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Special Research Fund - Doctoral Scholarships for Candidates from Developing Countries

With support from its “Special Research Fund” (BOF), 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. Therefore 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.

These grants take the form of a so called “sandwich” scholarship: the candidate obtains a scholarship for 24 months to work within a span of 48 months on an alternating basis on the PhD at Ghent University and at the university or research centre in a developing country. Only for the periods the scholarship holder works at Ghent University the scholarship holder will receive a monthly income. The rest of the PhD research is done in the partner university, for which no funding is provided through this scholarship. For this part of the PhD research students must prove that they will be financed at their home university (e.g. local scholarship or salary).

No restrictions are imposed on the field of research, nevertheless  preference will be given to topics that are relevant for development. Relevance for development measures the degree in which the action of development corresponds with the expectations of the beneficiaries, the needs of the country, global priorities and the policies of partners and donors.

The proposals must be submitted by a candidate, a promoter at Ghent University and a supervisor at the local institution.

Before applying students 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. The best way to do this is by browsing the list of faculties and research topics available on our research directory.

Duration

The candidate obtains a scholarship for 24 months which must be divided into several periods within a span of 4 years.

  • Students are obliged to divide the scholarship into minimum 2 different research stays in Ghent and need to return at least once to their home university for 1 long research stay (approx. 1 year) in between (=‘sandwich- schedule’).
  • Due to all practical arrangements (visa, housing, contract, …) students are advised to stay for long periods in Ghent (e.g. 1 year).
  • This scholarship call does not intend to support students who plan only 1 research stay in Ghent. Students who have already started their PhD and will be in the final phase of their PhD are advised to read the call for finalizing PhD grants.

Who can apply?

To be admissible for this call, all of the following requirements must be met:

  • 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 on the PhD project at the partner university in a selected developing country. This implies that there must be a local PhD supervisor at the partner university or research center. Also a written  statement is requested from that supervisor or the university authorities stating that the candidate is either a student or a staff member of this university and will be sufficiently exempted from teaching or other assignments as to be able to fully concentrate on the PhD research.
  • This statement should also mention that the candidate receives/received a local scholarship or salary when working on the PhD in the home institute.

How does it work

The candidate applies to Ghent University jointly with a promoter of Ghent University and a supervisor at the local institution.

The promoter at Ghent University has to fill in a separate document ('promoter's advice'- only available in Dutch) with advice on the candidate, stating the promoter's opinion on the potential of the candidate as a future researcher.

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

  • 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.

How much funding is involved

The candidate receives a "sandwich"type scholarship for a total of 24 months. Within a span of 48 months, the candidate needs to work on the PhD project both at Ghent University and the partner university. Only for the periods the scholarship holder works at Ghent University the scholarship holder will receive a monthly income. The rest of the PhD research is done in the partner university for which no funding is provided through this scholarship. The partner university has to provide a salary or local scholarship for the period the candidate works there.

The value of the scholarship at Ghent University depends on, a.o., the researcher’s family situation and is approximately €1.830.

The Ghent University promoter also receives a bench fee of €15.440 to cover (part of) the operational costs, as well as the travelling costs of the student and both the Ghent University and the local promoter.

Deadline

Deadline 2014: closed

Further information

BOF@UGent.be

Forms 2014 PhD grant for candidates from developing countries