Ph.D. in Spatial Sciences (The Netherlands) Deadline: May 24, 2019

University of Groningen (RUG)

Application Deadline

May 24, 2019

Program Commencement

September 01, 2019

Duration of the Program

4 Years

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Program Details

The University of Groningen is a research university with a global outlook, deeply rooted in Groningen, City of Talent. Quality has had top priority for four hundred years, and with success: the University is currently in or around the top 100 on several influential ranking lists.

The Faculty of Spatial Sciences at the University of Groningen (RUG) is looking for 2 fully-funded PhD Scholarship candidates. The focus is 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), the mission is to produce research, which is world-leading, distinctive, and policy-relevant.

The award of a PhD scholarship will be based on the quality of the PhD research proposal and the candidates’ qualities as a researcher. The proposed PhD research topic must both fit within, and explicitly contribute to, the Faculty Research Program 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.

Scholarships are offered 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). Coaching is offered and progress is ensured and results are assessed to ensure a smooth process for timely completion of the PhD thesis. The fellows will participate in the Faculty’s FSS training program for PhD students as part of the personal training and supervision plan. Part of the training consists of following the Career Perspectives curriculum, which aims to prepare the candidates for their (academic or non-academic) careers after the PhD trajectory.

More information, here.

Eligibility/ Requirements

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; passion.

Application Process

Apply online here.

Along with the application, the applicants are required 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 (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).

The University will follow a formal procedure so as 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 03 June 2019.

For more information, please contact:

  • Tineke Dijkman, Office Manager of the Graduate School, E-mail: (Please do not use this e-mail address for applications)

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