Deadline: 15th January 2021, 23:59 CET.

Location: Holland/Netherlands

Level of Scholarship: Masters

About the scholarship

The AES is a full scholarship of €25,000 (covering tuition and living expenses) for one academic year with the possibility of extension for a second year (for two-year Master’s programmes).

The Amsterdam Excellence Scholarship is for highly talented prospective non-EU students with an excellent academic record and involvement in extracurricular activities. If you belong to the top 10% of your class and are involved in extracurricular activities, the Graduate School of Social Sciences invites you to apply for the AES.  

Requirements for eligibility

Candidates wishing to apply for an AES scholarship must meet the following general requirements:

  • Hold a non-EU/EEA passport and not be eligible for support under the Dutch system of study grants and loans (“Studiefinanciering”; for more information please refer to: and/or the low tuition fee. The scholarship office should be notified as soon as possible of any change in nationality, type of residence permit, and/or possible “Studiefinanciering” support, throughout the academic year.
  • Be fully admitted to a degree programme at the Graduate School of Social Sciences. Scholarship continuation is not guaranteed when a candidate changes his or her degree programme.
  • Be admitted unconditionally to a Master’s programme of the Graduate School of Social Sciences, and this programme being the first programme for the applicant, either on bachelor level or master level, in The Netherlands
  • AES will also not be awarded to candidates having to complete a preparatory programme before their master, except if only the Summerschool Programme Comprehensive Introduction to Research Methodology and Design is required and its costs are borne by the applicant.

Registration criteria

  • Be able to comply with Dutch visa regulations
  • Be enrolled at the UvA as full-time student for the academic year and the programme for which the scholarship is awarded.
  • The candidate should not receive another full coverage scholarship for the same period of study as the AES scholarship. Notify the scholarships office when another full scholarship has been awarded and accepted.

How to apply?

You can submit your application by completing the following steps:

  1. Submit your application for the Master programme of your choice. Note that your application needs to be complete, so with all required documents including valid language test scores.
  2. Receive your UvA student number
  3. Fill out and submit the application form for the Amsterdam Excellence Scholarship and Merit Scholarship (you will need your UvA student number). You will need to upload the following documents:
  • Scan of identity page of passport
  • letter of motivation
  • letter of reference
  • certificate of excellence
  • description of extra curricular activities
  • research questions

Application form Amsterdam Excellence Scholarship

Download certificate of excellence

When to apply?

Applications for an AES scholarship should be submitted no later than 15 January 2020, 23:59 CET.

Selection criteria

Only complete applications will be handled. Eligible candidates are selected for a scholarship on the basis of their academic excellence and promise in the proposed field, as evidenced by:

  • the candidate’s academic record. Students should belong to the top 10% of graduates from their class and must be able to demonstrate this with a statement from their institution according the template available on the GSSS website;
  • the academic quality of the educational institute where the undergraduate (or graduate) programme has been obtained;
  • a letter of reference by a dean, teacher or academic supervisor;
  • the quality of the letter of motivation (maximum 500 words) in which the candidate explains the reasons for choosing the specific Master’s programme (broader context, relevance for future career). The letter can be addressed to the Director of the Graduate School of Social Sciences, Dr. A. Freyberg-Inan;
  • a description of extracurricular activities such as participation in student committees, international experience, sports or music at a high level or volunteer work;
  • clearly formulated research questions indicating topics of interest the applicant wishes to explore further during their studies at the Graduate School of Social Sciences;
  • the level of English proficiency
  • the quality of the application as a whole (completeness, accuracy, consistency).


Only students who have been admitted to one of the English-taught, selective Master’s programmes of the GSSS can be awarded an AES scholarship. Students are selected for the AES on the basis of outstanding excellence, extra curriculair activities and high English language proficiency. Selection of candidates takes place in March. Applicants will be informed no later than mid-May.

Please note that the AES scholarship is highly competitive: in 2019 there were six scholarships for first year UvA students. The Graduate School of Social Sciences was proud to welcome one of them.

Conditions for continuation of the AES (for research master students only) on condition of continuation of the scholarship programme

AES recipients must maintain good academic standing:

  • The scholarship will only be continued if the AES student is making satisfactory progress towards the degree.
  • At the end of the academic year, all of the required credits should have been earned with a grade point average of 8 (out of 10).
  • If the AES recipient decides to cease studying, the AES payments already received must be reimbursed in full.
  • Students who receive the AES for a two-year Master’s programme will be evaluated after one year of study. The scholarship will only be continued for the second year if the AES student has completed all courses of the first year on time and with a grade point average of 8.0.

It is expected that AES recipients will:

  • participate in activities with AES sponsors.
  • join extracurricular activities and become part of a select community, including the AES alumni network.
  • form a strong international network during their period of study, which will be stimulated by an interesting tailor-made extracurricular programme.
  • AES scholarships may be terminated if the recipient unreasonably refuses to participate in such activities.


If you have any questions regarding the AES please send an email to:


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