Selection process

Steps of the selection process
1. Applicants submit their proposal.

  1. All applications will be checked on formal eligibility at the LEaDing Fellow Programme Office.
    3. The LEaDing Fellow Panel together with external peers will shortlist the applications based on the selection criteria indicated below.
    4. External peers will assess and rank the shortlisted applications, applying the selection criteria as indicated below. Based on the average score of the peer reviews and on a consensus meeting of the LFP a ranked invitation list will be drafted.
    5. Candidates ranked above the cut-off point are invited for a skype interview, with 2 or more LFP members and one external peer.
    6. The LEaDing fellow Steering Committee will decide on the final invitation list.


Within 30 days you will receive, information in case the outcome of the eligibility check was negative. After the evaluation you will receive your scores on the three criteria and a motivation from the panel and peer reviewers of their score.


LEaDing fellow Steering Committee (LFC)
The rectors of the three universities and the two deans of the university medical centres will form the LEaDing Fellow Steering Committee. Chairman is TU Delft rector, Prof. Ir. Karel Ch.A.M. Luyben.

LEaDing Fellow Panel (LFP)
This panel will consist of 15 members, tenured staff drawn from the five partnering institutions. The LEaDing Fellow Panel guards over the scientific quality of the fellowships. The chair person is prof.dr. Isabel Arends, department head of biotechnology at TU Delft.

The peers will be senior researchers with a tenured position at a foreign university, company or (governmental) institute.

LEaDing Fellow Programme Office (LPO)
Day-to-day management coordination is overseen by the LEaDing Fellow Office, located at TU Delft. At each of the partners a local contact person takes care of local procedures and supports partners and their hosts.

Host institute/department/group
Host institution/ group/ supervisors will be responsible for the practical supervision of fellows’ activities. The supervisor will act as day-to-day coach. Together with the local HR office an employment contract will be established. The supervisor-to-be and their group leaders will be excluded from the selection process.

Selection criteria

The applications will be assessed taking into account the quality of the track record of the applicant, the research training plan and the research proposal. In all steps of the selection process the same criteria will be applied.

Quality of the research proposal (35 %):

  • useful, complementary relation to previously acquired research skills, balanced and optimized connection with PhD work and sensible choice of adjacent research fields;
  • originality of the research proposal, research design, quality of the methods proposed, relevance for current research themes in the field, scientific innovation;
  • expected scientific interaction between hosting group or department and LEaDing Fellow, can mutual advantage be expected from the fellow’s cooperation in the hosting group;
  • opportunities for gaining experience in research related skills and practices such as drafting and publishing scientific articles, introducing new results to fellow researchers and graduate students, planning and organizing research projects, being involved in research grant scouting and application; intended inter university cooperation, specifically internship at one of the partners.


Quality of the individual training plan (35 %):

  • well aligned choice of research skills and non-academic, transferable skills to be acquired: choice of three courses from those provided;
  • project impact resulting in an optimal starting point to obtain a research position in a specific field or a position in a non-academic career requiring a research background;
  • meaningful cooperation and exposure to extra-university sectors: visits to or internships at public or industrial collaborators;
  • intended dissemination and exploitation activities: dedicated to intended users, applications, and related to career plan.


Quality of the applicants’ track record (30 %):

  • curriculum vitae; honours or other special annotation during bachelor, master or PhD education; number and quality of publications taking into account the number of years after PhD incl. career breaks if any, and the publication customs in researcher’s field of work; obtained funding; academic recognition; relevant extra-curricular activities; relevant work experience extra-academic settings.
  • motivation letter: reflection on inter-disciplinary and inter-sectoral career options.


For each criterion applications receive a score between 0.0 and 5.0 (decimal points permitted); the threshold score is 3.0 for each criterion, and 10.0 for the sum.

Scoring table
0 fail Proposal fails or is incomplete
1 Poor Inadequate, inherent weaknesses
2 Fair Addresses criterion, significant weaknesses
3 Good Addresses criterion well, some shortcomings
4 Very good Addresses criterion very well, small (number of) shortcomings
5 Excellent Addresses all relevant aspects, only minor shortcomings







Candidates can appeal within two weeks after receiving a rejection, if they feel relevant information was neglected or procedural errors occurred. The LEaDing Fellow Steering Committee will act as the appeal committee for the selection process.