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Information for PhD students

This webpage contains information for PhD students working at he NWO Institutes or at the university workgroups (BUW).

NWO-I PhD network

 When conducting your PhD at one of the NWO-institutes you not only have to navigate requirements within the institute but also requirements set by the university you are affiliated with. Often, this can be a different university than your fellow PhDs as many institutes are connected to several universities. The NWO-I network was started in 2024 to offer support from PhDs to PhDs and aims to connect PhDs at the NWO-institutes for e.g. social events, questions on PhD requirements or help find housing. E-mail to for more information and how to sign up. The NWO-I PhD network is also set to join the Dutch PhD network (PNN) soon.

PhD-network meetings

Four times a year there is a NWO-I PhD network meeting where representatives from each institute can meet and discuss ongoing matters important to them. If you want to join one of these meetings email to

Courses for PhD students

When conducting your PhD at one of the NWO institutes you have to have a university affiliation. This affiliation is often determined by the affiliation of your (co)promotor and means that you are subject to requirements of the university you are affiliated with to receive your doctorate. Generally this includes a requirement to take certain courses. When joining a university, you can also be enrolled into a graduate school or faculty which may have extra requirements. It is recommended to check the university and/or faculty requirements for courses you have to take to obtain your doctorate shortly after starting your PhD at NWO-I. Some universities require a minimum amount of training hours or require training on specific topics (i.e. scientific integrity). Often the commitment to these requirements are written down in a training and supervision plan (TSP) at the start of your PhD (see planning and evaluation interviews for PhD students).

NWO-I has developed a range of training courses especially for its PhD students and trainee researchers. These courses can be taken to fulfill course requirements from the university you are affiliated with or can be taken in addition to university courses. The NWO-I training courses are highly recommended but not mandatory unless the institute policy requires it.

Planning and evaluation interviews for PhD students

Most universities require you to fill out a training and supervision plan (TSP) which details your work and courses for the upcoming PhD trajectory in order to be able to officially start the PhD. Consult your supervisor or the university you are affiliated with for the correct form. It is important to fill out the TSP early on in your PhD (within the first year). The TSP can be used to structure the yearly review. 

On all locations you as a PhD student will have a yearly interview with your supervisor. These interviews will help you and your line manager to work and plan effectively. How these interviews are name and which form you use, varies per location. Please ask your P&O Department about the local process. 

If you are a PhD at AMOLF, ARCNL, DIFFER or at a university workgroup (BUW), then you will have a so called 'planning and evaluation interview' each year. Such an interview will be held at least once a year. During the entire appointment, you and your supervisor will hold a planning and evaluation interview at least three times. The first time will be at the end of the first year, the second interview at the end of the second year and the last interview at the end of the third/start of the fourth year. If you are in your fourth year, then the continuation of your career after NWO-I will also be considered.

A detailed form is available for the reporting of the three annual planning and evaluation interviews.

Each year, you and your supervisor can use this form to evaluate the previous year and plan the next year. In the first part, your supervisor evaluates the achievements and research results realised in the previous year. Based on these, your supervisor will assess you. You make agreements about supervision and/or education and training. In the second part, you discuss with your lsupervisor the planning of the research for the coming year. You make agreements about the planning.

The entire regulation can be found IR Annex II.

Coaching for PhD students

Generally speaking, coaching is a means of supporting professional and personal development. During a series of sessions the coach and the member of staff examine existing behaviour and consider and experiment with more effective forms of behaviour. The starting point for this is always the member of staff's question.

If you are a PhD who - from the perspective of your work situation - is interested in individual coaching, then please contact the P&O Department or the Personnel officer of your NWO Institute. NWO-I will then put you in contact with a professional coach. If an initial consultation reveals that there are enough starting points then a number of coaching sessions will take place.

NWO-I will cover the costs involved. In return NWO-I expects a small investment from you in the form of paid leave. For more information, please contact your P&O department,

Even though this coaching is in principle ment for PhD's, other employees will have the need for individual coaching. If so, please contact your P&O Department. 

Compensation printing costs thesis

The entire regulation can be found in the IR-8 Specific provisions for researchers in training (Dutch: 'onderzoeker in opleiding', oio). 

One can be compensated for the costs of printing the PhD thesis up to a maximum of € 1,500. A claim for compensation of the printing costs can be made up to twelve months after the ending of the employment agreement, as long as the costs were in fact made during this period and the date of the doctoral defence has actually been set. 

How do I submit my application?

If you work at AMOLF, CWI, DIFFER, Nikhef, a university workgroup (BUW) or at the NWO-I office, then please submit your application via NWO-I People. After application the form it will automatically end up at the right place for processing. Send a copy of your invoice as well as a copy of your proof of payment with the form. You should also send two copies of your PhD thesis by post to the P&O Department of NWO-I.

Do you work at another NWO-I location? Then please ask your P&O department (or check your local intranet) how to submit your application and where you hand off your PhD thesis. 

Acknowledgment and use of NWO logo

NWO-I asks NWO-I PhD students from the university workgroups (BUW) to include the acknowledgement below (in Dutch or English) in their thesis:

  • Dit werk maakt van oorsprong deel uit van het onderzoekprogramma van de Stichting voor Fundamenteel Onderzoek der Materie (FOM), en valt vanaf 1 april 2017 onder de verantwoordelijkheid van Stichting Nederlandse Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Instituten (NWO-I), die deel uitmaakt van de Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO). 
  • This work originates as part of the research programme of the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM), and falls as of April 1, 2017 under the responsibility of Netherlands Foundation of Scientific Research Institutes (NWO-I) (NWO-I), which is part of the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

The NWO logo (see the NWO website) should be placed with your acknowledgement.

Extending the employment contract

A temporary employment contract ends automatically. About four months before the end date, you will receive a message from NWO-I that your contract will be administratively settled. If you or your line manager are considering extending the temporary contract, then your line manager should arrange the extension with the P&O Department of your Institute or the P&O Department NWO-I for university workgroups (BUW). In principle, NWO-I will not extend the employment agreement with a researcher in training (PhD). NWO-I will only deviate from this position under certain conditions. For more information about this, please see Article 9.2 Provisions on extension for oio's with an employment contract of the Collective Labour Agreement Research Institutions.


If you wish to resign, then you should make this known in writing to your line manager. He or she will check whether the correct term of notice has been adhered to and whether further consultation with you is necessary. You and your line manager do not have to adhere to the period of notice agreed upon if both parties agreed that. If you work in a university workgroup (BUW) you can send the the resignation letter to the P&O Department NWO-I. Your line manager should sign your resignation letter for approval.



For the university workgroups (BUW), please contact Annette Bor.
For the other locations, please contact your P&O Department. 
To join or ask questions about the NWO-I network please contact

Confidental Infomation