Netherlands Fellowship Programme for Developing Countries 2014-2015

The Netherlands Fellowships Programme, NFP, is still open for applications for PhD and short course applications from suitable qualified candidates for 2014-2015 NFP scholarship programmes. Applicants must be nominated by their employer to be eligible for the fellowship. There also has to be a clear need for training within the context of your organization.

The NFP promote capacity building within organisations in 62 countries by providing training and education through fellowships for professionals. The NFP is initiated and fully funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the budget for development cooperation. The overall aim of the NFP is to help increase both the number and the competencies of skilled staff at a wide range of governmental and non-governmental organisations.

Worth of Awards

They pay your fellowship to the Dutch institution, as described in the Rules and Regulations. The institution will manage your fellowship and make payments/stipends to you for the duration of your fellowship.


  • The NFP target group consists of professionals who are nationals of and work and live in an NFP country.
  • NFP fellowships are awarded in a very competitive selection to highly motivated professionals with at least three years work experience. You can only become a candidate if you are nominated by your employer. After completing your training as an NFP fellow, you return to your original workplace to ensure the training is embedded within your employing organisation.
  • Your chances of obtaining an NFP scholarship go up if you:
  • live and work in Sub-Saharan Africa;
  • are a woman;
  • belong to a priority groups and/or are from a marginalised region as defined by the Dutch embassy in your country.

You must:

  • be a professional with at least three years’ relevant work experience;
  • be a national of, and working and living in one of the countries on the NFP country list valid at the time of application;
  • be nominated by your employer, who pledges to continue paying your salary and guarantees that you will be able to return to the same or an equivalent position at the end of your fellowship period;
  • have been unconditionally admitted by a Dutch institution to one of the Master’s degree programmes or Short courses on the course list, or have agreed upon a PhD research proposal with the Dutch institution. This means that you must have met all the academic requirements set by the Dutch institution;
  • not be employed by:
    – a multinational corporation (e.g. Shell, Unilever, Microsoft);
    – a large national and/or a large commercial organisation;
    – a bilateral donor organisation (e.g. USAID, DFID, Danida, Sida, Dutch ministry of Foreign affairs, FinAid, AusAid, ADC, SwissAid);
    – a multilateral donor organisation, (e.g. a UN organisation, the World Bank, the IMF, Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank, IADB);
    – an international NGO (e.g. Oxfam, Plan, Care).
  • have completed and submitted an NFP PhD study, master’s degree programme or short course fellowship application, including all the required documentation, before the applicable fellowship application deadline;
  • be employed in a subject area to which the study will make a relevant contribution;
  • have a clear-cut, work relationship with a relevant organisation and be in a position to introduce the newly acquired skills and knowledge into that organisation;
  • be available full-time for the entire period of the programme or course and be physically and mentally able to take part in the entire programme;
  • endorse the objective and the aim of the NFP and use your new knowledge and skills to support your employing organisation and your country. Nuffic urges you to return to your home country upon finishing the course or programme to meet the NFP aim in the most effective way.

Additional criteria per type of application

If you apply for an NFP PhD fellowship, you must:

  • not have accepted an NFP PhD fellowship in the past;
  • pursue the PhD study following a ‘sandwich’ or ‘picnic’ model, which means that at least a quarter of the PhD study must take place in the candidate’s home country and/or region. A quarter of the PhD study is calculated from the start date of the PhD-study (research) until the end of the NFP-PhD fellowship.

If you apply for an NFP short courses fellowship, you must:

  • not have accepted more than one NFP short course fellowship in the past;
  • not have accepted an NFP short course fellowship in the year prior to the fellowship application.

If you apply for an NFP master’s degree programme (NFP-MA) fellowship, you must not have accepted an NFP master’s degree programme fellowship in the past.

How to Apply

Before applying for an NFP fellowship, it is important to realise and consider that:

  • Applying for an NFP fellowship often takes time and effort and costs money, but might not lead to an NFP fellowship as Nuffic receives thousands of applications each year.
  • Applying for a fellowship numerous times does not increase your chances of receiving a fellowship.

Before you start your NFP fellowship application you must do the following:

  • Read all information available on the NFP webpages.
  • Prepare and/or collect all the necessary application documents.

To be eligible for an NFP fellowship, you must be admitted to the master’s degree programme, short course or PhD study, for which you would like to use the fellowship.


  • You have to obtain academic admission
  • You must apply for academic admission directly at the Dutch institution. Your admission must be unconditional in terms of your education and language proficiency. Conditional admission may be granted only subject to you finding suitable funding for the programme.
  • You are strongly advised to seek academic admission as early as possible to allow the institution to process your application in time. Ask the Dutch institution what their deadline for academic admission is.
  • The academic admission process for a PhD study is an individual track. Ask the Dutch institution what the requirements and deadlines are.
  • You are only allowed to apply for one NFP fellowship per deadline.
  • Prepare your application for an NFP fellowship
  • If you are certain that you are eligible for an NFP fellowship and you have collected all the necessary information and documentation, you can start applying.


Short courses and PhD  deadline: October 1, 2013 (15.00 hrs CET)

For further details on the scholarships, click here

For details about documents to submit and application procedure, click here.

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