Call for applications 2020 | Descartes Study Scholarships

The Institut Français des Pays-Bas offers several scholarships for students enrolled in Dutch higher education wishing to follow a master’s degree in France in 2020-2021.

The Institut Français des Pays-Bas offers several scholarships for students enrolled in Dutch higher education wishing to follow a master’s degree in France in 2020-2021.

1. 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 Excellence Scholarship program. Hosted in institutions recognized for the high quality of their teaching, these students were able to perfect their initial training in different disciplines.

The Descartes Excellence Scholarships are reserved for students with a serious, coherent and motivated study project in France. It is therefore essential to be well informed about the possibilities to study in France before applying for a scholarship.

Students are invited to contact Campus France des Pays-Bas if they wish to receive information on higher education in France.

2. Descartes Scholarships

Descartes Scholarships include:

  • Monthly allowance: Approximately 700€/month for 10 months
  • Coverage of tuition fees (within the limit of 5,000€) and social security.
  • Various advantages linked to the status of French government scholarship holder (housing subsidy, cultural activities...)

3. Profile

  • students with at least a Dutch Bachelor’s degree, enrolled in a Dutch higher education institution.
  • All nationalities are eligible (except French nationality)
  • All disciplines are concerned:
    - 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, etc...

According to the initiative of the President of the French Republic Make our Planet Great Again, 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.

4. Submission of applications

  • Deadline for applications: 30 April at 6 p. m. (Paris time)
  • The application needs to include (in French or in English):
    - application form
    - cover letter, specifying how the study project in France is related to the academic and professional projects of the applicant
    - CV
    - copies of university degrees and transcripts of records (with grades)
    - two letters of recommendation from a teacher or professional
Bourse d’études Descartes - Descartes Study Scholarship | FORMULAIRE DE CANDIDATURE - APPLICATION FORM (PDF - 265 kB)

The application form can also be requested via email here

These documents must be sent by post to

Ambassade de France aux Pays-Bas
Affaires universitaires
Anna Paulownastraat 76
2518BJ Den Haag

And by email to

The pre-selected candidates will present their applications to a jury, composed of representatives from the academic world, the French Embassy in the Netherlands, the Institut Français des Pays-Bas and/or companies, at a later date (mid-May).

5. Terms and Conditions

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

The definitive award of the scholarship will be effective only after acceptance of the candidate by one of the French institutions previously chosen. The award of scholarships does not constitute or replace acceptance and registration with a French institution of higher education.

Descartes excellence scholarships may not be combined with other scholarships awarded by the French government, AUF or Erasmus+ grants.

The selected candidates undertake to:

  • Follow the program for which the scholarship was awarded.
  • Inform the Embassy regularly of the progress of their stay
  • Participate, on their return, in certain activities organized around the scholarship program and the France Alumni Netherlands network.
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