WASS Open Call for PhD Positions

Gepubliceerd op
1 mei 2015

Wageningen School of Social Sciences opens a call for PhD projects to be funded by its strategic funds. A total of four PhD’s can be funded and all projects should start in 2016.

The scholarships enable WASS to enhance the collaboration between WASS chair groups and to attract new talents. The Assessment Committee will evaluate both the quality of the proposal as well as the quality of the applicant.

What can be funded?

The scholarships cover the PhD salary costs, including overhead costs according to the integral cost funding of WU. The specific research cost, travel cost and other cost should be covered by the supervising chair groups on accepting the allocation of the PhD.

The call will not be used to finance ad hoc medium to large-scale requests by WASS chair groups for matching funds in, for instance, INREF, EU or any other projects.

Eligibility criteria

  • Only new projects are eligible – requests for co-funding of ongoing or new projects are not eligible
  • Only projects submitted by two WASS chair groups will be financed; one chair group should be in the lead; the other contributes to the supervision. A chair group can submit at most one proposal as a leading group.
  • The research should fit in the WASS themes
  • The PhD candidate should adhere to the minimum admission requirements[1] for a PhD at Wageningen University

 Evaluation Criteria

  • Quality of the candidate: the motivation (five minutes pitch), grades of the master degree, additional extracurricular scientific activities (e.g. publications) and two reference letters
  • Quality of the project: projects should be state-of-the-art, cutting edge and at the foreground of the scientific research area. The proposal will be reviewed by two independent peers
  • Feasibility of the project: the project should substantially further knowledge, but should, at the same time, include endeavours which are achievable within a realistic time frame

The above mentioned evaluation criteria will not be weighted; projects should score as high as possible on all criteria.

Assessment procedure

  • The project proposal is submitted by the leading chair group
  • The proposal has to be written in the specified format project proposal.
  • The submission includes the CV, transcripts and other information about the candidate, the motivation of the candidate in the form of a five minutes video and two letters of recommendation for the PhD candidate
  • Submitters provide the names of at least four possible independent reviewers;
  • The submission includes a budget for non-salary costs of the project. The specific research cost, travel cost, have to be covered by the supervising chair group upon accepting the allocation of the PhD.

Evaluation procedure

  • WASS Office first checks whether the proposal complies with  the eligibility criteria; proposals that do not comply with the eligibility criteria will be rejected;
  • Two independent anonymous reviewers will be asked to review eligible proposals;
  • Submitters will have the opportunity to write a rebuttal to the comments
  • Based on the review reports, the rebuttals of the submitters and their own reading, the assessment committee will make a ranking of the projects/candidates.  This final ranking is offered as an advice to the Director of WASS;
  • The final decision on the allocation of the scholarships is taken by the Director of WASS.

Timetable Open Round 2015

  • 1 May 2015          Call Open Round
  • 1 September        Deadline submission proposals
  • 1 October             Deadline review reports
  • 7 October             Deadline rebuttal chair groups
  • 15 November        Advice on ranking of proposals
  • 1 December          Decision on allocation by Director WASS

Submission procedure (five steps)

  1. Select and contact leading chair group (lead applicant) and a co-applying chair group (see annex)
  2. Discuss project proposal (written in the specified format, see the Application Form) with chosen   chair groups.
  3. Provide personal information: a) CV, b) list of grades, c) motivation in the form of a five-minute video, and d) two reference letters.
  4. Leading chair group submits the project proposal together with the candidate’s personal information (a-d) and a budget for non-salary costs of the project.
  5. Leading chair group  provides the names of four possible independent reviewers.


You can send your application (including all required documents) by e-mail to the WASS office ( before 1 September 2015.


[1] For the minimum requirements see the relevant informative section in the Application Form.