Dotted all over the Netherlands are top-notch universities, which provide education at the highest standard and contribute to most of the research that’s carried out in the Netherlands. Currently, there are 18 research universities in the Netherlands. For a complete overview of research universities, visit VSNU.
University medical centres
Considerable innovations in cancer treatment, dementia research and many other fields have come from Dutch academic medical centres, and they therefore play a vital role in our research landscape. We currently have two medical centres in Amsterdam (the Amsterdam UMC hospitals), one in Rotterdam (Erasmus Medical Centre), and others in Leiden, Utrecht, Groningen and Maastricht. These research hospitals often have a specialisation in which they excel.
Our research institutes have usually been set up with governmental and industry funding and often work alongside universities in a knowledge-sharing collaboration. One of the largest and best known institutes is the TNO , the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research. Providing in-depth research for a large amount of subjects and industries, their mission is to apply science to benefit both business and governments. Some of the fields the TNO focuses on are sustainable use of space and the environment, ICT and services, quality of life, the defence and security of society, and advanced products, processes and systems. The TO2 Open Innovation Network is another institute that provides R&D for multiple research projects. This institute has a flexible network structure, which enables easier cooperation when creating cross-sectoral research projects.
Other noteworthy institutes with particular specialisations are Deltares, which researches ports, coastlines, rivers, ocean and inland shipping, water management and the environment; the Maritime Research Institute in the Netherlands in the Netherlands (MARIN), which delves deep to learn more about shipbuilding and offshore and ocean engineering; the National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR), which is specialised in aeronautics and space technology for both civil and defence purposes; and Wageningen University & Research ; which has a clear focus on nature and how it can improve quality of life.
The perks of working in Dutch academia
Our universities aren’t just great for students, they’re also very attractive employers, offering opportunities for academic talent from all walks of life. And don’t worry, you don’t have to be fluent in Dutch to seize them. There is a wide selection of English-language degree programmes, making studying and working in academia highly accessible to internationals. Research from 2020 shows that 43% of all academic staff in the Netherlands were internationals.
Another unusual feature of the Dutch academic sector is the fact that most PhD candidates have an employment contract. This gives PhD students more security and in turn aids their career development. With an office culture that puts work-life balance first, Dutch universities aren’t just great places to further your career – they will also ensure that you have a pleasant time whilst doing so. All this is combined with full political and academic freedom, making the Netherlands a great environment to work in.
The Euraxess website also has extensive information about rules and regulations, plus plenty of practical information about coming to the Netherlands as a researcher.
Start your academic career in the Netherlands
If you are interested in an academic career in the Netherlands, then AcademicTransfer can support you in:
- Finding your research job
On AcademicTransfer, you'll find research jobs in higher education, university medical centers, research institutes, governmental institutions and the industry.
- Discovering your future career path
What career opportunities do you have as a researcher in the Netherlands? In the community AcademicsConnected, you can explore career paths within and outside academia. Read stories from other researchers, do a self-assessment and get prepared for your next step.
- Getting to know the Netherlands
Visit FactCards, a guide for international academics, with facts about the Netherlands.
Netherlands Recruitment Day
Academic Transfer is organizing The Netherlands Recruitment Day on October 1st 2022. Here you can Kickstart your research career in the Netherlands. Looking for a PhD position in the Netherlands? Participate in The Netherlands Recruitment Day and meet Dutch professors and recruiters. This event will be helt online and will give you an unique chance to get a one-on-one interview with a Dutch professor or recruiter and ask them any questions you might have. Registration is free and will be open until 1 September.