Descartes Fellowships: The 2021-2022 call for applications is open until 30 April 2021


Descartes Fellowships are offered to PhD students enrolled in Dutch higher education who wish to carry out an internship in a research laboratory in France.


General presentation

Since 2001, more than 140 students from all Dutch universities have already had the opportunity to study or do an internship in France thanks to the Descartes Study Scholarships or the Descartes Fellowships. Hosted in institutions recognized for the high quality of their teaching, these students were able to perfect their initial training in different disciplines.

Students are invited to contact the Institut français des Pays-Bas if they wish to receive information on research in France.



- Monthly allowance: Approximately 900€ per month for three months

- Training costs and social security

- Various advantages linked to the status of French government scholarship holder (housing subsidy, cultural activities, etc.)



- PhD student enrolled in a Dutch higher education institution and wishing to carry out a research internship in a French laboratory

- All nationalities are eligible, except French nationality



- Basic and exact sciences

- Technical disciplines and engineering sciences

- Law, economics, social and human sciences, international trade, management

- French language and literature, history, art history

According to the initiative Make Our Planet Great Again of the President of the French Republic, applications in a field related to climate change (agriculture, big data, biology, chemistry, environmental law and policy, water and waste management, energy, health, earth sciences, etc.) are encouraged.


Level of French

- French is not compulsory; it will be assessed according to the training chosen and the language of instruction.


Submission of applications


The deadline for applications if 30 April 2021.

The application file must include the documents listed below and be sent by email to:

- Download the application form

- CV with picture

- Description of the thesis and the research projects to be carried out during the internship

- Copy of the last university degree

- Letter of recommendation from the home laboratory

- Letter of support from the host laboratory which commits to host the student during the internship

- Copy of your registration or acceptance if you have already been accepted by a French university or school



The pre-selected candidates will present their applications to a jury, composed of representatives from the academic world, the Institut français des Pays-Bas and/or companies at a later date.


Terms and conditions

It is the applicant’s responsibility to make all necessary arrangements with the selected laboratories. As the deadlines for academic and administrative registration vary from one laboratory to another, it is strongly recommended that applicants do not wait until the award of scholarships to contact laboratories.

The definitive award of the scholarship will be effective only after acceptance of the candidate by one of the French institutions previously chosen. Descartes Study Scholarships may not be combined with other scholarships awarded by the French government, AUF or Erasmus+ grants.

Descartes fellowships do not replace doctoral contracts. PhD students must return to their Dutch laboratory at the end of their mobility in France.

The selected candidates undertake to follow the program for which the scholarship was awarded, inform the Institut français des Pays-Bas regularly of the progress of their stay, and participated on their return in certain activities organized around the scholarship program and the France Alumni Pays-Bas network.


- 30 April: deadline for applications

- Mid-May: Presentation to a jury

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