Ghent University Special Research Fund 2018 – Doctoral Scholarships for Developing Countries

Ghent University Special Research Fund 2018 – Doctoral Scholarships for Developing Countries

Deadline: March 6, 2018

Applications are now open for PhD scholarship at Ghent university. 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 21 December 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.


  • The earliest starting date of the scholarship at Ghent University is 1 October 2018;
  • The candidate obtains a scholarship for 24 months to study at Ghent university;
  • 24 months of the PhD research/study must be cofinanced at the partner university;
  • 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’);
  • At least 12 months of the research stay in the South must be scheduled after the first BOF funded stay in Ghent (North) (earliest possible starting date of the BOF funding = 1 October 2018).


  • 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 €15.440 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.


  • The proposals must be jointly submitted by a candidate, a promoter 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
  • 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 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.
  • 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 intended for students who  want to obtain a (joint ) PhD degree at Ghent University.

Selection criteria:

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


  • Before applying for a PhD scholarship at Ghent university, students always need to find a professor from Ghent University who is willing to act as the supervisor (promoter) of their doctoral research and who agrees to support their application. You can do this is by browsing the list of faculties and research topics available on our research directory.
  • The promoter has to fill in a separate document with advice on the candidate, stating the promoter’s opinion on the capability of the candidate as a future researcher. This document is available on the same webpage as the application form. The promoter has to send this advice to [email protected].

To apply for the scholarship,

  • Download the application form in PDF or Word.
  • The application has to be submitted electronically to [email protected] (please use a pdf converted from the Word document and not a scanned pdf6).

For more information, visit Ghent University Special Research Fund.