Wageningen Graduate Schools Sandwich PhD

Sandwich PhD candidates are international PhD candidates who only spend part of their time at Wageningen University.


As a sandwich PhD candidate you will spend 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.

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. Sandwich PhD candidates often return to Wageningen for short visits, and a Wageningen University supervisor will sometimes visit the student’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 defense, your local supervisor will come to Wageningen to act as co-promoter at your graduation ceremony.


To apply for a Wageningen Graduate Schools (WGS) sandwich PhD position, you can follow the steps outlined on the Application Form. Please note that this WGS sandwich PhD position only finances the eighteen months of the PhD programme you will spend in the Netherlands.

Wageningen Graduate Schools Sandwich PhD

Deadline for proposals is 20 May 2019. Please note that applications must be done by professors of Wageningen University.

This year Wageningen Graduate Schools has about six positions available for sandwich PhD candidates. The budget of around € 60.000 covers eighteen months of stay in Wageningen and reimbursements for travel costs of student and supervisors. Additionally, Wageningen University will provide supervision, education and training, and a waiver for the university fee. The WGS Sandwich PhD programme only covers the eighteen months a candidate spends in the Netherlands. Due to tax regulations sandwich PhD candidates funded by the WGS sandwich PhD program are offered a PhD contract with a maximum length of 2 x 9 months.

A WGS Sandwich PhD will consist of
nr of payments Total
Personnel expenses 18 x € 2.150 € 38.700
Visa 3 x € 1.000 € 3.000
International travel expenses 3 x € 1.400 € 4.200
Settling allowance, book allowance, sending home study material 1 x € 550 € 550
Field supervisor 2 x € 2.250 € 4.500 max.
Use of facilities* 18 x € 500 € 9.000
Total € 60.000

*In order to receive this compensation for the use of facilities, a chair group is required to send an invoice after each stay via an intercompany(project nr. 8444151004 PhD beurzen, kostenplaats 84441).

The education budget and the costs for printing the thesis are not included in the sandwich budget. The department at which candidates conduct their research will compensate these costs.

WGS Sandwich PhD application

A supervising professor at Wageningen University is the only person who can start the application procedure for a WGS Sandwich PhD. A professor of Wageningen University may only submit one sandwich candidate per round.
The selection committee will award approximately six candidates. If you obtain a WGS sandwich PhD you must be in Wageningen for the first part of the WGS sandwich PhD within six months after the PhD has been awarded. If not, the WGS sandwich PhD position will no longer be available.

The WGS sandwich PhD is awarded based on a your resume. It is not possible to apply for a partial sandwich PhD. Institutes can also not change candidates after the selection procedure has been concluded.

Sometimes WGS sandwich PhD’s are used as a stepping stone to pursue more financially rewarding elsewhere. If you accept other finances, the WGS Sandwich PhD will no longer be available. The recipient research group may not use the remaining funding to finance the research of another candidate.

You can apply by 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 instructions. Please read the instructions carefully before sending the form.

Deadline for proposals is 20 May 2019. Please note that applications must be done by professors of Wageningen University.

Admission requirements

You can only apply for a WGS Sandwich PhD if you are a national of one of the countries in the following regions: Middle and South America, Africa, countries that belong to the former Soviet Union and that are not an EU-member state and all Asian countries except China, Israel, Japan, South Korea and Singapore. Dutchmen, including those who hold dual citizenship, will not be admitted into the sandwich PhD programme. 

You will receive priority if you:

  • Can prove you will be employed at your home institute after completion of your PhD programme
  • You have received funding from your home institute
  • You are an MSc graduate from Wageningen University or if you work on a Wageningen University project

If you have recently finished an MSc at Wageningen University your application will be considered, but applicants with working experience at an institute in one of the countries mentioned above will receive preference. If no clear link between you and your home institute exists, your application will not be taken into consideration.

Selection criteria

Selection criteria:

1.    Your link with your home institute:

  • Quality and infrastructure of the supervising groups
  • Written institutional support from the countries concerned
  • Quality of the relationship between the home institute and Wageningen University

2.    Your qualities as shown by:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Diplomas
  • Publications

3.    The quality of the proposal:

  • Originality and innovative aspects of the proposed research   
  • Clarity of the proposal: problem definition, research methodology (comparable to a WOTRO pre-proposal, no full proposals are accepted)

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