I recently received this reader email, which can be interesting for other readers of PhD Talk as well (edited for anonymity):
Dear Eva Lantsoght,
I earned my Bachelors of Field and M.Sc. in Field Economics from the University of Somewhere and desiring to have my PhD in the same or related field from a university in Netherlands. Can you advise me on how to go about with my application especially on how to find supervisors?
Many thank in anticipation for your kind and prompt response.
Here’s my reply:
Thank you for reaching out to me through my blog.
If you want to apply for a PhD position in the Netherlands, there is no standard procedure through an application website. The hiring process depends on the university and on the full professor you would want to work for.
The best way to find a position is to be directly in contact with a possible promotor. I don’t recommend that you cold email a possible promotor. I did this, and I was lucky to be invited for an interview, but in most cases such emails immediately go to the trash can or spam folder. If possible, I recommend you visit a university of your interest and talk to possible promotors. You can strengthen your profile as a candidate by applying for funding and bringing this advantage to the table.
I hope this helps,