December 6, 2011

Netherlands Fellowship Programmes 2012 for Developing Countries

The Netherlands Fellowship Programmes (NFP) are designed to promote capacity building within organisations in 61 countries by providing training and education to mid-career staff. The NFP is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the budget for development cooperation.

The overall aim of the NFP is to help alleviate qualitative and quantitative shortages of skilled manpower within a wide range of governmental, private and non-governmental organisations. This is done by offering fellowships to mid-career professionals to improve the capacity of their employing organisations.

The scholarships allow candidates to receive a postgraduate education and to earn a Dutch degree. 

NFP sub-programmes

The NFP offers you three sub-programmes to choose from:
  • Master’s degree programmes
  • Short courses
  • PhD studies
In addition, there are separate funds for Alumni Activities.

Fields of Study

The scholarship covers many fields of study including: Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries; Architecture and Town Planning, Arts and Humanities; Business Administration and Management; Education; Engineering; Environmental Science; Fine and Applied Arts; Law; Mass Communication and Information Science; Mathematics and Computer Science; Medical and Health Science; Natural Science; Tourism and Leisure; Social and Behavioral Science; and Transport and Communications.

Target Groups

Students from 61 developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

Scholarship value/inclusions

An NFP fellowship is intended to supplement the salary that the fellowship holder should continue to receive (at least partially) during the study period. The allowance is considered to be a contribution towards the cost of living for one person, whether in the Netherlands or in another country. The fellowship can also cover the costs of tuition fees, visas, travel costs, insurance and thesis research.


To be eligible for an NFP fellowship you must:
  • be a mid-career 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 2012-2013 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 already have received an NFP fellowship for a master’s degree programme or a PhD fellowship.
  • not already have received two NFP fellowships for a short course and you must not have already received a fellowship in the year preceding your application.
  • not be employed by:
    - a multinational corporation (e.g. Shell, Unilever, Microsoft);
    - a large national and/or 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 application, including all the required documentation, before the applicable fellowship application deadline;
  • be employed in an area to which the study will make a relevant contribution;
  • have a clear-cut, functional relationship with a relevant organisation and be in a position to introduce the newly acquired skills and knowledge into that organisation;
  • be full-time available 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.


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 can find these priorities on the embassy's website.
Application Procedure

As stated above, to be eligible for an NFP fellowship, candidates need to be admitted to the Master’s/PhD programme for which they would like an NFP fellowship. Thus, candidates must first apply for admission directly to the Dutch institution that offers the master’s degree programme of their choice.

For 2012-2013, the deadline for fellowship applications is 7 Februrary or 1 May 2012 depending on the course (see the NFP course list for 2012-2013 to know the specific deadline for your chosen course). The deadline for academic applications is earlier, about 1-2 months earlier than the fellowship applications deadline. Therefore, candidates are strongly advised to start the application procedure for admission as early as possible.

Applications have to be submitted through Scholarships Online (SOL). Through SOL candidates can apply for fellowships online and they can check the status of an application. Other parties such as the Dutch institutions, the embassies and consulates will use SOL to assess NFP fellowship applications. SOL can be accessed through the official website starting 1 November 2011.

Visit the official website for detailed information on how to apply for this scholarship:

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