Special Research Fund- Doctoral Scholarship

Through the Special Research Fund (BOF), Ghent University awards each year about 50 PhD grants to predoctoral researchers, aimed at obtaining a doctoral degree within a time span of 4 years.

Please note that at Ghent university doctoral studies are only open toward students who have the explicit invitation of a professor at Ghent University to join his/her research group as future PhD student. As soon as you have secured the support of a Ghent University professor you can start a scholarship application.

BOF doctoral scholarship: 1st term

Deadline: 2 May 2019 (23.59 Belgian time)

Startdate: 1 October 2019

Funding and duration

  • The BOF doctoral scholarships are initially awarded for 2 years. After an intermediate evaluation, for which the Research Council assesses the probability that the grant will lead to a PhD degree, a second term of maximum 2 years can be granted. Candidates who have to submit an application for the prolongation of their BOF doctoral scholarship will be invited by the BOF team in due time.
  • The amount of the scholarship is approximately € 2.150 per month, depending on the family status of the scholar. Based on the advice of the Research Council, a bench fee of € 7.440 (€ 310/month) will be awarded to the supervisor per term of 2 years.

Who can apply?

  • This call is only open for:
  1. Candidates who have submitted an eligible application in 2019 for the call FWO PhD Fellowship fundamental research or the call FWO PhD Fellowship strategic basic research, both with deadline 1 March 2019.
  2. Candidates who haven’t applied for an FWO PhD Fellowship fundamental research or an FWO PhD Fellowship strategic basic research in 2019, but who are eligible to apply for one of both calls in 2020 (deadline 1 March 2020).
  • No restrictions on nationality, age or research topic.
  • Only for candidates with excellent study results during the entire study career.
This call is highly competitive.  Excellent study results are an absolute requirement when applying for a BOF doctoral scholarship. To be taken into consideration, applicants preferably belong at least to the top 15% best students of the group of fellow students who took exams for the same degree (both on bachelor and master level). Applicants with a lower candidate score have very little chance of getting a BOF doctoral scholarship.

During the past years, most of the candidates who achieved a BOF doctoral scholarship belonged amongst the top 5% à 10% best students for all degrees.

Note

  • Candidates with a current appointment as PhD scholarship holder or scientific researcher (WP) on project funding awarded to the promoter can apply for a BOF doctoral scholarship, but only under the condition they meet the FWO regulation concerning diploma requirements and the scientific seniority.
  • It is not allowed to apply for funding through a BOF doctoral scholarship for the same research project as the one on which the candidate is already appointed.

  • At the start of the BOF doctoral scholarship candidates will receive a Dehousse scholarship (tax-exempted). This scholarship is limited to a maximum of 48 months during the entire academic career. When this limit is reached during the BOF fellowship, the PhD student can be appointed by BOF as WP (research staff) for a maximum of 12 months. This implies that PhD students who have already received a Dehousse scholarship for more than 12 months before the start of the BOF fellowship, will have their BOF fellowship reduced by the number of months that exceed the maximum term of 12 months of appointment as WP.

Resubmitting at FWO

  • Candidates who are awarded a BOF doctoral scholarship in 2019 and who are eligible to (re)apply for a FWO PhD Fellowship fundamental research or FWO PhD Fellowship strategic basic research in 2020 are obliged to do so.

How to apply?

  • Candidates have to fill in the application form (see below) together with their Ghent University supervisor(s).
  • Submit either in Dutch or English.

BOF PhD scholarship with UNU-CRIS label

  • If the intended doctoral research fits within the theme "Challenges to Global or Regional Governance", and has a clear link to the work of the United Nations (UN) a BOF doctoral scholarship with UNU-CRIS label can be applied for.
  • Within the context of the cooperation agreement between Ghent University, the Free University of Brussels and the United Nations University (UNU) - an independent Research Institute of the United Nations-, Ghent University allocates 2 BOF doctoral scholarships on an annual basis since 2017. Holders of a BOF doctoral scholarship with UNU-CRIS label will mainly (4 days/week) conduct their research in the United Nations University Institute – CRIS, located in Bruges. On this campus, research is focused on processes of global and regional governance.
  • Applying for a BOF doctoral scholarship with UNU-CRIS label requires a project proposal that is in line with the UNU-CRIS strategic vision note and the research themes mentioned in this vision note.
  • A statement by Prof. Madeleine Hosli, Director of UNU-CRIS, should be added to the application form, in which she supports your application. Prof. Madeleine Hosli can be contacted by email via Management Assistant Pascale Vantorre (pvantorre@cris.unu.edu), with the UNU-CRIS Policy and Communications Officer, Andrew Dunn (adunn@cris.unu.edu), in CC.
  • More information on UNU-CRIS.

