SIDS Fellowships

The SIDS programme is a unique fellowship programme aimed at water professionals from small island developing states. Fellowships are available for MSc Programmes starting in 2020 and 2021. Candidates apply for academic admission before 15 July 2020.

Deadline extended

UPDATE 18 May 2020: The deadline to submit your application is -due to the implications of the coronavirus- extended to 15 July 2020

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands has made available a total of 24 fellowships for MSc Programmes at IHE Delft starting in 2020 and 2021.

To increase the relevance for SIDS specific challenges, and to stimulate cooperation between professionals from the different disciplines offered by IHE Delft, the scholarship students will participate in a number of additional SIDS-dedicated activities.

To further strengthen networks of SIDS water professionals, the Ministry will also support three workshops to be organised in SIDS regions, with 20 fellowships each.

Download Flyer SIDS Programme

Eligibility criteria

  • Candidates are a national of and work and/or live in one of the eligible ODA SIDS countries (see below)
  • Academic admission (see ''admission requirements'' at our FAQ) to Delft-based IHE Delft MSc Programmes, starting in October 2020
  • Application for admission submitted before 15 July 2020 (deadline extended)
  • 'Letter of Motivation and Vision on the main water-related challenges to achieve the SDGs in the Applicant’s Country’ submitted at application for admission (template)

SIDS fellowships will be provided to candidates who are a national of, and work and/or live in, one of the following eligible ODA SIDS countries:

  • The AIMS (Africa, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea): Cabo Verde, Comoros, Guinea-Bissau, Maldives, Mauritius, Sao Tome & Principe.
  • The Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname.
  • The Pacific: Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated State of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

SIDS fellowship covers

The fellowship covers:

  • total tuition fee for the MSc programme
  • health insurance, cost of visa/residence permit for the Netherlands and a monthly allowance of EUR 970 per month from the start till the end date to the programme (not exceeding 18 months)
  • one return plane ticket (economy class) from candidate’s home country to and from the Netherlands.

Depending on the research topic of the candidate, a limited amount of financial support may be provided for field data collection during the MSc research phase.

How to apply

Interested candidates from eligible ODA SIDS countries (see eligibility), who meet IHE’s admission criteria, are advised to apply for admission and fellowship as soon as possible. You can apply online, via the education section of the IHE website. Please note that only Delft-based MSc specializations are eligible to apply for the SIDS fellowships. 

Once you have chosen the programme and the specialization, you will find, in the right upper corner, a link to apply online. At your online application for admission, you will be requested to upload a motivation letter in which you state why you are applying for a SIDS fellowship and why, following the specific programme, this helps you or your organization to address future water challenges related to achieving the SDGs in your country, or region.

When you complete the online application form for admission, choose at question “How do you intend to pay the costs of your study and other expenses”: "scholarship". All applicants from the eligible countries, who have chosen “scholarship”, who have uploaded their motivation and who have submitted their application before the 15th of July and meet the IHE academic and English admission requirements will be taken part in the scholarship selection. Please note that only Delft-based MSc specializations are eligible to apply for the SIDS fellowships.

To be considered for the SIDS fellowship for the October 2020 intake, you must apply for admission to an MSc programme before 15 July 2020. All candidates will be informed before 15 August 2020 about the outcome of their application for scholarship.

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Selection criteria

  • Academic Qualifications
  • Quality of the motivation/vision letter and recommendation letters
  • Gender (female candidates will be prioritised)
  • Distribution among countries (when a final list of prospective participants is available, IHE Delft will assign fellowships as equitably/equally as possible between the countries eligible for the fellowships).


In 2015, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and IHE Delft jointly launched the project "Strengthening Small Island Developing States’ capacity in the water sector to cope with the effects of climate change”. This project aims to strengthen the capacity of professionals and decision makers to improve water management in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), to better address future challenges such as coping with the effects of climate change. 

In 2020, this project was followed-up under the title “Supporting SIDS to strengthen capacity in the water sector to meet the SDGs under global change”, with a stronger focus on achieving the SDGs specifically for small island states, recognizing the wide array of challenges faced by SIDS in the light of global change.

Since the start of this project 22 key water professionals, from 16 countries and responsible for key decision making processes in the governments of SIDS, successfully defended their MSc thesis at IHE Delft.

In 2020, ten more professionals will defend their thesis, which brings the number to 32 from 18 SIDS. Another 67 water professionals and decision makers from 29 countries participated in short courses to enhance their expertise on relevant topics and two regional workshops with 20 participants each, are planned for 2020.

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