Vacancies at Universities of Applied Sciences

After earning your PhD degree, you face an important decision: further develop your career in the scientific field or opt for a career in the business community or government? Well, how about choosing a career at a university of applied sciences? Many (recent) PhD graduates do not consider the option of working at a university of applied sciences. Yet such universities have much to offer PhD graduates. You can easily recognise these positions by the small icon.

Discover the possibilities in higher professional education

Universities of applied sciences are interested in both recent graduates and graduates with experience and an established network. Since universities of applied sciences place considerable focus on the link between education, research and entrepreneurship, there is a growing need for PhD graduates. The possibilities for these graduates are diverse:

Lecturers and associate lecturers

Lecturers are the drivers of knowledge networks established in higher professional education around content-based themes. Lecturers are expected to not only have a PhD degree, but also a good (regional) network in their field. Associate lecturers, who also coordinate research in some knowledge networks, are often PhD graduates or in the process of earning their PhD degree.

Staff positions

Policy officers, faculty directors, institute directors, and managers of knowledge centres, who are regularly responsible for budget decisions and research proposals.

Associate professors, university professors and senior professors

Instructors responsible for taking the lead in their field and the development of educational content.


Positions with a strong focus on conducting practically-oriented research. Researchers are also involved in education.

Professors in a Master’s degree programme

Professors teaching a Master’s programme at a university of applied sciences are strongly advised to have a PhD degree. This is because the goal is for every professor to have an educational degree that is higher than the level on which he or she teaches. In other words, the Master’s programme at a university of applied sciences should only have professors with a PhD degree. This has not yet become customary in the current Master’s programmes offered at universities of applied sciences.

Other tasks and positions

There are a number of other tasks and positions within universities of applied sciences for which a PhD degree is preferred. This includes supervisors for internal PhD students, graduation coordinators and those responsible or co-responsible for research lines in the education programme.

Universities of applied sciences: growing number of University graduates

There are 38 funded universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands that, like other universities, offer both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes. Over the past ten years, the legally required research task of universities of applied sciences has steadily increased. The number of colleagues in higher professional education with a university degree is also on the rise. Currently, 70 percent of professors at universities of applied sciences has an academic background or PhD degree. This percentage will increase further in coming years. This is because universities of applied sciences aim to firmly embed a research and knowledge-oriented attitude. Professorships and research and management positions, are therefore more often becoming a requirement within many universities of applied sciences.

Universities of applied sciences are looking for your competence as a PhD graduate

Do you enjoy teaching, but want to continue doing research at the same time? As a PhD graduate, you can provide a broader perspective on your field, thereby giving an impetus to the quality of the research, as well as the education. You also contribute to new research and other networks that are of value to the university of applied sciences.

Substantive challenge

With their knowledge networks and lecturers, universities of applied sciences are profiling themselves more and more as knowledge institutes and specialised universities. Universities of applied sciences often work together actively with universities and knowledge-intensive companies in research and education. Your tasks vary from research and research development to supervising thesis projects or internal supervision of PhD students.

Why choose a career at a University of applied sciences?

  • You can work in an environment with a focus on educating students and transferring knowledge.
  • There is a strong link to practice, which is apparent in both education and research. As a result, you contribute directly to solving practical and societal issues.
  • Teaching and research can be easily combined.
  • Personal initiative is valued and you often work in a team. This is particularly attractive if you find working as a solo researcher to be too isolating.
  • Universities of applied sciences offer an excellent collective labour agreement, with working conditions comparable to universities. Part-time employment is also possible. You are given ample opportunity to continuously develop your professional knowledge and competencies.