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NFP Fellowships for PhD studies PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Damaris Foping   
Thursday, 15 December 2011 08:58

Africa_1Deadline: October 2

Funding Source: Dutch government

Country of Study: Netherlands

Degree Targeted: PhD





This scholarship is recurrent; please make sure you visit their pointingfingerleftwebsite for updated information. Note that some scholarships are launched annually for a predetermined number of years - so before start preparing your application, make sure you have updated information.


Parce que cette bourse est annuelle ; il est hautement recommandé de visiter leur site pour les dernières infos.

Type of Scholarship
Fully funded








PhD studies can be followed at 21 Dutch universities and institutes for international education. A list of these universities and institutes, together with their addresses and websites.
– The PhD must be pursued according to a ‘sandwich’ or ‘picnic’ model, which means that at least a quarter of the PhD research will take place in the candidate’s home country;
– The maximum duration of a PhD fellowship is four years;
– The maximum NFP budget available for a PhD study is € 85,000.

This amount is intended as a contribution towards the cost of living and to cover the costs of visas, travel, insurance, tuition fee, thesis costs and so on, as specified in the NFP Rules and regulations for fellowship holders, which can be downloaded at

PhD students are allowed to seek alternative sources of funding.  

Nuffic selects the candidates who will receive PhD fellowships based on the relevance of the proposed research for the candidate’s employing organisation and home country.



Eligible African Countries


Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, DR Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.



Field of Study


Any field of research which can be carried out at the 21 universities involved in the program.






Nuffic gives priority to applications which:
– propose that the PhD study be co-supervised by an institution in a developing country;
– have a proven link with other activities that are financed by the NFP or other Dutch government-funded activities;
– are submitted by female candidates;
– are submitted by candidates from Sub-Saharan Africa;   

A candidate applying for an NFP fellowship for a PhD degree programme must:

  1. be a mid-career professional with at least three years’ relevant work experience;
  2. be a national of, and working and living in one of the developing countries on the NFP country list valid at the time of application
  3. be nominated by his or her employer, who pledges to continue paying the candidate’s salary and guarantees the candidate will be able to return to an equivalent position after the termination of the fellowship period
  4. be unconditionally admitted to a Dutch institution as a PhD student. This means that the candidate must have met all the academic requirements set by the Dutch university or institution
  5. not already have received an NFP PhD fellowship;
  6. not be employed by:
    • a multinational corporation (for instance Shell, Unilever etc.) or
    • a large national and/-or commercial organisation or
    • a bilateral donor organisation (for instance USAID, DFID, Danida, Sida, FinAid, AusAid, ADC, SwissAid etc.) or
    • a multilateral donor organisation, (for instance a UNorganisation, the World Bank, the IMF, Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank, IADB, etc.) or
    • an international NGO (for instance Oxfam, Plan, Care, etc.)

       7.  have completed and submitted an NFP PhD fellowship application with all the required documentation before the NFP fellowship application deadline

       8.  be employed in an area to which the study will make a relevant contribution;

       9.  have a clear-cut, functional relationship with a relevant organisation and be in a position to introduce the newly acquired skills and knowledge into that organisation;

     10. be available full-time to pursue the PhD without interruption, and be physically and mentally able to take part in the entire programme;  

      11.  endorse the objective and the aim of the NFP.

The aim of the NFP cannot be reached if the fellowship holder does not return to his or her own country. Nuffic would like to urge fellowship holders to return to their home country upon finishing the course or programme to meet the NFP aim in the most effective way.



Application Procedure


Fellowship application procedure
As stated above, to be eligible for an NFP fellowship, candidates need to be admitted as a PhD student by one of the Dutch.

Obtaining admission as a PhD student
Candidates first apply for admission directly to the Dutch institution of their choice. Admission requests must always be directed to the Dutch institution. Senior academic staff or a specific PhD committee decides if an candidate will be accepted. Usually, the admission decision is based on the research proposal submitted by the candidate.
The Dutch institution assesses the application and decides whether or not to admit the candidate as a PhD student. Candidates will receive a letter informing them if they have been admitted.

Nuffic has no part in the academic admission process.

A candidate applying for an NFP fellowship must have been unconditionally admitted to a Dutch institution for the course or programme for which the candidate applies for an NFP fellowship. This means that the candidate must have met all the academic and administrative requirements set by the Dutch institution.  

Candidates are strongly advised to apply as early as possible for admission to the Dutch institution because these institutions need enough time to process all the applications for admission in time.


Academic admission deadline
The academic admission process for a PhD study is an individual track. Candidates who wish to be admitted as a PhD student have to check with the Dutch institution if an academic admission deadline applies.


Applying for an NFP fellowship
A candidate can apply for a PhD fellowship only after a research proposal has been agreed between the candidate and the Dutch institution. Candidates can only apply for a fellowship for one PhD study per fellowship application deadline. Being admitted to more than one PhD study with the same fellowship application deadline means that candidates can only apply for a fellowship for one of the PhD studies.

Applications have to be submitted through Scholarships Online (SOL). Through SOL candidates can apply for fellowships online and they can check the status of an application. Other parties such as the Dutch institutions, the embassies and consulates will use SOL to assess NFP fellowship applications.   SOL can be accessed through .

This page contains more instructions about applying online.  


What does an NFP PhD fellowship application consist of?
– a completed online NFP fellowship application submitted via SOL
– an employer’s statement nominating the candidate for an NFP fellowship;
– a copy of a valid official identity document;
– a Statement of Government Authority
– a motivation on why you wish to pursue this PhD study;
– a motivation on the relevance for your organisation (how will your organisation benefit from the research you wish to conduct?);
– a motivation on the relevance for your country (how will your country benefit from the research you wish to conduct?);
– a plan of action (how will you put your new skills and knowledge to work when you return to your employing organisation?).

For more information and formats of the requested documents visit .




Last Updated on Friday, 06 September 2013 05:20

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