Wageningen Graduate Schools Sandwich PhD programme

The aim of the Wageningen Graduate Schools (WGS) Sandwich PhD Programme is capacity building: a way for the university to reach out to like-minded scientific institutes to build international scientific networks, to facilitate exchange and to reinforce the knowledge basis of these institutes.

Content of the programme

A sandwich PhD candidate spends the first part (around nine months) of the PhD project at Wageningen University (WU). During this time the research proposal is expanded and a tailor-made education and training programme is started up. Where possible and applicable, research is also started.

The next thirty months are spent conducting research in the home country of the candidate under the supervision of a local supervisor who is also the copromotor. Sandwich PhD candidates have regular (online) contact with their supervisors at Wageningen University. Sandwich PhD candidates often return to Wageningen for short visits, and a Wageningen University supervisor will, during critical times of the research, visit the PhD candidate’s home institute.

After the research in the home country is finished, the candidate returns to Wageningen University to finish the PhD thesis, which takes approximately nine months. The local supervisor will act as copromotor at the graduation ceremony.

Information for candidates

The call for the WGS sandwich PhD programme opens once per year, usually in spring. The calls are published on this website. The WU sandwich scholarship is a personal grant. Applications are submitted by the intended WU promotor of a PhD project. Proposed PhD candidates should:

  • be suitable for achieving the aim of capacity building
  • have a convincing Curriculum Vitae for a PhD position at WU
  • have a strong motivation and an original and innovative research idea
  • fulfil the entry requirements of the WU PhD programme (recognised master diploma, English proficiency) and be a national from one of the selected countries for this programme
  • not already be enrolled as a PhD candidate at another institution
  • be employed at the home institute during the entire PhD trajectory.

To apply for a WGS sandwich PhD position, you will have to find a promotor from Wageningen University who will endorse your innovative research idea (list of chair groups and contact information can be found here) and would like to be your promotor. A promotor can submit one WGS sandwich PhD proposal per round. In addition, you will need to provide proof of commitment from your home institute.

Your intended promotor has to submit the application form plus all the required annexes (in one compiled file).

It is a plus if you remain employed at your home institute after completion of your PhD programme. If no clear link between you and your home institute exists, your application will not be taken into consideration.

Selection criteria

  • Collaboration WU and home institution - Including quality and infrastructure of supervising groups, institutional support and quality of the relationship between home institute and WU.
  • Quality of the candidate - Including motivation, CV and link with the home institute.
  • Quality of the proposal - Including originality, clarity, feasibility, and strategic contribution to the WU graduate school and chair group(s).


The grant of the WGS sandwich PhD programme covers living allowance for a total of 18 months in Wageningen, (partial) travel costs of candidate and WU/local supervisors, visa application costs and use of facilities.

Wageningen University will ensure supervision, education and training. The education budget and the costs for printing the thesis are not included in the budget. The chair group at which candidates conduct their research are expected to pay these costs.