UM Brightlands Talent Scholarship

Four innovation campuses in Limburg, the Netherlands, form the Brightlands. The Brightlands campi bring together entrepreneurs, researchers and students to innovate and create international breakthroughs together in chemistry and materials, health, agrifood, data science and smart digital services.

The UM Brightlands Talent Scholarship programme offers four full coverage scholarships (including a tuition fee waiver and monthly stipend) per academic year for a selected number of top-performing non-EU/EEA students with personal development potential that have been (conditionally) admitted to a master's programme connected to the Brightlands campi.

A mandatory component of the UM Brightlands Talent Scholarship is participating in the thesis-research-programme (TRP), requiring scholarship recipients to write their thesis based on research at one of the companies at the respective Brightlands campus.

Target group: top-performing non-EU/EEA master’s students with high personal development potential that have been (conditionally) admitted to a master's programme connected to the Brightlands campi and with a substantiated motivation to contribute to the campuses’ development.

Who is eligible?

All candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • You hold the nationality of a country outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland and meet the requirements for obtaining an entry visa and residence permit for the Netherlands
  • You do not hold a double nationality from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland
  • You have never participated in a degree-seeking higher education programme in the Netherlands. Students who have completed exchange programmes in the Netherlands are welcome to apply
  • You are not older than 35 years of age on 1 September 2024
  • You agree to become an active Brightlands and UM ambassador during and after your studies, by committing to share your experiences during at least one (information) session for students and/or other stakeholders
  • You have have been (conditionally) admitted to the participating master's programmes at UM for the 2024-2025 academic year

Application deadline
Applications are closed

Duration of the UM Brightlands Talent Scholarship

  • 13 months for a one-year master's programme
  • 25 months for a two-year master's programme

Amount of the UM Brightlands Talent Scholarship programme 2024-2025

Living expenses€ 15,925*(13 months) or € 30,625*(25 months)Paid to students by the UM International Services Desk
Health & liability insurance€700*Arranged for and paid by the UM International Services Desk
Visa application costs€ 228Arranged for and paid by the UM International Services Desk
Tuition feesAt costArranged for and paid by the UM International Services Desk
Pre-Academic Training costsAt costArranged for and paid by the UM International Services Desk
International Student Ambassador Programme (ISAP)€25 for first block onlyArranged for and paid by the UM International Services Desk

*This amount is subject to change for academic year 2025-2026

Application procedure

Step 1: Register for one of the participating master's programmes at UM
For further details on how to register for a master's programme at UM, please see your prospective programme’s webpage. Once you have submitted your application via Studielink, you will receive a student ID number for UM. You will need a student number in order to complete and submit the Scholarship Application Form (see Step 2 below).

  • Please note: only the master's programmes in the list above are eligible for a UM Brightlands Talent Scholarship.Please note: you first have to apply for the master programme at UM to receive your student ID, as soon as you have your student ID you can apply for the scholarship. However, you must be conditionally approved for admission to your master programme in order to be awarded a scholarship.
  • Please note: if your study programme requires the payment of a handling fee as part of your programme’s admissions procedure, the UM International Services Desk does not cover handling fees. You are responsible for paying any handling fee your programme may require by 1 February 2024. To check whether your programme requires the payment of a handling fee, please check your programme’s webpage under the menu tab 'Admission requirements'.

Step 2: Please fill in the application form, you need to log in with your UM account
You can find the application Form here (applications are closed). Upload the following documents in .doc, .docx or PDF format, and submit your application. Please note that you will only be able to submit your application once, so please ensure that all of your documents and referee contact details are up-to-date. If you have applied for multiple UM study programmes, the UM International Services Desk will ensure that your complete scholarship application is considered for all eligible programmes for which you have a conditionally approved or approved admissions status.

