How to make a really bad first impression?

  1. Send us several emails, each with as many attaches as possible, in different formats, totalling tens of megabytes.
  2. Send us more mails with slightly corrected attaches.
  3. Send us as much irrelevant information as possible, such as scans of diploma certificates (you can bring the originals if we invite you for interview).
  4. Clearly demonstrate that you have not read the text of the advert nor this FAQ.
  5. Your presentation goes on an on. You talk mostly about work done by others. You fail to convince the expert in the audience that you have really understood what you are talking about.

How to make a good first impression?

  1. Send us one email with one attach in PDF format with:
    • A cover letter stating which vacancy you are applying for and why you are the right person for the job.
    • Your CV.
    • The name and contact details of three references who know you well.
    • Your marks transcripts if you are applying for a PhD position, or your publication list if you are applying for a PostDoc position.
  2. Your presentation convinces us in the first minute that you are smart. You have solved a difficult problem, yet you manage to explain it in such a way that also non-experts get the idea. You are enthusiastic about your research.

What happens during the job interview?
The day begins with a short (typically 20 minutes) presentation of the candidate on her/his research, followed by about 10 minutes for questions and discussion. Then the candidate has informal talks with a number of staff and PhD students. The day ends with a formal interview of about an hour.

What should I present during the presentation?
We expect you to present your recent research. For example, if you have presented a paper at a conference of workshop, then this presentation would be welcome. Most PhD candidates present the results of their master thesis.

Do you do telephone interviews?
We expect all candidates to travel to the Netherlands for a one day interview. We sometimes interview the candidate by telephone prior to the interview on site.

Who handles the logistics of the one day travel?
We handle hotel reservation. You are expected to handle transportation. Travel costs are reimbursed.

How can I find out whether I am eligible to apply?
You are eligible to apply if you have Master degree in a relevant discipline (such as Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, or Mathematics), and if you speak, read, and write proper English. Students from all nationalities are equally welcome to apply.

What is the English language proficiency requirement?
IELTS 6.5.

Could you give me some details about the procedure of diploma recognition?
This procedure takes place during the first year of your PhD studies as soon as possible after the start of your contract. What you have to bring is an official translation into English of your diploma marks transcript. The procedure has been initiated because there have been some cases of fraud in the past. Furthermore it is an official step in the total procedure in which the PhD-committee decides if your background is sufficient to be admitted to the defence of your thesis.

What are my obligations to the University and the obligations of the University to me?
The official information may be found here. The most important document is the education and training program which states the courses you should attend and the milestones of your research. In this document also the responsabilities of the university are mentioned. This document is used as a basis for the annual performance evaluation.

When does a PhD start?
A PhD project is an individual project that can start at any time. The student and the supervisors agree on a personalised training and education plan which outlines the courses to be taken and when they are taken.

Do I have to do teaching?
Most PhD students are involved in our undergraduate teaching. The teaching load is normally very low. Typically teaching tasks include a few hours of lecturing, supervising a final year project student, invigilating an exam, supervising a laboratory, or marking course work.

What are the consequences in case of breach of contract?
You can resign with a notification period of at least 1 and a maximum of 3 months. Your contract with the University will be for 4 years. At the end of the first year a go/nogo decision is made on the basis of an assessment. A good way to ensure that you will pass is to submit your first publication before the end of year one.

Is there a detailed work plan for the project?
The work plan as suggested in the project proposal is a starting point. What you make of the project is very much up to you. Fixing details at the beginning does not make sense, because what you have to do is scientific work, where creativity is an important ingredient.

What are necessary conditions to complete my doctoral dissertation and to achieve a PhD degree?
The practice is that you publish a number of papers in quality conferences/journals.

Why does the University want to have PhD students?
We invest time and money in PhD student: money to pay your salary and time to provide supervision. The money is normally provided by an external sponsor who will hold the University responsible for spending the money sensibly. If you do well, the glory reflects on us and we can make the sponsors happy. We invest time in PhD students because we are genuinely interested in the results. By the time a PhD student starts, we will have spent up to three years doing preliminary research, writing the grant proposal, waiting for the proposal to be granted and then recruiting PhD students. The best way to get a return on our investment is to support you in every way we can so that your project becomes a success.

Is doing research a 9-5 job?
No, because your mind will be working all the time trying to solve your research problems. When you have an idea you will want to work on it straight away. However, research is also a team activity and the best way to work with other people is when they are actually around. So we have a policy stipulating that all students and staff are normally at the University during office hours. Most staff and students are on-line, responding to email at all hours, weekends included.

Should I apply for a work permit and residence permit?
No, the University applies for these permits and you will be contacted by the Dutch embassy when your paperwork is ready for you to collect. When necessary also the personnel officer will contact you about the permits.

What is the tuition fee?
There is no tuition fee. PhD students receive a salary (amount as indicated in the job advert).

Are your studentships fully funded?

How do I apply?
By emailing one PDF file containing your CV, your marks transcripts, the name and address of 3 references, and the very best paper that you have published to the email address mentioned in the advertisement. Please do not send us email with many attachments, but combine everything in one PDF.

What is the deadline for my application?
This is normally indicated in the advertisement.