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NFP: Netherlands Fellowship Programs

The Netherlands Fellowship Programs (NFP) provide training and education via fellowships for professionals in order to promote the share of knowledge and capacity strengthening within organizations in 62 countries around the world. Professional Fellowship Scholarships are funded fully by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs basing on the budget allocated for development collaboration. The NFP strives to contribute to the increase in the number and in the competencies of expert staff at a wide array of governmental as well as nongovernmental organizations.

To be considered eligible for the full fellowship, an applicant has to be nominated by his or her employer. Within the context of the applicant’s organization (or business) there must be a clear and valid need for training.

Please note that after completing the training course, the applicant must return to his or her place of work. This ensures that the training is embedded within the organization.

The candidate will be able to

  • improve his or her knowledge and skills,
  • learn more about related global developments in his or her field of work;
  • build an international network.

The result is twofold: for the applicant’s employing organization, it is a direct investment in staff development; for the applicants as a professional, the training is a valuable contribution to the further career.

Target Group

The NFP target group involves professionals who were born and work and live in NFP countries. Besides, the chances of a candidate’s obtaining an NFP fellowship increase in the following cases:

  • if a candidate lives and works in one of the countries Sub-Saharan Africa;
  • if a candidate is a woman.

Levels of Study

  • Short courses (post-secondary level): 2 weeks to 12 months. Deadline: May and October, 2013.
  • Master’s degree program: 12 to 14 months. Deadline: May, 2013
  • PhD research studies: up to 4 years (applicants can choose from one of the 21 Dutch universities or institutes).

Eligibility Requirements

  • The scholarships are open to professionals who prove highly motivated, with at least three 3-year work experience (with the priority for those who live and work in Sub-Saharan Africa).
  • Women are of the advantage.
  • An applicant must belong to one of the priority groups and/or come from one of the marginalized regions defined by the Dutch Embassy in the applicant’s home country.
  • An applicant must be born and work and live in one of the countries that are included into the NFP country list that is valid at the application time.
  • An applicant must be chosen by their employer, who is responsible to continue paying their salary and provides guarantees that they will be able to take to the same position or its equivalent after completing the fellowship program.
  • An applicant must be unconditionally admitted by a Dutch institution into a Master’s degree program or short course. Or an applicant must agree upon a Dutch institution PhD research proposal. That said, you must meet all academic requirements of the Dutch institution. Among them: not being employed by a large national and/or commercial organization, a bilateral donor organization, a multilateral donor organization, multinational corporation, or an international NGO.
  • Before the fellowship application deadline, an applicant must complete and submit a NFP PhD study, master’s degree program or short course fellowship application, attaching the documentation required.
  • An applicant must be employed in a subject area into which his or her study can make a relevant contribution.
  • An applicant must have a clear-cut work relationship with a related organization to be able to introduce the newly acquired knowledge and skills.
  • An applicant must be full-time available for the whole period of the program.
  • An applicant must be physically and mentally able to participate.
  • An applicant must endorse the aim of the NFP, using new knowledge and skills to support his or her employing organization and home country.

Additional Requirements per Type of Application

  1. For NFP PhD fellowship you must:
  • be a first-time applicant for an NFP PhD fellowship;
  • pursue the degree by following a ‘sandwich’ or ‘picnic’ model: at least ¼ of the PhD study period must take place in your home country and/or region (¼ of the PhD study period starts from the first day of the PhD study/research and finishes at the official end of the NFP PhD fellowship.
  1. To obtain NFP short courses fellowship:
  • you cannot accept more than one offer of the NFP short courses fellowship;
  • you must have at least 1-year gap before the current application if it is not the first time you apply.
  1. If you apply for an NFP master’s degree program (NFP-MA) fellowship, you must not have accepted an NFP master’s degree program fellowship in the past.

Please note that study program and courses are offered by

 IHS (Institute for Housing and Urban Development)  Erasmus University Rotterdam
 CDI (Centre for Development Innovation)  Wageningen University
 ITC (Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation)  University of Twente

Required Documents

  • A copy of a valid passport or any other official identification document.
  • An employer’s statement.
  • A statement from the Government Authority if applicable.
  • Statements of motivation (motivation letter).
  • A letter of a co-supervisor in your own country, if applicable (PhD fellowships only).

Apart from the applicant’s passport, every other document required here should be downloaded from the schools’ official websites. All documents are to be submitted online.

All the NFP courses are full-time courses. Consult Studyfinder Database for more detailed information on the Dutch scholarships.

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