The Netherlands Fellowship Programme

The Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP) is a demand-oriented fellowship programme to help increase both the number and the competencies of skilled staff at a wide range of governmental and non-governmental organisations. While fellowships are awarded to individuals, the need for training occurs within the context of the organization for which an applicant works and the training must help the organization to develop its capacity.

The fellowships are awarded in a very competitive selection to highly motivated professionals who are in a position to introduce the newly-acquired skills and knowledge into their employing organisation. NFP fellowships are available for master degrees, short courses and PhD degrees.

The Mena Scholarship Programme (MSP) follows the same procedures as NFP, but is only available for short courses. The information below can therefore also be used by candidates who wish to apply for MSP.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you:

  • must be a professional and national of, and working and living in one of the countries on the  NFP country list and/or MSP country list. The NFP countries have been classified into two categories (I and II). Category I countries are priority countries and will receive more fellowships.
  • must have an employer’s statement that complies with this format. 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 organization that has its own means of staff-development. Organizations 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 an NFP government statement or MSP government statement that meets the requirements of the country in which the employer is established (see the overview of government statement if this is applicable for your country)
  • For MSP: not exeed 45 years of age at the time of grant submission.

Check my eligibility!


The Academic application deadlines for NFP/MSP applicants (below) are the latest dates on which your application for admission to the programme through, should be received by our admissions office (See Application Procedure Step 1). 

The NFP/MSP application period is the period during which you can apply for an NFP/MSP fellowship through the link that we will send to you once your admission is confirmed (See Application Procedure Step 2). Please note that the application system will remain open for another month after the end of our NFP/ MSP application period, but we cannot guarantee that your application will be considered after this deadline. 

 Master's programmes 2017-2018 Academic application deadline 
for NFP applicants
NFP application period                             
MSc Urban Management & Development               14 Feb 2017                           2 Feb. - 2 Mar. 2017


Short Courses 2017-2018

Academic application deadline for NFP/MSP applicants

NFP/MSP application period

Urban Management &Development Theory

14 Feb 2017 

2 Feb. - 2 Mar. 2017

International Course on Housing and Urban Development

2017 intake: closed

2018 intake: TBA



MSP:2 Feb. - 2 Mar. 2017

Green Cities for Eco-Efficiency

Closed for 2017   


Local Economic Development

Closed for 2017   


Urban Management Tools for Climate Change

Closed for 2017   


Land Management and Informal Settlement Regularisation

Closed for 2017   


Developing Social Housing Projects

14 Feb 2017 

2 Feb. - 2 Mar. 2017  


 PhD programmes: IHS PhD prgrammes are not eligible for NFP funding


Application procedure

Step 1: Apply for your IHS programme first
Before applying for an NFP/MSP fellowship, you need to be admitted to the programme of your choice first. You can apply for all the IHS programmes mentioned below through The admission procedure takes about 4 weeks, so make sure you apply with IHS about 4 weeks before the NFP deadline. Please note that IHS is not part of the PhD module of the NFP.

Step 2: Apply for NFP/MSP
As soon as you have applied with the IHS programme of your choice however, start preparing your NFP application. You will need to upload a copy of a valid passport, employers endorsement, your government authority statement (if applicable) and three motivation statements, answering the following questions:

-What is the issue or problem you want to address in your country?
-How will this course enable you to address this issue?
-How will you address this issue with your position within your organization?

Please find more about the NFP/MSP registration instructions in this document. After you have received your admission letter you will receive a link through which you can apply for an NFP/MSP fellowship. Please note: we willl only send this link to admitted candidates from one of the Nuffic target countries (see below).  Please take the deadline of the programme of your choice into consideration.

Step 3: Selection

If your application is eligible it will be assessed by the Netherlands embassy on:

  • the degree to which you fit into the target group of the programme
  • how well you would be able to implement the newly-acquired knowledge in your daily work;
  • to what extent the knowledge will contribute to the development of your home country. Your application will be assessed according to the four Dutch priority areas in development cooperation such as food security, safety and rule of law, water and sanitation, and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) as well as an individual country focus an embassy may have set. Make sure to highlight relevant links of your position / employer to these areas to increase your chances of being selected for a fellowship. Please see below how IHS describes to fit in with these priorities:

IHS for sustainable, inclusive and food secure urbanisation:

Developing countries are urbanising at a pace which is historically unprecedented. This creates challenges related to food security and water. Urban sprawl threatens prime agricultural land, many urban poor are food insecure, drinking water is expensive and unsafe for the urban poor, and many urbanites are regularly threatened by flooding. However, urbanisation can also create opportunities, if well managed.  IHS philosophy portrays cities as key nodes in food value chains, linking rural areas to global markets and knowledge. It is the core values of IHS to sustain cities as magnets for innovations and development in food security and water management.

Step 4: The outcome

You will be informed about the outcome of the selection by mail or email. If your application is successful, we will contact you by mail or email to make all necessary (logistical) arrangements.

More questions?

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