PhD Supervision


DRIFT provides an inspiring and challenging environment for PhD researchers interested in (transdisciplanary) research in transition studies. Besides positions in funded research projects, DRIFT also welcomes PhD candidates who have their own research proposal and are able to secure funding for their project through private resources or grants. If you are interested in this option, please read the conditions that apply below.


Basic Conditions


Writing a PhD-thesis is an inspiring but also challenging process. It requires a very considerable investment of time of both the PhD-student and the supervisors. Research institutes in the Netherlands receive a reimbursement for the supervision, after the PhD-students has successfully finalized the thesis and received the dr. title.


Because DRIFT is an independent institute that receives no financial support from the University, it has no temporary funds for the supervision of external PhD-students. This means that DRIFT is entirely dependent on the retrospective reimbursement after successful completion of the PhD-thesis. DRIFT is willing to carry some of the financial risks to invest in external PhD-students. However, the external PhD-student is expected to share at least a small part of that financial risk. As such, we can offer the following: The PhD-student pays a yearly fee for the supervision. This fee is (partially) reimbursed when the PhD-student obtains his or her PhD-degree via DRIFT/ Erasmus University.


PhD Package  | 5.000 € per year


  • Hospitality Agreement with email account and access to library of the Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • 4 supervision talks of two hours with DRIFT professor (Prof.Dr.Ir. J. Rotmans or Dr. J. D. Loorbach)
  • Ad-hoc meetings/feedback in case of urgent questions/issues
  • Substantial written feedback on research proposal and (draft)papers
  • 4 supervision talks with senior DRIFT-researchers (Dr. N. Frantzeskaki, Dr. F. Avelino, Dr. PJ Beers or J. Wittmayer)
  • Participation in all “acceleration sessions” (own choice)
  • Option to present research proposal in acceleration session and receive feedback from DRIFTERS
  • Participation in an activity of the Transition Academy (excluded are the post-academic courses)
  • Participation in courses offered by the Erasmus Graduate School for Social Science (EGS3)
  • A compensation in the printing costs of the PhD upon completion (1000 euro)


Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Humanities


As a PhD researcher at DRIFT you are also a member of the Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Humanities (EGS3H). The graduate school provides our PhD’s an additional research and training infrastructure as well as a social environment which aims to enable talented young researchers to explore new pathways and to share and test ideas and experiences.


As of the 1st of September 2015 each PhD candidate has to follow the new doctoral regulations of the EUR. An important amendment in these regulations is that an education and supervision plan (TSP) has to be drawn up for each PhD candidate (and hence also for each external PhD candidate). This plan will be registered and co-developed with the Graduate School (article 1.7). Please take note that the Graduate School advices to follow 30 ECTS in training.




The PhD track will be evaluated on a yearly bases and prolonged when both parties give their consent. At the end of the first year, the PhD-student is requested to hand in a full research proposal including state-of-the-art review, research question, hypotheses, methodology and time plan. Based on this research proposal, the involved supervisors will give the PhD-student a go/no go advise.


The PhD candidate has the right to terminate the agreement at any time, after which a recalculation of the fee will be made on the bases of the services provided by DRIFT up until that point.


Reimbursement of fees


On successful completion of the PhD (part of) the fees will be reimbursed:

  • With a completion within four years 100% will be reimbursed
  • With a completion within 5 years 75% will be reimbursed
  • With a completion after 5 years 50% will be reimbursed


Application procedure


If you are interested in applying please take a look at our application procedure.