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Finished (almost) your PhD: what's next

Are you in your third or fourth/final year of your PhD, or did you recently finish your PhD? Are you curious to find out what is out there to aid you in continuing your academic career?

For young researchers there are unfortunately limited options available in grants; for most applications you need to hold a tenure track or permanent position to be eligible as main applicant. However, most personal grant schemes are also tailored for young researchers, irrespective of physical age or current position.

Your CV

One of the most important criteria for personal grants is your CV, even more so in the personal grants for young researchers. Funders would like to determine whether you hold potential for becoming an excellent researcher with vision for your research field. This will be reflected through your output, but also in actions with elements such as visibility, passion, recognition and independence. This means not only your publications or awards are important, but also activities such as communication, collaboration, teaching & supervision, dissemination & organisation and mobility play a role in this assessment.

Some elements are small things which can be easily undertaken and added to your CV. However, most actions require a longer trajectory to accomplish and need the support of someone in close surroundings in the university to help you accomplish this.

Reach out to your supervisor about your ambitions in a timely manner. He/she will be able to help you in actions and output that will boost your CV. In addition, the UT Grants Office ( can discuss with you or provide tools to explore which actions will help you to create a competitive CV for personal grants.

Grants for Young Researchers

Please see here for an overview and links of the personal grants in your early career.

Rubicon: To position yourself at a top institute abroad.

For researchers between 0-1 year after PhD.
This mobility grant aims to encourage talented researchers at Dutch universities to dedicate themselves to a career in postdoctoral research in a prestigious foreign research institution.

MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowship: for training and experience abroad

For researchers between 0-8 year after PhD.
This individual postdoctoral mobility fellowship is primarily aimed at promising early-stage researchers to strengthen the researchers profile through a tailor-made training program at a foreign, European institute or university. Candidates less than 12 months in the Netherlands can execute this fellowship at the UT and UT-employers can execute their fellowship in another European country.

Veni: to launch your career

For researchers between 0-3 years after PhD.
This personal grant allows young researchers in all research areas to conduct independent research and develop their ideas.

NWO Open Competition Science – XS: receive seed funding for a fundamental idea

For all researchers with a PhD.
This grant is open for university employees across the line: from postdoctoral researchers to full time professors. It is meant for encouraging curiosity and new ideas in research as part of promising, high-risk projects.
More information here.