Ghent University Doctoral Scholarships 2020, Belgium


Application Deadline: 4 February 2020

With support from its “Special Research Fund” (BOF), Ghent University grants PhD scholarships to promising PhD students from developing countries who wish to carry out half of their PhD research at Ghent University and half in a university in a developing country.

Duration and start date of the scholarship:

  • The earliest starting date of the scholarship at Ghent University is 1 October 2020;
  • The candidate obtains a scholarship for 24 months to study at Ghent university (North);
  • 24 months of the PhD research/study must be cofinanced at the partner university in the South;
  • Students are obliged to divide the Ghent University scholarship into minimum 2 different research stays in Ghent (North) and need to return at least once to their home university (South)  in between (= ‘sandwich- schedule’);
  • The following mobility scheme is mandatory:
  1. Students need to start and end with a research stay of minimum 3 up to maximum 12 months in Ghent.
  2. The first research stay in Ghent needs to start between 1 October 2020 and 28 February 2021.
  3. At least 24 months of locally funded research stay in the South must be scheduled in between the first and last research stay in Ghent.
  • The average duration of PhD studies in Belgium (Ghent University) is 4 years.


  • The proposals must be jointly submitted by a candidate, a promoter (supervisor) at Ghent University and a supervisor at the partner university.
  • No restrictions are imposed on the field of research, nevertheless  preference will be given to topics that are relevant for development

Development relevance relates to the extent to
which the proposals’ objectives are consistent with beneficiaries’
requirements, country needs, synergy opportunities, global priorities
and partners’ and donors’ policies.

  • Candidates need to come from – and have the nationality of – a developing country (see country list);
  • There must be a guarantee that the candidate will be able to
    work fulltime on the PhD project for a period of 24 months at the
    partner university
    in a selected developing country (South). This implies that the following conditions needs to be fulfilled:
  1. there must be a local PhD supervisor at the partner university or research center in the South;
  2. A written statement is requested stating that the candidate will be/is either a funded fulltime PhD student or a staff member at this partner university
  3. and will be sufficiently exempted
    from teaching or other assignments as to be able to fully concentrate
    on the PhD research in the South. Applicants can dedicate maximum 10 %
    of their time (fulltime appointment) to other tasks (teaching and other
  4. This statement should also mention that the candidate receives a local PhD scholarship or salary for a period of 24 months when working on the PhD at the partner university in the South.
  • This cofunding is only open for students who intend to obtain a (joint ) PhD degree at Ghent University

How to apply for this scholarship

  • Applications must be submitted on the application forms provided for this purpose.

The Research Council makes a selection of the applications based in
part on the recommendations obtained from members of the Council for
Development Cooperation.

Please note that this call is highly competitive. The success
rate for this call is 19% (based on the results of the previous calls
2017-2019). The first selection criterion in this call are the study
results of the candidate (both Bachelor and Master Level).

  1. the qualifications of the applicant;
  2. the doctoral project;
  3. the relevance of the research topic for development & capacity building
  4. the scientific/scholarly potential of the promoter’s research
    group(s); the partnership between Ghent University and the local
    institute; the scientific/scholarly potential of the local institute.

Scholarship funding

  • PhD scholarship at Ghent University  (24 months).
  • 24 months of PhD research will be executed at the partner university in the South, for which no funding is provided through this scholarship.
    This part of the research (24 months) must be funded (e.g. local PhD
    scholarship or salary) at the partner institution in the South.
  • The Ghent University promoter receives a bench fee of €310/per month of research in Ghent + €8000 travel budget
    to cover (part of) the operational costs, as well as part of the
    travelling costs of the student and both the Ghent University and the
    local promoter.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Ghent University Doctoral Scholarships 2020