  • Curriculum Vitae
    Your CV should be up-to-date, contain relevant information about your education and (job) experience, and should not be longer than two A4 pages. Please emphasise proven previous extracurricular engagement and active citizenship in your community.
  • Letter of motivation
    Please use the template for the motivation letter. This template will focus on your motivation for the scholarship.
  • Proof of academic excellence
    You may upload one of the following documents in order to prove your academic excellence:
    1. Your university transcript that explicitly states your grade point average or class ranking (i.e. first class honours) for your entire study programme; or,
    2. A letter signed by your institution’s Head of Department or Registrar stating that you are one of the top 20 students in the graduating year of your study programme.
    Excellent results during your prior education programmes, as demonstrated by your latest grade transcript. If several applicants are equally qualified, UM will give preference to applicants whose academic transcript demonstrates that they are among the top 5% of the 2024-2025 scholarship programme applicants
  • Personal statement of financial needs
    Please explain why you would benefit from being awarded a scholarship and describe your personal circumstances such as financial difficulty, sole parent/caretaking responsibilities, medical condition, disability, refugee status, et cetera.
  • A reference letter
    We have prepared scholarship reference letter guidelines; please print these out or forward them to your referee, as they will help your referee to write a good reference letter on your behalf. Please note that referees must be (former) professors, lecturers, or employers, and not family members. Recommendation letters should be dated and written no earlier than February 2023. Letters which do not agree with the guidelines are not taken into account, which means your application is incomplete. You need to upload the reference letter, this cannot be done by your referee. We trust you in this and we can check your reference.
  • The contact details of one referee
    Please note that we check the authenticity of your referee by contacting your referee. Therefore, ensure that you take the following steps when choosing a referee and submitting their details:
    - Relationship to applicant; indicate your referee’s connection to you. Is this your professor, thesis supervisor, employer? Please remember that family members may not function as referees.
    - Work telephone number of your referee; be sure to include the applicable country calling code.
    - Work or institutional email address of your referee. Letters referencing only a personal email address will be rejected.

Please note that you will only be able to submit your application once, so please ensure that all of your documents and referee contact details are up-to-date.

Step 1Register for a master's
programme via  
Step 2Fill out the application form  
You need to log in with your UM account

Selection procedure

Step 1: The UM International Services Desk checks if all applications are complete after 1 February 2024.

Step 2: The UM International Services Desk sends all complete applications to the respective UM Faculty in February 2024.

Step 3: The Faculty Admission Office - in cooperation with the respective programme coordinator(s) - ranks your application based on the UM scholarship selection criteria and proposes a top-5 to the Brightlands Talent Scholarship selection committee.

Step 4: The Brightlands Talent Scholarship selection committee (composed of a representatives of UM, the Brightlands campus management and the province of Limburg) invites the top-5 applicants for an online interview, following which a decision is taken. In case you are not selected, you will be added to a reserve list in case the selected candidate(s) decline(s) the scholarship.

Step 5: The UM International Services Desk will inform all candidates of their application status in April 2024. Your status will be selected, waitlisted or rejected by the beginning of May 2024 at the latest. Waitlisted application statuses will be changed to selected or rejected by May 2024.

Scholarship awardees will receive more information about the UM Pre-Academic Training programme and arrival in Maastricht upon receiving their award letters. The UM Pre-Academic Training is a mandatory component of the UM Global Studies Scholarship programme. The Pre-Academic Training takes place in August 2024.

Step 6: You must sign and return the award letter to the UM International Services Desk to accept the scholarship.

Student testimonials

FHML - master’s in Health Food Innovation Management, Campus Venlo
Simbiat Oladoja

Mohammad Daud

FSE - master’s in Biobased Materials, Chemelot Campus

"The master’s in Biobased Materials is beyond my expectations, which I had as an applicant.

While applying to this programme, I knew that it is taught inside the Brightlands Chemelot Campus. But the high level of collaborations and exposure to innovations I am experiencing here is just incredible.

The Problem-Based Learning (PBL) structure of education here at UM is transforming my perception that learning is not necessarily vertical (from professors and tutors). It is wondrous that I am acquiring a lot of skills and knowledge horizontally (from my classmates and peers). I am amazed by this idea of PBL and the efforts to create a truly diverse study group to enhance the learning experience."

Mohammad Daud

Liza Salhoub

SBE - master’s in Global Supply Chain Management and Change, Campus Venlo

"My journey at Maastricht University (UM), thanks to the Brightlands Talent Scholarship, has been nothing short of transformative. Nestled in the charming town of Venlo, I've found not just an academic institution but a warm and welcoming community that feels like home.

The unique Problem-Based Learning (PBL) system adopted by UM has been a revelation. It's more than just learning theories; it's about applying them to real-world scenarios, fostering practical thinking that's invaluable for my future in global supply chain management. The collaborative nature of PBL has not only enhanced my understanding of the subject matter but also honed my teamwork and communication skills. Through Brightlands, I had the opportunity to work with an innovative company that transforms coffee cherries into valuable bio-compounds used in food ingredient production, providing me with a unique hands-on experience.

Living in the Netherlands has opened up a world of exploration. From Venlo's cozy streets to the vibrant culture of Maastricht, every corner has offered enriching experiences. The scholarship has not only relieved financial burdens but also empowered me to make the most of my academic journey.

