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PhD programme

Frequently asked questions

Amsterdam School of Communication Research

1. Where can I obtain an application form?

Here is the ASCoR PhD application form. Please see the section 'Application procedure' for more information on how to apply.

application procedure

2. How can I apply for a scholarship from ASCoR?

ASCoR does not provide scholarships for PhD candidates. If you wish to be admitted on the basis of your own project proposal (see Admission requirements), you must include a funding plan with your application, and show proof of funding at the time of registration.

Check out the FAQ 'What's the difference between a scholarship and an appointment?' for more information.

3. When will new projects (those that come with a salary) be advertized?

We open new advertized projects whenever we have funding available, but this cannot be predicted in advance. Sometimes we open several new projects at once, and sometimes we do not open new projects for many months. Please keep an eye on the News section of our website and on the vacancy website of the University of Amsterdam for new job openings.

Vacancies on the website of the University of Amsterdam

4. What's the difference between a scholarship and an appointment?

PhD candidates selected for one of the advertized positions receive a salary and a waiver of tuition fees. Those PhD candidates are employed by the University. This comes with rights and obligations associated with being employed by a Dutch University, such as a pension scheme. If you are hired on this basis, you will usually be required to teach 5-15% of your time. Current gross monthly salaries range from about €2000 in the 1st year to €2550 in the 3rd year.

PhD candidates who join ASCoR with their own funding from external sources are not employed by the University, and thus do not benefit from social security insurances. Although they have no teaching obligations, they can be hired to teach for a maximum of 8 hours per week if they wish and if a suitable teaching position is available. If hired to teach, you receive a salary for this work and are employed through UvAJobService in the role of teacher. You are also allowed to accept other jobs, inside or outside the University. However, you should make sure the side jobs do not interfere with PhD progress.

Please note that the motivation underlying admittance to our PhD Program is that ASCoR is very selective in its admittance policy. This implies that the candidates selected for our program are judged to be worth our support and supervision in furthering their academic careers. This also implies that ASCoR expects a full commitment from each candidate to pursue the PhD under the conditions set by ASCoR.

5. What are ASCoR's tuition fees?

PhD candidates who are formally admitted to our PhD Program on the basis of an advertized vacancy automatically receive a waiver of tuition fees.

In cases where candidates are admitted without an advertized vacancy, the fees will be determined on the basis of available funding. Please note that for these candidates - who do not receive a salary from ASCoR - no additional funding from ASCoR is guaranteed in terms of subsistence, data collection costs, conference travel, and the like.

6. When does the PhD program start?

If you have been accepted into our PhD program, the starting date is a matter of negotiation between you and ASCoR. Projects do not necessarily start at the beginning of a semester or calendar year. The maximum length of admittance into the program is normally three years.

7. Can I apply to your program even if I have not yet finished my Master's degree?

Yes, you are welcome to apply whilst you are rounding off your Master's thesis. Please note that you cannot enter our PhD program before you have actually obtained all your grades for the Master's degree.

8. I am a student from a non-European country. Can I apply to your program?

Of course you can. We welcome applications from students from anywhere around the world, and applications are assessed on their own merits irrespective of a person's nationality.

9. What are the guidelines for a research proposal?

When applying for a PhD position at ASCoR by submitting your own proposal, the research proposal should not exceed 2,500 words (excluding the reference list).The proposal should contain the following:

  • A clear title page that includes your name and contact information.
  • A theoretical framework - including a literature review - to explain the relevance and motivation for the research project. Suitable literature is academic, recent and research-oriented.
  • A clearly defined research question.
  • A well-defined section on the proposed methodology. The proposed methodology should, of course, pertain to the research question. Please be specific: It does not suffice to indicate that you will do 'several interviews'. That is NOT a proposed methodology. A proposed methodology sets out clearly which method(s) will be used, why, and how this will be done.
  • A time frame: A preliminary plan for the project - including writing up the PhD thesis - on a month to month (first year), and year to year (consecutive years) basis.
  • A list of references to the literature referenced in the proposal.We prefer APA referencing standards. Do not include literature that is not referred to in the proposal.

Please be aware that a PhD project at ASCoR takes 3 years fulltime to complete and is expected to result in at least 3 academic journal publications.

10. Can I conduct the PhD from my home country?

No, you cannot. Conducting long-distance PhD's is something that we regard as undesirable. We believe it is important for our PhD candidates to be part of our research community on an everyday basis, and to work with their supervisor(s) in a face-to-face situation. We do, of course, allow our PhD candidates to go abroad for international exchanges and fieldwork.

11. Can I apply for a visiting scholarship at ASCoR?

If you would like to apply for a research visit then please see the application procedure below

12. Can I do a parttime PhD at ASCoR?

Although it is possible to work parttime on your PhD at ASCoR, this is not encouraged, and we expect all our PhD candidates to be available at least 4 days per week. Exceptions are made only for PhD candidates who make use of the University's parental leave regulations.

13. Is there a teaching requirement at ASCoR?

PhD candidates with an employment contract at UvA are usually required to teach a number of classes in the undergraduate program of communication science within the Bachelor College.