In the Netherlands, PhD students (promovendi) are formally considered academic researchers rather than students. If hired on a PhD position (usually a so-called aio position), they get an appropriate salary for a researcher with a Master's degree. Open positions are advertised on the KdVI webpage, and also on the UvA webpage, and possibly through other means of communication.
Positions may be advertised at any time (there is no particular time of the year for applications), usually depending on successful grant applications by permanent staff members. Such advertisements usually mention a tight deadline, so you should regularly watch the announcements. If you decide to apply, please follow the instructions in the job advertisement closely.
Please do NOT send unsollicited job applications to the KdVI.
Normally, these jobs come with a precise job description which will determine your PhD thesis topic and supervisor. Only apply to a position if you are fascinated by the project described.
PhD students hired as an employee will not have student status, but will be full time employees of the Universiteit van Amsterdam. They do not pay a tuition fee. The gross monthly salary will be in accordance with the University regulations for academic personnel. It currently ranges between € 1900 and € 2400. Depending on the source of money, the position will be for a period of three to five years (most often four years).
Part of the duties in an aio position is usually to be a teaching assistant during part of the week or of the year. Aio's are expected to assist with the teaching of courses (for instance in exercise classes), and sometimes to teach courses themselves. If in doubt, ask the contact person mentioned in the advertisement before you apply.
In order to be a PhD student in the Netherlands, you need a degree equivalent to a Dutch Master's degree. We only hire PhD students with research experience. Typically, this is gained during the writing of a MSc research thesis. Furthermore you need a good command of the English and/or Dutch language. This is important for communicating with your advisor and for performing your teaching duties.
It is unversity policy that for all jobs, one will first be hired for one year and be evaluated after the first year. Only after a positive evaluation, your employment period will be extended to the full length.
Typically, PhD students take a few courses in their first year, but the main emphasis of the job is the independent research in the project. The main component of the studies is the writing of an independent research thesis. To get an impression, you can look in UvA Dare. See the link below.