In essence, my time at UM has been a blend of academic rigour, personal growth, and cultural immersion. I'm grateful for the opportunities and support I've received, and I'm confident that the skills and knowledge I'm acquiring here will shape a successful future in the ever-changing field of supply chain management."

Liza Salhoub is a Brightlands Talent Scholarship student in the Netherlands

Leena Al-Hazmi

FSE - master’s in Imaging Engineering, Maastricht Health Campus

Immersed in the world of imaging engineering, where my studies connect chemistry to electronics

"I am Leena, a master's student at Maastricht University (UM), fortunate to hold the Brightlands Talent Scholarship. 

My journey at UM has been incredibly fulfilling, offering a blend of diverse experiences and exciting opportunities. I am still in my first year, and my experience with practical labs in my programme has been a highlight, allowing me to perform MRIs, spectroscopy, and construct an optical microscope. All this has added fascinating dimensions to my learning that I could never have imagined. 

The unique learning approach at UM, Problem-Based Learning, has significantly improved my understanding of course materials, fostering better retention compared to traditional lecturing methods. It has also honed my critical thinking and teamwork skills. 

All of this unfolds in Maastricht, a beautiful, serene city away from the bustling crowds of big cities, with a vibrant campus and a diverse community."

Leena Al-Hazmi holds a Brightlands Talent Scholarship at Maastricht University

Gabriel Domingues Gonçalves

FSE - master's in Biobased Materials, Chemelot Campus

"I remember the first time I entered the Brightlands Chemelot Campus. The first thing I saw was a huge cooling tower (the one we always think is from a nuclear power plant). It was very impactful for my life, as for the first time since I had started studying, I felt part of something bigger. 

This was still when I was in my bachelor's, enrolled at a Brazilian University, and I came to one of the campus’ companies for an internship. It was then that I got to know Maastricht University and the master's programme in Biobased Materials. I knew I would be able to accomplish so much, when staying here. So I applied for the master's programme and was awarded a Brightlands Talent Scholarship. 

Saying that this scholarship has changed my life is a bit of an understatement. The professional growth I have experienced during the programme is much beyond my initial expectations, and much of it is related to the programme being taught at the Brightlands Campus. Besides, of course, studying with amazing professors, the connection between the university and the companies of the campus allows for an almost endless number of opportunities. For instance, currently, I am working as an intern at another company at Brightlands, as part of my final thesis research project. 

What I really like here is the shared interest in sustainability, among basically the whole campus, which has always been one of my biggest motivations and what I want to commit to as a professional. 

Beyond professional growth, I also enjoy the Netherlands and Europe a lot. I had the opportunity to make many different friends from various nationalities and backgrounds, which is really different from what I could do in Brazil. Living this exchange of cultures really thrills me. Also, traveling, one of my strongest passions, is very easy around Europe. I feel very happy and realised both personally and professionally here and definitely see myself staying a little longer after graduating. 

I am very grateful for the opportunities I had as a UM student and as a Brightlands resident, and I think the most important thing is how it prepared me for a future that looks really exciting."

Gabriel Domingues Goncalves, UM Brightlands scholarship student

Anton Changalidi

FSE - master's in Data Science for Decision Making, Smart Services Campus

"I am a student with a diverse background in data science and software development, focusing on projects involving genomic data processing and the incorporation of Natural Language Processing (NLP) methods into healthcare solutions.

Everything started two years ago when I decided I wanted to study in Europe – since it is a great opportunity for me to communicate with scientists and other professionals from all over the world without difficulties. Maastricht was one of the few places that offered not only good programmes in Data Science but also generous funding opportunities.
I applied, and everything went smoothly during my interview. In April 2023, when I received my acceptance letter, my journey started!

What I like about my study programme is that its duration is two years. So I had the whole year for studies and small research projects, and I did not have to think about my master’s thesis. 
For the first half year, I dedicated myself to studying, and now I am also involved in different activities. I participated in a hackathon by the bank 'Bunq' in Amsterdam, where I applied the knowledge and experiences I received from NLP courses here. I will also participate in the conference ByteMAL, organised by UM, and in the Sciencepreneurship Summer School at the end of April, where I hope to enhance my practical skills and make a lot of new connections!

Last, but not least, are trips and adventures: for the past year, I had several trips to Belgium, Germany, Andorra, Spain, and all over the Netherlands. I like living in the (almost) middle of Europe!"

Anton Changalidi is a UM Brightlands Talent Scholarship student