Posted on: 5 April, 2019
Application deadline: May 23, 2019

PhD Scholarship Spatial Sciences, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen (RUG), The Netherlands


The Faculty of Spatial Sciences at the University of Groningen (RUG) is looking for 2 PhD Scholarship candidates. The Faculty of Spatial Sciences consists of approximately 100 members of staff, 100 PhD students and around 1000 undergraduate students. We focus on high quality teaching and research in the fields of social and economic geography, demography, and spatial planning. With a single collective research theme of ‘towards Wellbeing, Innovation and Spatial Transformation’ (tWIST), it is our mission to produce research, which is world-leading, distinctive, and policy-relevant. With two Bachelor and eight Master programmes, we provide a wide range of courses within the fields of geography and spatial sciences.

Scholarship opportunities

We offer 2 fully-funded PhD at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences, starting on 1 September 2019.

The award of a PhD scholarship will be based on the quality of your PhD research proposal and your qualities as a researcher. The proposed PhD research topic must both fit within, and explicitly contribute to, the Faculty Research Programme tWIST – towards Wellbeing, Innovation and Spatial Transformation. Both the fit and the contribution will be an explicit consideration in the evaluation of the PhD proposal. Whether you have been able to secure the commitment of a tWIST professor to work with you as a supervisor is also part of the evaluation.

The two years of a Research Master are regarded as a preparation for the PhD trajectory, and your Research Master work ideally provides a smooth start into the PhD trajectory so that the PhD thesis can be completed in three years. It is therefore mandatory that you build on previous work in your research proposal. For excellent Master students, it is also preferred that they build on previous work. Especially previously written work that can be included in the thesis or be used as a first draft of a chapter, such as a scientific paper or a master thesis, will be considered as a big plus.

We offer scholarships for excellent students for a period of 3 (or 4) years. Scholarships are available for Research Master students (for 3 years), or excellent other Master students (for 3 or 4 years). We offer coaching and ensure progress and results are assessed to ensure a smooth process to ensure timely completion of your PhD thesis. You will participate in the Faculty’s FSS training program for PhD students as part of your personal training and supervision plan. Part of the training consists of following the Career Perspectives curriculum, which aims to prepare you for your (academic or non-academic) careers after your PhD trajectory.


In order to apply for the fully-funded PhD scholarship you should have the following qualifications:

  • a (Research) Master degree in Cultural or Economic Geography, Real Estate, Planning, Demography, or a related social-science discipline
  • excellent study results
  • good writing skills and fluency in English; preferably experience in academic writing
  • interdisciplinary affinity with social sciences and a keen interest in topics related to the Faculty’s research program
  • strong conceptual thinking with the desire and capacity to relate theoretical topics to practical challenges and solutions
  • strong motivation, good communicative skills, proactive and independent work attitude
  • strong planning skills, good in organizing its own work and related activities
  • a great drive and enthusiasm; being passionate.

We warmly invite you to apply if you are interested and have completed your Master degree before 1 September 2019.


You enroll in the PhD Scholarship Programme and receive a scholarship of € 2,120 per month (gross) from the University of Groningen. More information about the PhD Scholarship Programme can be found online:…)holarship-programme/


You may apply for this opportunity until 23 May 11.59pm / before 24 May 2019 Dutch local time (CET) by using the application form.

What do you have to do and what are the evaluation criteria? We ask you to:

  • write a motivation letter (no more than 1 page) about why you want to become a PhD researcher (Letter of Motivation attachment)
  • add your CV (CV attachment)
  • add the results (grades) of your Research Master or Master program (Certificate of Academic degree attachment)
  • write a PhD proposal; you are allowed to ask for help from potential supervisors, but the proposal must be your own. Please structure your application according to the RUG RSI Research Proposal format. Please click on the link:…)proposal-format.docx(Research Proposal attachment)
  • initiate contact with a potential supervisor at the faculty
  • if a potential supervisor has indeed been working with you on your proposal, it is important that you make your own original contribution to the proposal very clear (Extra attachment).

Procedure We will follow a formal procedure so that we will be able to select the best candidates for the positions. A shortlist of candidates will be selected, who will be asked to:

  • present their proposed research topics
  • have an interview with the selection committee. This interview will take place on 3 June 2019.

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our University. We are committed to building a diverse faculty so you are encouraged to apply. Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code and European Commission’s: European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers.


For information you can contact:

Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.


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