ATTP Sandwich PhD

What is an ATTP Sandwich PhD?

In case you are a student from a Strategic Partner (see below "Update August 2019") you may be eligible for a full scholarship of a maximum of 24 months of the Graduate School. You will have two supervisors, one at your home university and one at the UMCG and will in in any case defend your thesis at Groningen. The PhD program takes about four years and the Sandwich PhD usually leads to a double PhD degree.

The first prerequisite to become a PhD student at the University of Groningen is locating an academic who agrees to be your PhD supervisor. In general, this implies in any case a review of your academic background and an (online) interview. We will therefore only take ATTP Sandwich PhD applications into account if they are submitted by a UMCG PI.

Step-by-Step Guide

Download our Step-by-Step Guide to ATTP Sandwich PhD applications or read on.

How to apply?

The ATTP sandwich PhD application needs to be submitted by the UMCG PI (supervisor) to the Graduate School of Medical Sciences. It consists of the following documentation:

  • ATTP sandwich PhD application form
  • Research Proposal
  • CV candidate
  • Financial Statement candidate
  • Proof of English proficiency (if applicable - exemptions possible)
  • Copy of diploma (highest degree)

Additionally, in case the structure of the sandwich PhD is such that the final year(s) will be spent at the partner university:

  • Letter of commitment signed by the relevant authority at the partner in which supervision and funding are guaranteed for the period of PhD research spent at the partner

The application form, the research proposal template, and the Financial Statement form are available for download below. The research proposal form should be completed by you as a candidate, in agreement with your supervisors. In some cases, the GSMS has agreed upon a specific application procedure with the partner (see "ATTP specific partner procedures" below). If so, follow the instructions relevant to the collaboration with the partner. In all other cases, use the templates available for download on this page.

NOTE: Incomplete applications will not be taken into account.


At UMCG, the proposal will be evaluated by two expert reviewers (preferably one program leader), based on in any case the following criteria:

  • Scientific quality
  • Fit with UMCG research program
  • Project feasibility, i.e. expected output of combined PhD trajectory

The reviewers' advice is Award, Adjust or Reject. In the case of adjust or reject the PI applicant has the opportunity to write a rebuttal. 

The approval decision ultimately lies with the GSMS Director, who will take the evaluations of the expert reviewers and any further feedback from the applicant into account.

Important update November 2018

In November 2018, the PhD student program of the University of Groningen (UG) was cancelled. Currently there is still a lack of clarity regarding the legal framework in the Netherlands for the (co-)funding of PhD candidates. UG is awaiting feedback from the Ministry of Education and the tax authorities. The Graduate School remains committed to hosting as many qualified candidates from Strategic Partner universities as possible, and still accepts ATTP Sandwich PhD applications. Be aware though that award procedures may be delayed and/or more stringent award criteria apply.

Important update August 2019

The Graduate School of Medical Sciences for the remainder of 2019 will not accept any applications with Strategic Partner SUMC/China. This decision has been made because of budget restrictions, in combination with the number of positions that have already been awarded to SUMC collaborations.

ATTP specific partner procedures

Specific application and enrollment procedures have been established for the following partners.

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