Opportunities for External PhD Students with the LAW Group

The LAW Group invites those interested in an “external” – also known as self-funded – PhD position to apply.

Successful candidates will be enrolled in a four year PhD-programme and become a member of the Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS). External PhD candidates are not employed by Wageningen University and execute their research project outside Wageningen University.

The first year will be mainly dedicated to course work and the development of the final research proposal. During the Covid-19 pandemic, it is also possible to follow the majority of these courses online. Twelve to fifteen months following the start of the PhD research, the progress of the candidate will be assessed with a decision whether or not to continue the PhD trajectory.

WASS imposes the following requirements on external PhD candidates:

  1. The candidate has:

    • an employer outside Wageningen University or any other demonstrable source of income
    • works as a researcher; in a university, research institute, or any other research environment
  2. The external PhD candidate is registered from the beginning of the PhD project
  3. The registration by Wageningen School of Social Sciences includes a Training and Supervision Plan and the approval of the research proposal
  4. The external PhD candidate can visit the supervisors in Wageningen for a period not longer than 3 months of the total 48 months PhD research. In case the candidate spends more time at Wageningen University, the category external is not applicable and the PhD candidate should register in another PhD category
  5. Before registration, the PhD candidate hands in a budget including a time schedule for four years. The budget clarifies how and by whom the costs of the PhD project will be covered, and should at least include:

    • The education budget (graduate courses fees, conference fees, travel)
    • Research costs (at least €5,0000; depending on the kind of research)
    • Editing costs + costs related to the publication of the dissertation
    • Costs related to the graduation ceremony (travel to Wageningen, visa, reception etcetera).

For successful candidates, the LAW Group will cover the education budget and (part of) the research costs specified under condition 5.

Applicants are asked to submit the following via office.law@wur.nl:

  • Cover letter describing your motivation to apply for a PhD at the LAW Group. Please specify who you would like to be supervised by (if you already have a preference). Your cover letter should be addressed to Prof. dr. van Zeben.
  • Preliminary research proposal (approximately two pages), containing: problem definition, research questions, proposed methodology linked to the research questions, up-to-date literature references.
  • References from at least two supervisors or professors. The references must contain information regarding your performance during your Master programme and should contain a reflection on your capacity to finish a PhD in the area of application.
  • Curriculum Vitae. Including information on education (transcript of records), research experience and, if applicable, list of publications.
  • Applicants from a non-Anglophone country and that have not completed their higher education with English as the language of instruction, have to submit an internationally recognised Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language. See the English language requirements for more information.