The Netherlands Fellowship Program for Professionals, Netherlands

Publish Date: Aug 01, 2016

Deadline: Jan 14, 2017

The Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP)

The Netherlands Fellowship Programmes (NFP1) offer fellowships to professionals who are nationals of and work and live in an NFP country.
The overall aim is to help alleviate qualitative and quantitative shortages of skilled staff at a wide range of governmental and non-governmental organisations. The need for training has to be evident within the context of the organisation. Candidates therefore have to be nominated by their employers. An NFP fellowship is intended to supplement the salary that the fellowship holder should continue to receive during the study period. The allowance is a contribution towards the fellowship holder’s costs of living. The fellowship contributes to the costs of tuition fees, visas, travel, insurance and thesis research.


The NFP has four sub-programmes that enable candidates to participate in
a range of Dutch master’s degree programmes, short courses or do a PhD. Next to fellowships for individual training the NFP also offer funding for alumni activities and tailor-made training.


Each embassy has its own focus area to support the development goals of the Netherlands in each NFP country. The overall objective of the NFP is to spend 35% of the budget on grants and study programmes in food security and private sector development. The countries have been classified into two categories (I and II). Categorie I countries are priority countries and will receive more fellowships.

The fellowships are further prioritised as follows

  • 50% of the budget is allocated to applications from Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • 50% of the fellowships has to be awarded to female applicants.

Netherlands Fellowship Programmes are scholarship programmes to help reduce the shortage of skilled workers or support democratic transition in specific countries.

Eligible Countries

The Netherlands Fellowship Programmes (NFP) aim to help reduce the shortage of skilled workers in 50 countries:

Category 1

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Burundi, Colombia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Nigeria, Palestinian Territories, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Yemen.

Category 2

Albania, Armenia, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cuba, DR Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Georgia, Guatemala, Jordan, Macedonia, Mongolia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Surinam, Thailand, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

How to apply

You need to apply directly with a Dutch higher education institution of your choice, taking into account the following steps:

  • Check whether you are in the abovementioned target groups.
  • Check whether your employer will nominate you.
  • Find a course with our Studyfinder tool.
  • Contact the Dutch higher education institution which offers the NFP-qualified course of your choice for application procedures.

For your information: if you can’t find the course you want to take in Studyfinder, don’t worry. You can apply for the course of your choice at the Dutch higher education institution. They will decide whether your selected course is eligible for the Netherlands Fellowship Programmes.


You must meet a number of criteria that support the aim of the NFP to be eligible for a fellowship.

To be eligible you:

  • must be a national of, and working and living in one of the countries on the NFP country list;
  • must have an employer’s statement that complies with the format EP-Nuffic has provided. All information must be provided and all commitments that are included in the format must be endorsed in the statement;
  • must not be employed by an organisation that has its own means of staff-development. Organisations that are considered
  • to have their own means for staff development are for example:
  • multinational corporations (e.g. Shell, Unilever, Microsoft),
  • large national and/or a large commercial organisations,
  • bilateral donor organisations (e.g. USAID, DFID, Danida, Sida, Dutch ministry of Foreign affairs, FinAid, AusAid, ADC, SwissAid),
  • multilateral donor organisations, (e.g. a UN organisation, the World Bank, the IMF, Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank, IADB),
  • international NGO’s (e.g. Oxfam, Plan, Care);
  • must have an official and valid passport;
  • must not receive more than one fellowship for courses that take place at the same time;
  • must have a government statement that meets the requirements of the country in which the employer is established (if applicable). 

Keeping in touch: Alumni activities

The NFP also offer funds for alumni activities, including refresher courses to increase the impact and prolong the effect of previous training. Start-up grants are available for new Netherlands Alumni Associations (NAAs), while existing NAAs that wish to organise an activity can apply for a financial contribution. In 2014, two new alumni activities have been introduced:

  • Introductory visits to Dutch organisations
  • The NFP Holland Ambassador

Effect of the fellowship

NFP fellowships are awarded to highly motivated professionals. Candidates have to be nominated by their employers. After completing their training the fellows return to their original workplace. This ensures the training is embedded within the employing organisation.
Candidates improve their knowledge and skills, learn about relevant global developments in their field and build an international network. The result is twofold: the employing organisation has directly invested in staff development and the professional has gained a valuable asset for their further career.

For more information click "Further official information" below.

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