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Call: Survey on International contract PhD candidates

5 July 2018

At most Dutch universities, the number of so-called international contract PhD candidates – that is, PhD candidates with a grant from, for example, the Chinese or Pakistani government – has increased significantly in the last couple of years. Whereas some colleagues consider this as a welcome development that mainly brings benefits, other colleagues consider this development as one with mostly drawbacks. 

There is also a wide range of ideas about how to recruit, select and supervise this group of PhD candidates. However, systematic knowledge that transcends all disciplines and universities is lacking.

The latter also applies to how this group views their position, guidance, etc. themselves; we have only anecdotal evidence about this.

Do's and don'ts with regard to international contract PhD candidates

The project Do's and don'ts with regard to international contract PhD candidates of The Young Academy of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) is aimed at collecting such systematic information, both from the (potential) supervisors of international contract PhD candidates and from these PhD candidates themselves.

Since this group of PhD candidates continues to grow and because their wishes and needs often turn out to be different to those of the regular PhD candidates in the Netherlands, we aim with this project:

  • to provide advice to universities on this group of PhD students 
  • to support the PhD students themselves during their PhD trajectory and afterwards. 

Therefore, the results of this study will be published and widely communicated.


We very much hope that you are willing to fill in the DJA survey international contract PhDs (max. 10 minutes) and to distribute it to as many colleagues as possible who have experience with, or have an opinion about, international contract PhD candidates. Please also circulate it to this group PhD candidates themselves. Distribution can be via e-mail, but also via Twitter et cetera.

The survey is in English.

The study is completely anonymous.

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