In Holland, research is carried out by research universities, research institutes and companies. Only the 14 research universities can award PhD-degrees. However, since other research institutes generally work in close collaboration with these universities, they can also provide positions to PhD candidates.

In addition to the standard PhD-degree, the three universities of technology also offer design and technological design programmes in a number of engineering fields. These consist of advanced study and a personal design assignment. Technological design programmes require two years of study to complete and graduates obtain the degree of ‘Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng)’.

Why do your PhD in Holland?

  • Holland ranks 2nd worldwide in number of publications per researcher
  • Holland ranks 3rd worldwide in impact of research publications
  • Holland has excellent graduate schools
  • There is a large variety of research fields
  • There are 14 research universities
  • A PhD is not regarded as a study but as a serious research
  • PhD candidates and their supervisor work in close collaboration
  • PhD researchers are often paid employees

What is it like to do a PhD in Holland?
The aim of doing a PhD is to complete a dissertation based on original research. In Holland this requires a minimum of four years of doing research and writing. PhD research projects and dissertations must of course always be original work, as candidates are required to make an original contribution to the body of knowledge in their field. The dissertation is made public and parts of it are often used as articles in international journals. In general Dutch dissertations are held in high esteem since they live up to the highest academic standards.

Once the research is complete the supervisor judges whether the dissertation is ready for publication and oral defence. Then a committee of professors is appointed to read and approve the dissertation and to question the candidate during the traditional, centuries old oral defence ceremony.

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