment conditions may also differ slightly, depending on the Faculty in which the PhD candidate is appointed.

No matter what the funding, all PhD candidates have a probation period, after which their supervisors will hold an assessment. Based on their work and progress during this probation period, a decision is made whether or not to extend their contract to the full period funded (see Procedures for details).

Types of contracts

The table below specifies some important details associated with the different types of contracts possible at the ILLC, depending e.g. on the funding or the faculty in which you are employed. H: stands for the Faculty of Humanities, S: for the Faculty of Science. The term fte (full-time equivalent) is used to express the scope of a full-time appointment, expressed in hours. At the University of Amsterdam, 1 fte (full time) amounts to 38 hours a week, 0.5 fte is equivalent to 19 hours a week, etc.

Funding by fte; duration; probation period Teaching
UvA H: 0.8; 4 years; 16 months H: No, but see under Teaching
H: 1; 3 years and 3 months; 12 months H: No, but see under Teaching
S: 1; 4 years; 18 months S: 20%
NWO (Dutch Science Foundation) 1; 4 years; H:16 months / S:18 months H: No, but see under Teaching
S: 20%
EU 1; 3 or 4 years; H:16 months / S:18 months advised; depends on project regulations
Grants 1; 3 or 4 years; 12 months advised; depends on grant regulations
Self-funded depends; depends; 12 months advised and possible

Contract extensions

It might happen that you are unable to graduate within the duration of your PhD appointment. Extension of your position is not automatic in such cases, which are viewed as being exceptional and therefore requiring a tailor-made decision.

You will generally be given an extension in case of a long illness, maternity leave, and if you have spent significantly more time on teaching than required by your contract.

In case of illness or maternity leave you will get an extension equivalent to the period and percentage of your absence as registered by the UvA.

If you have spent more time teaching, you may get an extension equivalent to the extra time you spent on teaching. Please note that, for contracts at the Faculaty of Science, 20% is the average teaching load over the full extent of your appointment. Therefore, if you do not teach at all in one year, you will teach more in others. The PhD Council monitors that this teaching load will, in general, not be exceeded.

In both cases the decision to grant you an extension also depends on the prospect of you finishing within the duration of the extension. In all other cases no extension of four-year contracts will be supported by ILLC funds.

Defending before end of contract

Sporadically, PhD candidates may graduate before the end of their contract. If you plan to defend your PhD thesis before the end of your appointment as PhD candidate, please contact the ILLC Manager, Jenny Batson, at