Selection and acceptance

As a prospective supervisor you will be involved in the recruitment, selection and acceptance of new PhD candidates.


To get admission to the PhD programme, candidates must adhere to a number of criteria. They must have a (Dutch) master or equivalent degree, as described in UU Doctoral Degree Regulations (exception procedure described below). In addition, the quality of the applicant is of vital importance: among others their research focus and scientific curiosity, and their scientific quality as shown by earlier study results such as a (research) master’s thesis and possible publications. The applicant must have oral and written proficiency in English at an advanced level (level C1). Proof of proficiency must be provided before selection or acceptance. Also, the fit of the proposed project in the research themes of the group and the GSG is of importance (when not applying to a vacancy).

Criterion on scholarship candidates
The GSG only receives scholarship candidates if the scholarship is at least the Dutch net minimum wage. This applies to new PhD candidates with a scholarship for (at least) four years who reside in the Netherlands during the term of the scholarship (excluding short stays such as holidays) and who conduct research at the Faculty of Geosciences with the intention of obtaining a PhD degree at this faculty. The financial condition applies to those who are received by the faculty from 15 April 2023 onwards (date of acceptance letter or, in the absence of such a letter, actual receipt). The applied thresholds are as follows:

1 July – 31 December 2024


1 March – 30 June 2024


1 July 2023 – 29 Feb 2024€1836,73

As from 1 January 2025, adapted figures are expected.


First, the usual recruitment and selection rules of Utrecht University and the Faculty of Geosciences apply.

If you have a vacancy for a new PhD candidate, it must be advertised. The invited applicants are given the opportunity to share their vision of the project they applied for through the job opening. Prospective scholarship, external and externally financed PhD candidates seek a supervisor for their PhD proposal themselves. Be sure that the first supervisor discusses the candidate with the research director before accepting the candidate.

The four-eye principle applies to the selection and acceptance procedures for all PhD candidates, regardless of the type of candidate. This means that before accepting a candidate, at least two staff members must have been involved in the process and discussed the proposed research with the prospective candidate. One of the members is the prospective first supervisor; the second is preferably the second or co-supervisor. The prospective supervisor informs the research director about the job vacancy or PhD application and about the intended supervisory team.

The first supervisor must check whether a prospective PhD candidate adheres to the admission criteria of the GSG, before committing to the candidate, e.g., before sending a scholarship acceptance or invitation letter, or offering an employment contract. Please note:

  • For advice on the equivalence of a diploma to a (Dutch) master, you can consult the UU Admissions Office.
  • If a prospective candidate does not possess a (Dutch) master or equivalent degree, you need to follow this procedure.