Special Research Fund - Cofunding for Chinese PhD candidates holding a CSC-grant

Ghent University has signed a cooperation agreement with the China Scholarship Council (CSC) to stimulate Ghent University as host institution for Chinese PhD students. This cooperation agreement will last for 5 years from 1 August 2018 until 31 July 2023.

Chinese students who plan to start a PhD study at Ghent University can apply for CSC funding via the CSC scholarship - personal programme or CSC scholarship preference programme

In the framework of this cooperation agreement Ghent University – via its "Special Research Fund" - will cofund both types of CSC PhD students:

1. All students who are admitted at Ghent University as PhD student and who are holder of a CSC PhD grant (type personal scholarship) will be exempted from paying tuition and bench fees for their PhD study at Ghent University .

2. Ghent university will also preselect future CSC candidates  via a so called UGent preference programme. Preselected students will be able to apply for a CSC scholarship- type preference programme. Selected students will dispose, by means of their Ghent University supervisor, of an extra research allowance of €3.720/year. on top of their CSC-scholarship. These students will be also exempted from paying tuition and bench fees for their PhD study at Ghent University.  

Ghent University preference programme for Chinese PhD CSC candidates

This call is only open for Chinese CSC candidates who intend to apply for the preference programme. This call is highly competitive

10 CSC laureates of the Ghent University preference programme will by means of their Ghent University supervisor dispose of an extra research allowance of €3.720/year on top of their CSC-scholarship. In consultation with their Ghent University supervisor they can use this research allowance for paying study and research expenses related to their PhD studies at Ghent University.

1. To be eligible for this preference programme candidates must prove to:

  • have obtained a bachelor score of minimum 85/100 or must prove to have a minimum GPA (grade point average) that equals this score. AND
  • have a master degree or be in the final year of their master studies. AND
  • have started the admission procedure as a PhD student at Ghent University (This procedure must not be completed at the time of the Ghent University application but must be at the time of the CSC scholarship application)
  • This call is only open for candidates who will apply for a PhD- CSC grant  in 2019.
  • Candidates who are already working on their PhD at Ghent University with a CSC grant are not eligible.
  • CSC students who intend to obtain a PhD degree at their Chinese home university only, are not eligible for the preference programme at Ghent University.

Students must include copies of diploma documents and transcript of records that attests their study results. They also need to add official documents that attest a bachelor result of minimum 85/100 or attest that their GPA equals or is higher than this study result. Students who mention a GPA always must indicate the maximum score that can be obtained (e.g. …/3, …/4,…/5?) and must add an official attestation/explanation  of the grading/credit system.

If needed, students are advised to contact the student administration of their respective universities to attest that their study results equals or is higher than this score (=explanation of grading/credit system). Without this information the application will not be considered eligible. 

2. In case candidates do not qualify for this preference programme  they can apply for a CSC scholarship - personal programme. Students who intend to apply for a CSC scholarship- personal programme must be admitted as PhD student at Ghent University. All applicants of a CSC scholarship must have finalized the admission procedure at Ghent University as PhD student before the deadline of CSC (March 20th).

Evaluation and granting of applications for the Ghent University CSC preference programme

The Research Council makes a selection of the applications based on the qualifications of the candidates.

The candidates that qualify for the preference programme (bachelor score 85/100 + master studies) can submit an application and will be ranked according to their study results and university/institution where they have/will be graduated.

Ranking on the basis of the university/institution:

  • Ghent University will give preference towards candidates that graduated (bachelor and/or master degree) at  Chinese universities/institutions listed on the Double First Class University project.
  • Within this list of Chinese universities/institutions preference will be given towards partner universities from Ghent University (these are marked within the list)Minimum 5 candidates graduated at Ghent university partner universities listed on the Double First Class University project will be ranked higher than candidates who graduated at other universities on the Double First Class Project.
  • Candidates that have graduated at other universities will be ranked lower.
  • Ghent University will select maximum 2 candidates from the same university.

Admission as a future Ghent University PhD student & CSC application

Admission as Ghent University Phd student

  • Chinese PhD Students who wish to study at Ghent University and wish to apply for a CSC PhD grant must
  1. have secured the full support of a Ghent University professor who is willing to act as the supervisor of their PhD research. Ghent University professors can decide autonomously who they will accept as PhD student. Candidates can look for a Ghent University supervisor in their domain of interest by browsing the list of faculties and research topics.
  2. be admitted as PhD student at Ghent University. The admission procedure can take up to 3 months! The admission procedure will be started jointly with the Ghent University supervisor. Students are advised to start this procedure in a timely manner and hand in all documents to the Registrar's Office as requested. 

Students who are admitted as a future PhD student will receive an official Ghent University Admission Letter. This Admission Letter will guarantee that CSC funded PhD students will be able to study at Ghent University without paying tuition and bench fees.  CSC PhD students will be responsible for their own accommodation, living and insurance costs. 

This implies that students will need to have an official Letter of Admission to support their CSC application and Ghent University supervisors can no longer supply CSC students with an invitation letter instead.

CSC scholarship application 2019

  1. Admitted students that are selected for the preference programme will receive a preference selection letter from Ghent University; with these 2 documents (Letter of admission + preference selection letter) they can apply for the CSC option- preference programme (CSC deadline March 20th). 
  2. Admitted students that are not selected for the preference programme or do not qualify for the preference programme (e.g. students without bachelors score of minimum 85/100, without master degree or exchange students) can apply for a CSC scholarship - option personal programme (CSC deadline March 20th).  The supervisor of a CSC scholarship -type personal programme will not receive any research allowance at Ghent University.


  • Admission as a PhD student Ghent University: no deadline but procedure can take up to 3 months and must be finalized before the CSC application (deadline CSC March 20th)
  • Deadline Ghent University preference programme : 14 januari 2019 (extended deadline)
  • Deadline preference & personal programme at CSC : 20 March 2019

Further information:

  1. For general questions on CSC applications: please contact the coordinator of the Ghent University China platform: Mrs. Inge Mangelschots,
  2. For questions on the call Ghent University preference programme, please contact: BOF@UGent.be