Of course, a PhD cannot be completed without adequate financing. In the Netherlands, research is financed mainly by the government, industrial organizations or others, for example certain foundations. Three funding categories (“geldstromen”) are recognized: the first category consists of 2 billion Euros provided by the government. This funding has to be shared by all universities. The second category also consists of 2 billion Euros, and is also provided by the government, but is not directly dedicated to the universities. Different organization, like the KNAW and the NWO, have the responsibility for distributing this funding by providing grants. The third category consists of external funding from, for example Europe, companies, foundations or private companies.
For most PhD candidates funding has already been taken care of when they were appointed a position. In some cases, however, it is necessary for a PhD candidate to get involved in writing and submitting grant proposals in order to finance (part of) the project. Also, it is possible to write grant proposals for the period after finishing the thesis (especially when aiming at an academic career), for congress visits or cross-border cooperation. Here you can find an overview of websites that inform about available grants.