How to apply for a PhD position

Admission requirements

To be admitted for a PhD position, several documents must be completed and added to your application. Below a list of required documents is presented.

Additional admission requirements for prospective PhD's can be found on the website of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. 

A candidate must have a MSc, MD (Doctor of Medicine) or DVM (Doctor of Veterinary) degree. Candidates with a non-Dutch diploma need to have their non-Dutch diplomas accredited. This procedure will happen when they are registered in Hora Finita, and this could take up to six months.

All teaching and research at Erasmus MC Graduate School is in the English language and, therefore, to be able to follow your programme you must be sufficiently fluent in English. 

International applicants to PhD programmes at Erasmus MC Graduate School need to provide a proof of English language proficiency  to qualify for admission. Erasmus MC Graduate School follows Erasmus University English language Policy. 

The following official English proficiency tests are accepted: 

  • Only IELTS Academic is accepted 
  • The minimum IELTS score is 7. 
  • Your IELTS score needs to have been attained within the last two years. Older scores will not be accepted. 

The minimum TOEFL scores are: 

  • 600 for the paper based test; 

  • 95 for the internet based test. 

Your TOEFL score needs to have been attained within the last two years. Older scores will not be accepted.  

  • Cambridge Advanced and Cambridge Proficiency are accepted 
  • The minimum Cambridge score is 180
  • Cambridge Proficiency scores have no expiration date. 

English language requirements will be waived if an applicant has one of the following: 

  • Completed the European Baccalaureate Diploma with English as First or Second Language; or 
  • Completed a diploma of International Baccalaureate (IB) (valid for 5 years); or 
  • Completed at least 2,5 years of secondary or tertiary education in English in the USA, Canada (with the exception of Quebec), Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa; or 
  • Obtained a bachelor's diploma from a university in the Netherlands; or 
  • Obtained a pre-university education (VWO) diploma and English was one of the subjects included in the assessment conferring that diploma and graded a 7.0 or higher.  

The vacancies contain short research descriptions and show a few publications. This is the source for further reading. Supervisors expect PhD candidates to write a good motivation letter, describing their interest in the professor’s research interests and how the candidate’s previously obtained experience would match or would add to the PhD project.

Since nearly all PhD students at Erasmus MC have their position based on a research grant or their own PhD scholarship it is recommended to mention that you, once accepted by the professor, will apply for a PhD scholarship. This could be a CSC, a university-based or university hospital-based PhD scholarship. Obtaining a scholarship may feel as a requirement, but we see it as an extra admission exam that will function as a proof of quality later in your career.

Once you have had your interview (or several interviews) and are accepted our Human Resource department will check all the required documents. Your supervisor will register you at Erasmus MC Graduate School. At Erasmus MC Graduate School you will be registered in Hora Finita, our registration service where all processes related to your journey will be recorded.

You will need the following documents for HR:

  • A color copy of your passport( all the written and stamped pages);
  • Proof of a medical insurance with coverage in the Netherlands; If you don’t have one, you can arrange the medical insurance once you are in the Netherlands (you can enter the Netherlands with a travel insurance);
  • Proof of independent means: for example stipends, grants, sponsorship, periodical payments, a letter of appointment or a contract of employment.
  • A copy of a certificate that proves that you have the appropriate qualifications for the research to be done; your diploma or university certificate. The diploma’s or University certificate must be approved by a notary or the municipality;
  • A copy of the research proposal, signed by your supervisor.

Please note that the above mentioned documents must be translated in to English, Dutch or France by an official translator.

In addition to the above-mentioned mandatory documents it is advised to submit

  • a copy of a birth certificate (and if relevant: a marriage certificate), which has been legalised or provided with an apostille stamp for ascertaining personal details for the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP).
  • These certificates must be translated by an official translator in Dutch or English only.

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