Special Research Fund- Doctoral Scholarship

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.

Duration and starting date

    • Period: 1+3 years
    • Funding: the scholarship is approximately € 2.225 per month, depending on the family status of the scholar.  A bench fee of € 310/month  will be awarded to the promoter.
    • Deadline: 26 April 2021; 23:59
    • Start fellowship: 1 October 2021
    • Results online: 31 August 2021

Who can apply for a BOF-doctoral  fellowship

To apply for a BOF doctoral fellowship candidates must meet several conditions:

Applications must be submitted with the support of a Ghent University promoter. It is allowed that the application also contains a co-promoter and 1 or more involved researchers.

To act as a (co-)promotor of a BOF-doctoral fellowship several conditions must be met:

Duration BOF doctoral fellowship

In accordance with the regulations for PhD scholarship recipients, the doctoral program starts by definition with a scholarship agreement of 1 year.

If, before the end of the first year, the doctoral advisory committee or, in the absence thereof, the promoter(s) judge(s) that both the substantive progress in the context of the doctoral research and the overall functioning of the PhD scholarship recipientare such that the doctoral program can be successfully completed within a reasonable period of time, the promoter issues a positive advice in a written form. A positive recommendation leads to a 3-year extension of the doctoral scholarship.

BOF doctoral scholarship within a specific collaboration

There are 3 special programs to apply for a BOF doctoral scholarship within a specific collaboration:

BOF PhD scholarship with UNU-CRIS (United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies) label

BOF PhD scholarship with I-SITE ULNE (I-SITE Université Lille Nord-Europe) 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. Since 2019, Ghent University commits itself to allocate 2 BOF PhD scholarships with "I-SITE ULNE" label on an annual basis, for 3 consecutive years.
  • read more on applying for a BOF PhD scholarship with I-SITE ULNE label

BOF doctoral scholarship with GUGC label

Submission at FWO

  • Candidates who are awarded a BOF doctoral scholarship in 2021 and who are eligible to apply for a FWO PhD Fellowship fundamental research or FWO PhD Fellowship strategic basic research in 2022 are obliged to do so.
  • In case the awarded BOF doctoral scholarship holder also applied for a FWO PhD Fellowship FO or SB in 2021 and is invited for the second FWO evaluation round (interview), he/she is obliged to participate and prepare the interview thoroughly in advance.
  • If the FWO fellowship is awarded, the candidate is obliged to switch to FWO funding. The BOF scholarship will then be reallocated to a candidate on the BOF reserve list. In this way the number of awarded doctoral scholarships at Ghent University can be maximized.

How to apply?

Applications for a BOF PhD grant have to be submitted on the forms provided for that purpose and sent by e-mail to .

The application can be submitted either in Dutch or English.

The promoter of the application must submit a document "advice promoter" and "questionnaire about the ethical and biosafety context of the proposed research project".

The following enclosures must be added to the application:

  • Obliged:  for non-Ghent University degrees (including interuniversitary programs at Ghent University): copies of diplomas, transcripts of records, and proof of ranking among fellow students and/or percentile scores. Candidates who did not yet obtain their master degree at the moment of the application deadline have to send their diploma and final study results no later than 12 July 2021 to
  • If applicable and available: document concerning ethical implications
  • If available: own enclosures
  • Obliged: in case of a BOF-doctoral scholarship with UNU-CRIS label, a statement by dr. Philippe De Lombaerde, Director ad interim of UNU-CRIS, should be added to the application form, in which he supports the application of the candidate for a BOF-doctoral scholarship with UNU-CRIS label.
  • Obliged: in case of a BOF-doctoral scholarship with I-SITE ULNE label, a statement of the promoter at Lille University or at one of the founding partners of the I-SITE ULNE excellence project is required, in which he/she confirms to support the application of the candidate for a BOF-doctoral scholarship with I-SITE ULNE label.
  • Obliged: in case of a BOF doctoralscholarship with GUGC label: declaration by the supervisor of the GUGC that he/she will supervise the candidate's doctoral research.

Additional information for applicants

Evaluation procedure

The PhD grant proposals will be evaluated by the scientific committees of the Research Council. The Research Council 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.

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 available on 31 august 2021
    • From this date on, unsuccessful candidates can request feedback via email to BOF@UGent.be.
    • If the selection procedure takes place in two steps and during the first step only the study results are taken into account, then the projects of candidates who obtain an insufficiently high candidate score are not substantially evaluated. Therefore, for these candidates, no substantive feedback is possible regarding their project proposal.

Scientific report

End report: within three months following upon the end of the grant a final scientific/scholarly report has to be sent electronically to . The promoter and co-promoter (if applicable) are included in this e-mail (either as sender, or in CC).

Start scientfic report


Research Department
Research Co-ordination Office - Special Research Fund


More information

The entire call and application form can also be downloaded below.