PhD programs - PhD Defense

PhD programs at Tilburg University

Are you passionate about science? Do you want to develop new knowledge and make a societal impact? We offer you the opportunity to learn from inspiring scientists in a dynamic, international and challenging environment. Doing a PhD in Tilburg may be the right thing for you! All PhD programs are offered in English.

PhD theses

in 2020

PhD candidates

at Tilburg University

+/- 50%
are international

PhD candidates

Why choose Tilburg University? 

Tilburg University is a renowned public university in the Netherlands, founded in 1927. It wants to bring people from various research disciplines and organizations together. This enables the university to contribute to solving complex social issues. Understanding and subsequently enhancing our society is what researchers of Tilburg University aim to do. We offer seven broad research topics on which you can obtain a PhD.

What excites you about your research?

How to obtain your PhD?

For admission to a PhD program you need to have a solid background in the theory and methods of your field, hold a recognized Master’s degree (or equivalent) and demonstrate a good knowledge of English.

Tilburg University offers several options to obtain a doctoral degree:

  • Obtaining a doctoral degree as an employee of Tilburg University. Visit the vacancies for available PhD positions at Tilburg University.
    The Tilburg School for Economics and Management expects all their PhD candidates in Economics to have a CentER Research Master, before applying to the TiSEM Phd Program. Therefore, in principle, they do not admit anyone into the full time PhD program Economics directly. More information about the TiSEM PhD program
  • Obtaining a doctoral degree without being employed at Tilburg University:
    • On a scholarship; These scholarships can come from foreign governments, international organizations or Dutch funds for foreign PhD candidates.
    • As an employee of another employer; You are an employee at a university of applied sciences, a company, or a hospital and you employer provides you a compensation in time and/or money.
    • As an external PhD candidate; You work on your thesis in your own time and with your own money.

More information on fees, funding and scholarships 

What supervision and support do we offer?

You have to come up with your own research subject and need to find a supervisor yourself. Once you have found a supervisor with the help of a Graduate School, the two of you will develop and agree on a research proposal and a training and supervision plan.

What support do we offer?

Practical Matters

Fees, Funding and Scholarships
PhD regulations

The Tilburg University PhD regulations incorporate a number of statutory provisions in conformity with the Higher Education and Research Act (in Dutch: WHW), and a number of conditions laid down by the Doctorate Board of Tilburg University.

Graduate Schools

For more information about the specific PhD programs of Tilburg University, you can contact the Graduate Schools of your research field.

Research in the Netherlands

To learn more about Dutch research and higher education you can read a Beginner’s Guide to Dutch Academia.

  • PhD Programs - PhD Candidate - Tina Sahakian

    Tina Sahakian

    PhD Alumna Tilburg School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    'I love research; I enjoy asking and answering questions about the world around me, and I thoroughly believe that research is key to better understanding and solving problems we face in today’s society. '

  • TLS - PhD Candidate - Steffie van den Bosch

    Steffie van den Bosch

    PhD Candidate Tilburg Law School

    “I love to address new (legal) challenges from a multidisciplinary perspective, which has become a core characteristic of Tilburg University’s research. This PhD program is also the perfect opportunity to develop both my academic and personal skills!”

  • TST - PhD Candidate - Bart van Dijk

    Bart van Dijk

    PhD Alumnus Tilburg School of Theology

    "For me, as a chaplain of the Royal Netherlands Navy, the opportunity to do my PhD research was the greatest adventure I could imagine. It stimulated my curiosity for knowledge. The School was the perfect place for this, first of all because she houses the chair of Religion and Ethics in the Context of the Armed Forces, but also because she is my Alma Mater."

What career perspectives do PhDs have?

Many PhD alumni pursue a career in academia. It is a very natural step to take with their gained knowledge and skills. 

But there are also a variety of job roles and career routes outside academia which demand the skills and expertise of a researcher. For instance in the healthcare sector, at consultancy firms, banks and governmental organizations.

To prepare our PhD graduates as well as possible for their future careers, Tilburg University offers them training opportunities to improve their career chances in and outside academia.

  • TiSEM - PhD Candidate - Kristopher Keller

    Kristopher Keller

    PhD Alumnus Tilburg School of Economics and Management

    “Coming out of my undergrad program, I knew I wanted to learn how to do research and work on exciting problems. I knew only a great Ph.D. program could make that possible and Tilburg offers just that: the program is tailored to the student’s interests, consists of a wide variety of high-quality courses taught by world-class researchers, advisors that are present and approachable, and a culture among PhD candidates that is truly supportive rather than cut-throat. I have never regretted my decision to do my Ph.D. in Tilburg and have very fond memories!“

  • TSHD - PhD Candidate - Yueqiao Han

    Yueqiao Han

    PhD Candidate Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences

    "I chose Tilburg University for my doctoral research because it offered me an international and dynamic academic environment, and had an incredible faculty. It provided a platform that allowed me to put the things I’ve learned into practice and develop my skills even further."