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.

Each year the Flemish Government allocates research funds to Ghent University so as to implement the Flemish Government Resolution of December 21, 2012. Ghent University wishes to support university research groups or research centres in developing countries in their aim to grow into excellent research centres by upgrading local academic personnel.

Ghent University PhD Scholarships Eligibility.

  • 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:
    • there must be a local PhD supervisor at the partner university or research center in the South;
    • 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
    • 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 tasks)
    • 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.
  • The applications for doctoral grants for candidates from developing countries must be submitted in English.

Ghent University Doctoral Scholarships 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.

Ghent University PhD Scholarships Duration.

  • 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 (Nord);
  • 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:
    • Students need to start and end with a research stay of minimum 3 up to maximum 12 months in Ghent.
    • The first research stay in Ghent needs to start between October 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021.
    • 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.

Ghent University PhD Scholarships Selection Criteria.

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).

  • the qualifications of the applicant;
  • the doctoral project;
  • the relevance of the research topic for development & capacity building
  • 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.

Method of Application

The application for doctoral grants for candidates from developing countries must be submitted on the forms provided for this purpose. The Ghent University supervisor has to fill in a separate document with an advice on the candidate, stating the supervisors opinion on the capability of the candidate as a future researcher. This document is available on the same webpage as the application form. The supervisor has to send this advice to BOFapplication@ugent.be. Ghent University supervisors can support maximum 2 applications per call.

Add a copy of the following annexes to the application:

  • Records of study results and documents that prove the study results of the candidate, including a ranking and/or percentile score4 (preferably translated in English/French/German). An exception is made if the university cannot provide the ranking or percentile score but in that case a statement (letter, email) from a lawful representative ((vice-)rector, (vice-)director, dean, …) of that university is needed, explaining that they cannot deliver this kind of information.
  • Note that a legalized copy of your diploma’s will be needed at the moment of admission/enrollment as a PhD student at Ghent University
  • Written statement from a lawful representative of the partner university/institution concerning the financing of the candidate’s PhD research at that university/institution
  • If applicable, favourable ethical recommendations or evidence of a bio-safety dossier

The application form has to be submitted electronically to BOFapplication@ugent.be (please use a PDF converted from the Word document and not a scanned PDF). The document has to be named as follows: “surname Candidate_name Candidate_DOS_application”. E-mail the application form and annexes as separate PDF-files.


Scholarship Application Deadline: 4th February, 2020.