How to apply for a NOVA PhD position.
The Netherlands has an internationally acknowledged reputation for education in astronomy. Dutch PhD students succeed very well on the international job market, including the most prestigious fellowships worldwide. Many of the faculty members, PhD students, and undergraduates at Dutch institutes have an international background. English is the common language. The PhD program is 4 years.
There is no single annual deadline for submitting applications to NOVA. In the Netherlands, PhD students are appointed as research assistents, which is a regular job. Thus, PhD students are paid as civil servants, which means that they earn competitive salaries and are eligible for both social security and retirement benefits. Positions are usually funded for 4 years. Whenever new positions become available, they are advertised at the individual institutes (see Job openings) The competition for these jobs is usually stiff.
The four-year PhD program consists mostly of research under the supervision of the advisor(s). The course work consists of the annual NOVA fall school (1 week), and attendence of summer/winter schools. PhD students are also expected to participate actively in national and international scientific meetings, by giving posters and talks. This includes the national NOVA network meetings. They are required to spend a small fraction of their time on outreach and as teaching assistants in courses taught by permanent staff. At the end of the four-year period, the student submits a PhD thesis, which is ceremoniously defended in the Academy building of the University where the PhD is granted. The thesis itself is usually a collection of refereed papers (to be) published in leading journals, with an introduction and a Dutch summary added.
For all PhD positions a Masters degree (or equivalent) is required, usually a Masters degree in astronomy or a related field.