Application procedure

Self-funded PhD candidates

On this page you will find a step-by-step guide to apply for a PhD programme in the Social Sciences and the Humanities at Erasmus University Rotterdam. In a nutshell, you should follow this procedure:

  • Forward your PhD application package to the Graduate School
  • Await approval by the Graduate School
  • Contact a potential supervisor (full professor)
  • Submit academic documents for official review

Submissions that do not comply with the Graduate School guidelines cannot not be processed. Only after approval by the Graduate School can you start contacting a potential PhD supervisor.

  • There is no deadline for admission. PhD application package are reviewed on an ongoing basis. Reviews will take longer during the summer (July - August) and winter break (late December - early January).
  • We strive to complete the entire process within six weeks.

1.   Email your PhD application package to admission@egsh.eur.nl
Use the email subject line PhD application package – [your name]

  • The package must include the following:
    • Research proposal
      Proposals must be drafted in accordance with our Research Proposal Guidelines.
      Below you will find an overview of potential PhD projects.
    • Proof of funding
      Some PhD scholarships require an acceptance letter from the host university. However, in order to determine the viability of a project the faculty/supervisor also needs some assurance that you have options for funding. Therefore, at least provide proof that you comply with the requirements of the scholarship, or (preferably) a conditional funding approval.
    • Curriculum Vitae
      No prescribed format but must contain motivation statement.
    • Proof of English proficiency
      See our minimum requirements page for more information.

Requirement PhD research proposals

Your proposal will have more chance of being approved if it aligns well with one of our predefined PhD projects and subjects. See the overview at the bottom of this page.

If you wish to submit a research proposal which is not included in the PhD project overview, it can only be reviewed if it falls within the research interest of one of our research groups.


2. Await validation PhD application package by the Graduate School

  • The admission office confirms that your package has been received.
  • The Graduate School office checks whether the package is complete and whether it complies with our guidelines.
  • The Graduate School contacts you to confirm that your package is complete or provides recommendations for improvement.

3.  Forward your application package to a potential doctoral supervisor (full professor)

  • Only after approval by the Graduate School can you start contacting a potential PhD supervisor.
  • In below overview of predefined PhD projects and subjects you will also find the contact details of the respective supervisors.
  • If you wish to submit a research proposal on a subject which is not included in below overview, you must yourself determine and contact a relevant supervisor.

4. Submit academic documents for official review

  • Once you have approval from a supervisor, ask them to forward below documents to admission.office@.eur.nl using the email subject line PhD application review – [full name]
    • Certified copy of Bachelor and Master academic degree(s) / diploma(s)
    • Certified copy of Bachelor and Master academic (grade) transcript(s)
    • Definitive research proposal
    • Proof of English proficiency
    • Three reference letters (if required by the doctoral supervisor)
      • Only recommendations in our PhD reference form template will be accepted.
      • The reference letters must be emailed separately to the Graduate School by the referees. Reference letters forwarded by yourself will not be accepted.
      • Referees should use the email subject line PhD reference [name referee] – [your name]
  • The admission office will officially review these documents to ensure that you comply with the minimum requirements.

Hard copy check

Once you arrive at EUR, you will have to submit the original documents at the back office for a final check. Any inconsistencies will lead to termination of admission to the PhD programme.


5.  Await validation by the admission back office

  • The admission back office reviews your documents.
  • Once your documents have been approved, you will receive an official Letter of Admission from your supervisor.

6.  Preparation to start PhD

  • Upon arrival at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Graduate School will welcome you with the soft landing programme for beginning PhD candidates.


Potential PhD projects and subjects

Your proposal will have more chance of being approved if it aligns well with one of our predefined PhD projects and subjects.

Before submitting a full proposal, ensure to consult below overview of possible PhD projects and our PhD research proposal guidelines. This is to ensure that your proposal aligns well with the research interests of a potential supervisor.


Potential supervisors who wish to submit a PhD project description can fill in this template form and email it to contact@egsh.eur.nl.