PhD and corona

The COVID-19 measures announced by the government of the Netherlands are affecting not only social life but also education and research at Wageningen University & Research. On this page we want to inform you what the consequences are for PhD research, PhD education and PhD defences, including the continuation of research currently conducted as well as research planned by PhD (and related BSc and MSc) candidates.

Last update: 29 November 2021

    General guidelines

    What do I do when I get a cold, sneeze and/or cough frequently, have a sore throat or start developing a fever?

    What does self-quarantine mean?

    • Stay at the place where you are in quarantine. Do not receive visitors.
    • During the self-quarantine period do not travel or go to another location in the Netherlands.
    • If you do not develop symptoms that could be caused by coronavirus, you can end the self-quarantine after 10 days.

    The following rules apply during self-quarantine:

    • Do not use public transport.
    • Do not visit the Campus of WUR.
    • Nobody may visit you, except for medical purposes (for example, a doctor or a GGD official).
    • If you need medical assistance do not go to your doctor or the hospital, but phone the doctor instead.
    • Ask other people to do grocery shopping for you.

    Dutch vaccination policy for international PhD candidates

    All international students (and researchers) over the age of 18 who are staying in the Netherlands for a period longer than 1 month and are registered in the BRP (Municipal Personal Records Database) will be eligible for a vaccination against covid-19.

    The BRP registration will take place when you register your living address in Wageningen with the municipality. When you are registered in the BRP and your age group is eligible you will receive either an invitation letter from the GGD (Municipal Health Services) or family doctor, or you can make an appointment for the vaccination on When you want to make an appointment online you need to use your DigiD account, please check this website for more information about DigiD:

    When you plan to travel to the Netherlands and you already got a vaccination in your home country, make sure to bring your vaccination certificate.

    Here you can find more information about getting vaccinated:

    Here you can find more information about the vaccination schedule:

    Delay PhD programme irt COVID-19

    The general aim of Wageningen University is that all started projects can be finished. Because each PhD and Post-Doc project is unique (discipline, methods, stage, etc.), tailor-made solutionsare needed to reduce experienced or expected delays of individual PhD and Post-Doc projects or enable extensions. PhD candidates, Post-Docs and (co)promotor(s) should carefully consider the following options to minimise delays in individual PhD programmes.

    1. Focus temporarily on other work of your PhD.
    2. Rearrange planned studies.
    3. Redesign your studies
    4. Consider the requirements for a thesis.
    5. Buy more time through an extension. Discuss with the funding organisation(s) of your project whether an extension of your contract
      and project is possible.

    Travel guidelines and self-quarantine

    Most PhD candidates are currently allowed to travel to Wageningen. Once in Wageningen, they should strictly adhere to the safety rules, regulations and guidelines of WUR for working in WUR facilities.

    Negative COVID-19 test result and health declaration requirement upon arrival in the Netherlands

    If you are travelling to the Netherlands you are required to show a negative covid-19 test result1 if you are travelling from a very high-risk area. Proof of vaccination or recovery is not sufficient.

    When you are traveling from a high-risk area or when your country is noted on the list of safe countries you do not need a negative covid-19 test result when you can show a proof of vaccination or proof of recovery2.

    When your country is in the EU/Schengen area and has a green color code there are no additional measures when you are traveling to the Netherlands3.

    All travelers who are flying to or from the Netherlands must fill in and carry with them during the travel a health declaration4.

    This information applies to everyone of the age 12 or older.

    Self-quarantine for arriving PhD candidates

    Self-quarantine is mandatory1 if you travel to the Netherlands from a very high risk country2. This requirement applies even if you have proof of vaccination or proof of recovery. If you get tested on day 5 you might be able to shorten the quarantine period.

    You must also be able to show a completed, printed and signed quarantine declaration3. You may be fined if you do not have a quarantine declaration or if you do not comply with the mandatory quarantine requirement.

    People arriving in the Netherlands from outside the EU/Schengen area that are not traveling from a very high-risk country do not have to self-quarantine.

    Self-quarantine instructions for promotors

    New PhD candidates traveling to the Netherlands from abroad may have to self-quarantine upon arrival in the Netherlands. Wageningen University & Research follows the current guidelines and advice of the Dutch government. The promotor is requested to support the PhD candidate during the quarantine period. During this quarantine period, a PhD candidate is not allowed to use public transport and must stay at home. If a PhD candidate needs to self-quarantine upon arrival in the Netherlands, he/she must therefore be picked up from the airport or travel by taxi. In Wageningen, a fellow PhD candidate from your chair group must be appointed as a buddy to support the new PhD candidate. This buddy must assist the PhD candidate with groceries and other matters that may need to be arranged.

    PhD research

    • On campus research by PhD candidates can continue if the research activities follow the regulations and guidelines of Wageningen
      University & Research ( PhD candidates should consult their promotor and jointly decide the
      best way forward. This may include decisions on continuation or termination of already started field and/or laboratory research.
    • Laboratories and experimental farms where research is conducted may have developed specific rules following the containment of the
      Coronavirus. Be aware of these new rules and in case of uncertainties discuss your research with the head of the laboratory and/or the manager of experimental farm.

    BSc/MSc supervision and teaching

    • Experimental bachelor and master thesis research may continue.
    • If you – as a PhD candidate  – are involved in BSc and/or MSc education please see the dedicated communication for teachers. The course coordinator or your chairholder will be able to provide them.

    PhD defences

    PhD defences are held in the Aula, with the following conditions:

    • One, or after approval by the Dean of Research two, opponent(s) are allowed to attend the defence online. So, minimal three (or after approval two) opponents have to be present in the Aula, including at least one WUR (associate) professor.
    • The PhD candidate, at least one promotor and the first WUR opponent have to be present in the Aula.
    • Keep 1,5 meter distance from people outside your household.
    • From 15 November 2021 on, max. 75 guests are allowed in the audience. From 28 November 2021 on, PhD candidates are requested to limit the number of guests as much as possible. Receptions and celebratory drinks have to be organised outside of the WUR-locations.
    • Facemasks are mandatory unless you are seated.

    The livestream for all public defences is .

      Online defences are only allowed when corona restrictions, such as travel restrictions, do not allow for a defence in the Aula. Please send your request for an online defence at least 3 weeks before the defence date to Online defences cannot be guaranteed if a request is made within 3 weeks before the defence date.