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International PhD candidates with a Scholarship

International external PhD candidates with a scholarship (IPS) are PhD candidates who are not employed by Radboud University, but who conduct their research full time and make use of a workstation and office at the IMR. Their research is not funded internally, but through a scholarship or sponsorship programme from their home country, usually for four years.

As IPS carry out their research full time, their PhD trajectories follow essentially the same timeline as internal PhD candidates:

  • They should fill in a Training and Supervision Plan within the first 4 weeks of their trajectories;
  • They should defend their progress in front of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) within the first year of their trajectories (with their research proposal or other work having to be submitted within the first 9 months);
  • Their registration as formal external PhD candidates features two terms: a term of 1.5 years, and a term of 3.5 years (or otherwise, if their trajectory is shorter than 4 years). Renewing their registration after the first term of 1.5 years is contingent on a positive SAC evaluation;
  • It is encouraged (but not obligatory) for IPS and their supervisors to carry out an annual progress meeting.

Financial arrangements

Since they carry out their research full time, IPS are a special category of external PhD candidates who are charged an annual fee of €6000,- per year. Of this amount, €4000,- will cover the material costs for research facilities; €2000,- will be deposited to their personal research budget, which they can use to attend international conferences, participate in courses and/or summer schools, etc.

This fee should be covered by the IPS’ scholarship or sponsorship programme. If the programme offers a higher fee, the remainder of this amount will be spent on the candidate’s research (as laid down in a formal financial agreement made between the IPS and their supervisor(s)). Specifically, this remaining amount could be used:

  • To reimburse the PhD candidate’s data collection costs, such as conducting fieldwork, purchasing data, carrying out panel interviews or experiments, etc.;
  • To purchase literature or attend conferences, if these expenses go beyond the abovementioned personal research budget;
  • To attend additional courses and summer schools, if necessary;
  • To reimburse the fees of Open Access publications;
  • To reimburse copy-editing costs for any resulting articles;
  • To reimburse visa (extension) costs;
  • If necessary, and on an incidental basis, it could also be used to attract the supervision services of experts outside Radboud University.

In the case of distressing circumstances, this remaining difference could also be used, on an incidental basis:

  • To contribute to the PhD candidate’s travel costs for an additional visit to their family in their home country;
  • To reimburse the PhD candidate’s health insurance costs;
  • If necessary and useful, to extend the candidate’s PhD trajectory beyond the standard 3 or 4 years, by providing them with the minimum income required by the IND for international researchers to live in the Netherlands.

If the programme does not include a fee (or includes an insufficient one), and the candidate is not able to cover the full fee through their own means, the IPS’ department may decide to waive the (remainder) of the fee

These financial arrangements must be discussed and agreed upon in writing before the start of the IPS’ PhD trajectory. They must also be communicated to the Financial department at fmfinancien@fm.ru.nl.

Selection and admission

The skills required from prospective IPS are identical to those required from internal PhD candidates, and their doctoral degrees are equally valued and appreciated. However, the selection process for IPS is different.

Oftentimes, a prospective IPS will approach an IMR researcher with a request for supervision. At this point, the prospective IPS should be referred to IMR Doctoral School website for more information on the application process and the PhD trajectory in general. Should the supervisor be interested, the selection process can start.

During the selection process, the supervisor should download the Checklist for IPS selection (docx, 36 kB)and follow the steps it outlines.

If, after the selection process, the prospective IPS and the supervisor decide to work together, the admission process can start. This involves:

  • Admitting the prospective IPS candidate to the IMR Doctoral School. Application for an IPS trajectory requires the submission of the following documents to the IMR Doctoral School:

    • Scans of the candidate’s Master’s diploma and transcripts (list of grades);
    • The candidate’s CV and explicit mention of their current address;
    • A Research Proposal Outline using this template. (docx, 33 kB)
    • A filled in recommendation form for IPS candidates, which you can find here(this Intranet link is only accessible to people with a RU IMR account).

      The Head of the Doctoral School will review these documents and make a decision regarding the admission of the (prospective) IPS candidate to the IMR Doctoral School.

  • Agreeing on financial arrangements, by filling in the letter you find here (docx, 52 kB).
  • Requesting a Letter of Acceptance – a standard format for which can be downloaded here (docx, 37 kB). After filling it in, the Letter should be signed by the supervisor and sent to the IMR Doctoral School for the final signature.

Based on the Letter of Acceptance (and some other documents), the prospective IPS will apply for the scholarship or sponsorship programme. If this process has a positive outcome, the IPS will arrive on the agreed date and can begin their research project.

IPS flowchart: Steps to follow in the case of IPS PhD trajectories

Selection and admission are only the first two stages in the case of IPS PhD trajectories. A third stage, preparation for arrival, is crucial for the good start of the IPS’ project. Moreover, multiple parties are involved in all three stages, from the starting point to the actual start of the IPS’ trajectory.

In order to provide a clear overview of these steps, the key contact persons involved, and their responsibilities, the IMR has drafted a flowchart for IPS PhD trajectories.

IPS supervisors and other relevant parties are encouraged to download this flowchart and familiarize themselves with the steps that need to be followed in order to select, admit, and prepare the start of IPS PhD trajectories.