Wageningen Graduate Schools Sandwich PhD

Sandwich PhD candidates are international PhD candidates who work at a university or research institute and only spend part of their time at Wageningen University (WU).

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.

The WU sandwich scholarship is a personal grant. We welcome you to apply if you:
-are 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, language test).

As a sandwich PhD candidate you will spend roughly the first nine months of your degree at Wageningen University. During this time you will expand your research proposal and follow a tailor-made education and training programme. Where possible and applicable, you can also already start with your research.

The next thirty months are spent conducting research in your home country under the supervision of a local supervisor. You will have regular contact with your supervisor in Wageningen via email or Skype. 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 you have finished collecting all your data, you return to Wageningen to finish the PhD thesis, which should take you approximately nine months. For your thesis defence, your local supervisor will come to Wageningen to act as co-promoter at your graduation ceremony.

WGS Sandwich PhD application

To apply for a WGS sandwich PhD position, you can follow the steps outlined in the Application form. A professor* at Wageningen University who will also be your promotor, is the only person who can start the application procedure for a WGS Sandwich PhD scholarship. Therefore, you will have to find a Wageningen professor who will endorse your innovative research idea (list of chair groups and contact information can be found here). A professor of Wageningen University may only submit one WGS sandwich PhD proposal per round. In addition, you will need to provide proof of commitment from your home institute. The Deadline for proposals is 12 May 2020.

*When the word ‘professor’ is used, persons who have the ius promovendi at Wageningen University are meant.

The selection committee will award approximately six proposals per round. If you obtain a WGS sandwich PhD scholarship, you must be in Wageningen for the first part of the WGS sandwich PhD and within six months after the proposal is awarded. If not, the WGS sandwich PhD scholarship will no longer be available.

WGS sandwich PhD is awarded based on your association to your home institute, your proposal and your resume (see selection criteria below). It is not possible to apply for a partial sandwich PhD position. Institutes cannot change candidates after the selection procedure has been concluded.

You can apply by having a Wageningen professor sending the application form plus all the required annexes (in one compiled file) through SURFfilesender to pieter.munster@wur.nl. At the end of the form you will find detailed instructions. Please read the instructions carefully before sending the form.

Admission requirements
You can only apply for a WGS Sandwich PhD scholarship if you are a national of one of the following countries (this is the same list of countries as used for the NUFFIC Orange Knowledge Programme). You must be in the possession of a MSc degree (or equivalent) at the time of submission of the application.

If you are from a non-Anglophone country and you have not completed your higher education with English as the language of instruction, you have to submit an internationally recognised certificate of proficiency in the English language (see Application form for specific requirements).

You will receive priority if you can prove you will be employed or remain to be 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

1. Your link with your home institute (33%)
-Quality and infrastructure of the supervising groups
-Written institutional support from the institute concerned
-Quality of the relationship between the home institute and Wageningen University

2. Your qualities as shown by (33%)
-Motivation letter
-Curriculum vitae

3. The quality of the proposal (33%)
-Originality and innovative aspects of the proposed research
-Clarity of the proposal: problem definition, research methodology, feasibility

Please note that this WGS sandwich PhD position only supports the 18 months of the PhD programme you will spend in the Netherlands.

This round, the Wageningen Graduate Schools have six positions available for sandwich PhD candidates. The budget of €70.000 covers salary costs for a total of 18 months in Wageningen, reimbursements for travel costs of candidate and local supervisors, visa application costs, compensation of a WUR supervisor visit and use of facilities.

Additionally, Wageningen University will ensure supervision, education and training. The WGS sandwich PhD programme only covers the 18 months a candidate spends in the Netherlands. Due to tax regulations, sandwich PhD candidates funded by the WGS sandwich PhD programme are asked to sign a Guest Agreement with a maximum length of 2 x 9 months.

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.