BOF PhD scholarship with Blue Growth Campus Ostend label

  • If the intended doctoral research fits within the theme “Blue Growth” (i.e. using seas and oceans in a sustainable way to create renewable energy, fresh water production, sustainable sea food production, etc..)  a BOF doctoral scholarship with Blue Growth Campus Ostend label can be applied for.
  • Ghent University contributes to the further development of a thematic science park on blue growth and blue economy on the Campus Ostend. From 2019 onwards, for 4 consecutive years, Ghent University will allocate 2 BOF PhD scholarships with “Blue Growth” label on an annual basis. Holders of a BOF PhD scholarship with label “Blue Growth Campus Ostend” will be PhD students at Ghent University but conduct their research full-time on the Campus Ostend.
  • Conditions:

(1) The intended doctoral research fits within theme “Blue Growth” as defined by the European Commission in its EU Blue Growth Strategy or belongs to a research field mentioned in the Blue Cluster Strategy.

(2) At least one of the promoters of the BOF PhD scholarship at Ghent University should be active in the field of marine/maritime research. The research group to which at least one of these promoters belongs needs to be included in the Compendium 'Coast and Sea' of VLIZ, that includes all Belgian research groups active in marine/maritime research.

BOF PhD scholarship with I-SITE ULNE label

  • Ghent University is one of the 14 partners in the excellence programme of Lille University (I-SITE Université Lille Nord-Europe or I-SITE ULNE). The aim of this excellence programme is to create research collaboration between Ghent University and Lille University or one of the other founding partners of the I-SITE ULNE excellence program throughout joint doctorates. From 2019 onwards, Ghent University commits itself to allocate 2 BOF PhD scholarships with “I-SITE ULNE” label on an annual basis, for 3 consecutive years.

  • No thematic restrictions are imposed on the subject of the doctoral research.
  • After the doctoral defense the candidate will receive a joint diploma (diploma signed by both institutions) or a double diploma (separate diploma per institution).
  • Conditions:

(1) At the moment of the application deadline of this call candidates must also have a promoter at Lille University or at one of the founding partners of the I-SITE ULNE excellence project in addition to a promoter at Ghent University.

(2) In case the scholarship is awarded, the candidate is obliged to conclude a joint PhD agreement.

(3) The candidate must enroll as a doctoral student at both institutions, and carry out at least 6 months of doctoral research at Lille University or at one of the founding partners of the I-SITE ULNE excellence project.

Evaluation procedure

  • The PhD grant proposals will be evaluated by the evaluation commitees of the Research Council of Ghent University who will make a motivated selection of the applications. The Research Council will base its recommendation on the evaluation of the qualifications of the applicant (study results) and the PhD project proposal; also the scientific potential of the Research Group(s) as well as the development of the scientific potential of the institution can be taken into account for this evaluation.

  • This results in three scores: (1) a score for the candidate, (2) a score for the project and (3) a score for the supervisor. The score for the candidate has the largest impact on the final evaluation of the application. The score of the candidate is calculated on the yearly study results of the candidate during the complete period of study and the ranking among fellow students of the candidate for all diplomas granted.

Results

    • Online available from 28 August 2019 on the results page.

More information

  • , tel. 09/264.30.90
  • Contact person: Mrs. Cédrique Walthoff-Borm

 

Application forms

Prolongation of a BOF doctoral scholarship: 2nd term

After an intermediate evaluation, for which the Research Council assesses the probability that the grant will lead to a PhD degree, a second term of maximum 2 years can be granted. Candidates who have to submit an application for the prolongation of their BOF doctoral scholarship will be invited by the BOF team in due time.

Deadline: 4 March 2019 (23.59 Belgian time)

Start date: After a positive evaluation, the second term of the BOF doctoral scholarship will start immediately after the first term.

Result: Online available from 29 May 2019 on the results page.

More information

  • Contact person: Mrs. Cédrique Walthoff-Borm
  • , tel. 09/264.30.90

 

Application forms