Externally funded PhDs

If you would like to conduct PhD research mostly on your own terms and with independent funding, you might consider an externally funded PhD position. Once you have the funding, you can pitch your idea to one of our staff members to see if they'll agree to supervise your research. You must be willing to hammer out a programme with your supervisor that works in accordance with our research standards, regulations and principles. Along with the supervision, you'll have the benefits of being able to access our research community, international network and facilities while completing your PhD research.

If you have the framework for an innovative, well-thought-out PhD research project that fits with one or more of our research themes, you should contact one of our faculties directly. They can help put you into contact with the appropriate supervisor and answer general questions about research at Maastricht University.

To get a better idea of the ongoing research we conduct at Maastricht University, you can: 


How our research is organised

At the PhD level, most research training at Maastricht University is organised by a faculty's graduate school. Most faculties have one or more graduate schools, depending on the degree of specialisation. The graduate schools are often linked to inter-university research schools, which are inter-institutional innovation centres that are structured for the training of young researchers. They usually cater to a larger number of PhD candidates, making it feasible to take more specialised courses. For some PhDs, the graduate school is linked to a research institute, which takes care of the supervision and training. Read more about the general structure of Dutch academia in A Beginner's Guide to Dutch Academia.

Feel free to contact the faculty directly regarding your research proposal, and they can put you in touch with the right person at the right graduate school, research institute or research school.

Facilities for PhDs

As an external PhD candidate, you'll have access to the research facilities at Maastricht University. That includes everything from one of the most advanced brain research facilities in the world to the extensive professional networks of our staff. Whether you do your research in Maastricht or abroad, you'll be part of our supportive research community. Your supervisors and colleagues will help you connect to the right people and attend conferences that will boost your career. See what our PhDs have to say in the video.