Discover PhD opportunities: Graduate Research on Worldwide Challenges (GROW) Programme 2024

Join Graduate Research on Worldwide Challenges (GROW) and participate in global research. Apply Below

Would you like to help drive interdisciplinary, international and intersectoral research & innovation to understand and improve the lives of millions of people in Africa and beyond? Join the Netherlands’ leading universities as a PhD student and conduct novel research geared to realising the sustainable development goals on the African continent.

The application deadline is January 31st 2024

About Graduate Research on Worldwide Challenges (GROW) Programme

We are a network of internationally collaborating universities from the Netherlands with longstanding collaborations with our partners at the African continent.

We will launch an international PhD programme that offers tomorrow’s leaders a unique opportunity to do high quality and novel research, related to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals on the African continent.

Supervision for the PhD students will be provided by globally renowned professors, supported by societal actors and academics from our African partners. With the projects we aim to make a real contribution to understanding and addressing the urgent worldwide challenges.

Eligibility Criteria Information:

No doctoral degree

Eligible candidates must not have a doctoral degree at the date of their recruitment. Researchers who have successfully defended their doctoral thesis but who have not yet formally been awarded the doctoral degree will not be considered eligible.


Candidates of all nationalities and countries of origin are eligible, unless national, international, or European legislation or embargos prohibit specific (combinations of (sub) disciplines and) countries of origin. The appointed PhD students must comply with the following mobility rule: they must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in The Netherlands for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the deadline of the co-funded programme’s call. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention113 are not taken into account.

Entry Requirements

Applicants must have completed a university degree that entitles them to embark in a doctoral programme in the Netherlands (Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MSc), or Master of Laws (LLM)). The degree must be dated less than 10 years prior to the call deadline. The eligibility window can be extended by 6 months per child for the mother, (additional) maternity or paternity leave (actual time up to 6 months per child), training for medical specialists (3 years), compulsory and reserve military service (actual time), or for refugees/ researchers at risk (up to 3 years). Documentation providing evidence must be included with the application.


The Candidate must be available to enroll full-time in the PhD program at the Host institution in The Netherlands; eventual suspensions for family or personal reasons shall be discussed with the granting authority.

English Certificate

Doctoral Candidates are required to have high level in the English language (if not native speakers). English level of short-listed applicants can be assessed during the selection interview and a mandatory passed test could become part of the Go-No Go decision after year 1 of the project.

Affinity with Africa

Doctoral Candidates will need to demonstrate a strong connection with the African contintent and / or an understanding of the context of Low and Middle Income settings.


After selection, we expect the PhD students to actively participate in the events organized by the programme, such as training/network events, and outreach activities targeting different audiences. The candidates are aware of and adhere to the principles set out in the Commission Recommendation on the European Charter for Resear

How to apply

Using the application portal will be the only way to apply. Below you can find all participating supervisors so that you can decide which one(s) you would like to apply with.

By creating your profile in the application portal, you agree with the GROW Privacy Statement

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For additional information about GROW, VISIT HERE

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