A large number of the PhD programs in the Netherlands is part of a national graduate school. These, often inter-university, organizations offer domain-specific courses to PhD students, facilitating knowledge exchange and provide an external supervisor who can mediate in the case of problems during the PhD program. Moreover, these graduate schools are ideally suited to provide potential candidates with an overview of the options within the Dutch academic world, enabling young talent to choose a PhD topic and supervisor. PNN advocates in this charter for maintaining the important role for existing national graduate schools.

The graduate schools in the Netherlands have been reviewed by  the Accreditation Commission of Graduate Schools (ECOS) of the KNAW every six years since 1992. An overview of the national graduate schools in the Netherlands can be found on the website of ECOS.

All recognized graduate schools

Not all fields have a national umbrella organization. In this case, the organization of the PhD program lies in the hands of a local graduate school entirely. For these organizations, please refer to the websites of the universities.

As a starting point for a search for graduate schools abroad, take a look at the following websites:

PhD councils

PhD candidates at Dutch universities are represented by local PhD councils. They maintain contact at local level with the Executive Board, deans and individual PhD students. PNN is the association of these PhD candidates. Currently, most consultations of the major Dutch universities are members of PNN. PNN’s policy is determined at the General Members Meeting, which takes place at least 4 times a year. Here all PhD consultations come together to determine the course and to exchange experiences. Below is a list of all local doctoral candidates and their websites. When you click on the name of one of the PhD consultations, a new window opens with the website of the relevant PhD consultations.

EPAR (Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam)
PON (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen)
GRIN (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen)
PromooD  (Technische Universiteit Delft)
TU/e PhD-PDEng Council(Technische Universiteit Eindhoven)
UvAPro (Universiteit van Amsterdam)
LEO (Universiteit Leiden)
LAP-LUMC(Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum)
P-NUT (Universiteit Twente)
PrOUt (Universiteit Utrecht)
ProVU (Vrije Universiteit)
WPC (Wageningen Universiteit)
TiPP (Universiteit van Tilburg)
APROVE (Amsterdam MC)
Promeras (Erasmus MC)
Central PhD Candidates Platform (Maastricht Universiteit)




The Board of the PNN consists of eight to ten PhD candidates. They represent the interests of PhD candidates in the Netherlands for at least one year, in addition to doing their PhD research.


Lucille Mattijssen
VU Amsterdam


Kimberley Anneveldt
Secretary (‘internal chair’)
Isala Ziekenhuis Zwolle


Rob van Gassel
General Board Member – International Affairs and Open Science
Maastricht UMC+


Roel Freriks
General Board Member – Career and PPP
Groningen University


Bram Faber
General Board Member – Labour and Social Affairs
VU Amsterdam


Nicolien van Vliet
General Board Member – University Medical Centre PhD’s


Reinder Broekstra
Vice-Chair / General Board Member – Quality
Groningen University


Tjitske van Engelen
General Board Member – Diversity
Universiteit van Amsterdam


Carola Schoor
Genera Board Member – External PhD candidates and communications adviser
Maastricht University