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Walraven scholarship

The Walraven scholarship is available for excellent, non-Dutch master's students. The scholarships are intended for students who have a bachelor's degree in astronomy or physics, and wish to obtain their master's (MSc) degree in Astronomy and Instrumentation at Leiden University. Successful candidates must be of outstanding academic merit and in need of financial support.

February 1 (for students planning to start in September)
Target group
Countries/ nationalities
The Walraven scholarship is only available to non-Dutch students
Scholarship type
Study, Research

For who?

You must be a student with a bachelor's degree (BSc or equivalent) in astronomy or physics with a desire to obtain your master's (MSc) degree in Astronomy and Instrumentation at Leiden University.

Eligibility requirements

  • You must be a student with a non-Dutch nationality
  • You must have a bachelor's degree (or equivalent) in astronomy or physics
  • Your previous study results should be of outstanding academic merit
  • You have no other financial support (e.g. scholarships, grants) for your master's study


  • During your Astronomy master's studies you must pay the statutory faculty tuition fee to Leiden University.
  • If you stop your Astronomy master's studies for whatever reason, you have to inform the Education Office Astronomy as soon as possible at master@strw.leidenuniv.nl.


  • You cannot be awarded a Walraven scholarship if you are a student with the Dutch nationality.
  • You cannot combine the Walraven scholarship with other forms of financial support for your master's study.


The Walraven scholarship is for one year, with conditional renewal for a second year upon successful completion of the first year. For a full scholarship the tuition fee for the Astronomy Research master's programme will be reduced to the amount of the institutional tuition fee and you will receive an allowance of up to €11,000 per year for living costs. Partial scholarships may also be awarded. The Walraven scholarship is paid as a monthly allowance. If you stop your Astronomy master's studies for whatever reason, the Walraven scholarship payments will be stopped directly.


Applicants who wish to be considered for a Walraven scholarship must do the following before the deadline of October 1 (when planning to start in February) or February 1 (when planning to start in September):

  1. Apply for admission to the Astronomy and Instrumentation master's programme through the online application system. Note that only applications that are completed before the deadline are guaranteed full consideration.
  2. Write a brief statement motivating why you satisfy the two conditions of a) outstanding academic merit and b) need for financial support. Make sure to include your full contact information and send it to master@strw.leidenuniv.nl.

Upon submitting your application, you will receive an acknowledgement of receipt. The Board of Admissions will check your admission to the Astronomy and Instrumentation master's programme and your application for the Walraven scholarship. Within a month after the submission deadline, you will be informed about the outcome.


Leiden Observatory was founded in 1633 and the oldest university astronomy department in the world with a distinguished history. The work of famous astronomers such as De Sitter, Hertzsprung, Oort, Blaauw, and Van de Hulst made Leiden an internationally renowned center of astronomical research. The Walraven Scholarship is named after the Dutch pioneer of high-precision photoelectric photometry and genius in instrumentation Theodore (Fjeda) Walraven (1916 - 2008).

Leiden Observatory offers a wide range of Astronomy master's specialisations in which students actively participate in front-line research. Many of the students who have obtained their master's degree in Leiden enroll in the PhD programme, during which they are paid a very competitive salary for four years.


The student is responsible for submitting a complete application, according to the steps described above and before the aforementioned deadline. Leiden University or the Education Office Astronomy cannot be held responsible for late and/or incomplete applications.

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