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Why choose Wageningen?

The university is known for its innovative and ground-breaking research. It offers excellent facilities for starting your scientific career. When it comes to research and providing education, Wageningen enjoys an outstanding international reputation. The university is currently listed in the top six of most important citation indexes in its research domains (Health, Lifestyle, and Living conditions/ Nutrition and food production/ Habitats).

As a PhD candidate at the university, you will develop knowledge that serves mankind and society at large. Research is done in the fields of various natural and social sciences. Topical themes include safe and healthy food, lifestyle and living conditions, climate change, nature and biodiversity, sustainable fishery and agricultural systems and the search for alternative sources of energy.


The university’s PhD programme has got a strong international character. Our PhD candidates come from all over the world. Over a hundred nationalities are represented amongst our PhD graduates and currently more than 60 percent of the PhD staff obtained their Masters at a university outside of the Netherlands. All communication related to the PhD programme is conducted in English.

The four-year PhD programme largely consists of conducting research (under supervision) and writing a thesis (dissertation). Furthermore, up to 15 percent of the time is used for training and education activities which include participation in courses, competence and skills training, seminars, conferences and working visits. 

You will learn to:

  1. Function as an independent practitioner of science, as shown by:
    • Formulating scientific questions, whether based on social issues or scientific progress
    • Conducting original scientific research
    • Publishing articles in leading journals, publishing books with leading publishers or making a technical design
  2. Integrate your research in, or place it within the framework of the corresponding scientific discipline and against the background of a broader scientific area.
  3. Place the research aims and research results in a societal context.
  4. Postulate concisely worded propositions in scientific and societal areas, formulated in such a way that they are subject to opposition and defense.

The PhD programme aims to increase on your capability, to formulate and execute high quality research, and to use that to create high impact scientific publications. It gives you an excellent start in becoming a internationally recognised top scientist and offers competence for other jobs as well.

PhD theses database Timetable PhD programme