How to apply for a PhD postion at UT

All PhD candidates are required to have attained a Master of Science degree or equivalent education. There are two ways to enter a PhD research programme at UT, each with its additional application requirements. 

In all cases, the decision to admit an applicant to a doctoral programme is made by the thesis supervisor (this should be a full professor), after the approval of the faculty dean.

Language requirements for international doctoral candidates

Doctoral candidates with a non-Dutch qualification are admitted if they have sufficient command of the English language. Official documents with test results are required for candidates who did not complete their secondary and tertiary education in the English language. The UT accepts the following English-language tests:

  • An academic IELTS test (International English Language Testing System) showing a total band score of 6.5
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) via the internet (TOEFL-iBT) of at least 90
  • Cambridge CAE-C (CPE)


Most PhD researchers in the Netherlands are paid employees, often working directly for the university. Research projects are defined by the chair of the research group, and for these projects, graduate students are recruited to carry out the research.

You can apply for a regular PhD position at our vacancies website. All relevant additional requirements are described in the respective vacancy descriptions. For international applicants, additional language requirements (see box above) apply.


Another way of enrolling on a PhD programme at UT is by arranging your own funding, for example, using a scholarship or sponsorship from your employer. In this case, all research projects are initiated based on proposals submitted by graduate students as part of their application procedure.

Please note: we will only consider a proposed research plan after you have made clear that an application to a scholarship provider or any other way of funding has been submitted or planned. UT cannot offer fellowships or similar funding for PhD candidates. The department of your envisaged PhD supervisor may be able to help you with a letter of academic eligibility to apply for (scholarship)funds.

If you're funding the PhD track yourself, you can contact the professor under whose supervision you want to obtain your doctoral degree directly. You must, however, first have completed a relevant Master's degree and meet all other admission requirements to start a PhD phase.

How to apply

To be considered for a PhD project under your funding or with a scholarship, you need to contact the head of the research group you would like to join, indicating your qualities, intended research topic and motivation (at least the first three items on the list below).

A full professor must indicate interest to become your PhD supervisor. In that case, you can start to complete all documents listed below. You may ask the department of the prospective PhD supervisor for a letter of conditional admission (i.e. academic eligibility), that you may use to apply for a scholarship. If the final decision of the full professor (who is willing to be the prospective PhD supervisor) and the faculty dean is positive, the department will register you as a guest researcher and arrange your arrival (including your visa).



Policy about fees and waivers non-employed doctoral candidates: All faculties apply a fee of €15,000 per year. Every faculty defines their own policy with regard to waivers on their website.

This fee compensates for the following components:

The Tuition fee and waiver policy faculty of Engineering Technology (ET): Research support: ET Research support services | Faculty Engineering Techmology (ET) | University of Twente | Service Portal | University of Twente (

The Tuition fee and waiver policy faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC): PhD at ITC | Home ITC