Baekeland mandates: A PhD in collaboration with the industry

VLAIO is a Flemish organisation stimulating and supporting innovation and entrepreneurship.

Baekeland mandates focus on research in close collaboration with a company. The research has clear economic objectives and added value to the company involved. The research should be directed towards a doctorate diploma and meet the accepted criteria for doctoral research.


There are two deadlines: one in March, one in September. 


4 years. It can be prolonged when working parttime (min. 50%).

Who can apply?

  • Everyone with a Master degree, but without a PhD
  • No special requirement for nationality, graduation degree or age
  • At least 1 Flemish company
  • 1 Flemish university or other knowledge center

How does it work?

Your application can be in English or in Dutch. The rest of the procedure will be in the language of your application.

If you become an employee of the company, they will make your budget.
If you become an employee of Ghent University, we will.

The rest of the procedure is the same.


  1. Contact the company or Ghent University for help with your budget. The only information we need is if you have graduated this year or the number of years of work experience you have.
  2. You will also need  a letter of intent. Give us the following information at
    • Title of the project
    • Name of the applicant
    • Promoter at Ghent University
    • Company: name + address
    • Legal representative of the company
    • Industrial promoter: name + function
  3. The letter of intent must be signed by:
    • Rector Ghent University
    • Applicant
    • Promoter Ghent University
    • Legal representative of the company
  4. Hand in you application (including the budget, signed letter of intent and all other necessary documents) at (max. 15 MB).
  5. A signed term sheet or mutual cooperation agreement between Ghent University and the company must be submitted with the IWT within 6 weeks after the application deadline. Contact our TechTransfer ( office.
  6. Evaluation. In May or November there will be an oral defense. You will have to expound your project and the economic value of the results to a jury of experts.

The granted projects are known at the end of July or December.

How much funding is involved?

  • Salary as a scientific researcher, depending on the Ghent University wage scales
  • Consumables, calculated according to the cost model of VLAIO

More information

Research Co-ordination Office: