ABC for UGent PhD scholarship recipients

Account

Every UGent scholarship recipient has access to the UGentNet (internal computer network), intranet and e-mail through his/her UGent account (log-in + password). The UGentNet is also accessible via secured network.

ICT Starter's guide for new employees

Admittance to the premises

If necessary, UGent PhD scholarship recipients can obtain a special badge to gain access to certain university buildings. Also for parking a special badge can be requested.

Overview of university badges

Child allowance

UGent PhD scholarship recipients are not entitled to receive child benefits for themselves but can in some cases receive it for their own children. The application for a maternity bonus (immediately after the birth of your child) or child benefits is handled by the Personnel Department.

The amount of the allowance depends on your number of children and their age. For this, you will need a copy of the birth certificate of your child.

Children are fiscally added to the account of the partner who receives professional wages. When both partners are scholarship recipients, the scholarship amount of one of them will be adjusted. Hereto the scholarship recipient must hand in a specific statement.

Bringing your children along

Family reunion procedure

Childcare

Ghent University offers qualitative childcare for children from 0 to 3 years.

UGent Childcare services

Combination of jobs

Combining several jobs is only allowed in case they do not detract from the fiscal exemption of the scholarship.

This implies that UGent PhD scholarship recipients are not allowed to perform other services, whether they be unsalaried, as a subsidiary, or by way of self-employment, that result in professional wages.

Grants for a study/research stay abroad can in some case be combined with the UGent PhD scholarship.

UGent PhD scholarship recipients are permitted to engage in the supervision of master students. These activities form an integral part of their doctoral training but must be restricted to a maximum of four hours a week.

Commuting

Ghent University encourages their staff to travel by public transportation or bike. The University has therefore introduced a bicycle allowance and also reimburses season tickets for public transportation.

See also: work-related travel abroad

Travel to and from work

End-of-bonus

UGent PhD scholarship recipients are entitled to an end-of-year bonus in relation to their professional performance from January till October. The bonus is an amount roughly equalling the amount of the end of year bonus of a member of the A.A.P.-staff in a similar family situation.

Enrolment

All doctoral candidates are expected to enrol as a PhD student. Find out how, where and what to bring.

When you first enrol for a PhD study, you will also be asked to register at one of the five Doctoral Schools. Registering at one of the Doctoral Schools gives you the opportunity to participate in courses, workshops and other activities organised by your (or another) Doctoral School.

At some faculties, a doctoral training programme is also mandatory.

A tuition fee is due at the time of the first enrolment and at the time of defence.

You are required to re-enrol as a PhD student every academic year, until you have completed your PhD. Re-enrolment is free of charge.

Homepage of Doctoral Schools

Exit policy

UGent PhD scholarship recipients can request an early termination of their PhD scholarship agreement, on the understanding that the PhD supervisor agrees. A reasonable period of notice is also agreed upon. The request must be addressed to the Personnel Department and signed by the supervisor as correct.

Due to urgent reasons, the PhD agreement can be immediately terminated, without notice and without severance pay.

Exit policy

Fiscal affairs

Because the wages of a UGent PhD scholarship recipient are fiscally exempted (i.e. no income tax has to be paid), Ghent University does not provide a fiscal certificate 281.10, which UGent personnel normally receives to declare their income for tax purposes. Therefore, on his/her tax form the scholarship recipient writes 'nihil' for section 'inkomsten' (= income). He/she also encloses a copy of the PhD scholarship agreement.

If married, UGent PhD scholarship recipients are not added to the account of their live-in partner who receives wages. They may indicate on their joint tax form that they are 'married' or 'legally cohabiting'. This way the income of the partner will be split and 30% will be attributed to the fiscally exempted scholarship recipient. This means their tax assessment will be considerably lower than a single one.

Tax system in Belgium

Healthcare

To benefit from cover under mandatory healthcare and indemnity insurance, all scholarship recipients need to be a member of an insuring organisation (i.e. a healthcare fund), either as a policyholder or a dependant. One is legally obliged to have a health insurance during one's stay in Belgium.

To this end, all UGent PhD scholarship recipients are provided with the necessary documents when signing their agreement.

See also: insurance.

Healthcare system in Belgium

Holidays

UGent PhD scholarship recipients are entitled to the same amount of holidays as the academic assisting staff, i.e. 35 days per full calendar year. When starting or finishing one's contract in the middle of the calendar year, the holidays are calculated pro rata. When finishing one's contract, the unused holidays may not be transferred to the new employment.

More information on holidays

Holiday bonus

UGent PhD scholarship recipients receive a gross holiday bonus roughly equalling the amount of the end of the holiday bonus of a member of the A.A.P.-staff in a similar family situation. The bonus is paid in June.

Illness

In case of illness (whether it be one day or to extend an existing sick leave) one must always notify one's PhD supervisor.

The first 30 days a UGent PhD scholarship recipient will continue to receive the scholarship. Starting on the 31st day they are added to the account of their health insurance company and receive a replacement income (note: this income is often lower than the scholarship amount). To receive this replacement income the scholarship recipient must fill out a request in advance. The health insurance company will investigate the request.

More information on sick leave and illness

Insurance

By enrolling as a student, the UGent PhD scholarship recipient is covered by the collective medical insurance taken out by the Ghent University for its students in case of personal bodily harm during university activities or on the way to and from such university activities.

UGent PhD scholarship recipients are also automatically signed up for:

  • industrial and physical accidents during university activities
  • civil liability during university activities
  • travel assistance during university activities abroad

One can also subscribe to the collective hospitalisation and/or travel assistance via the Legal Office of Ghent University. In that case one pays the premium oneself.

Insurance policy details

Hospitalisation policy

UGent PhD scholarship recipients can subscribe to the collective hospitalisation policy, paying their own premium. For more information when to subscribe and which qualifying periods are applicable, see https://www.ugent.be/en/administration/insurances/optional_subscription_member

If he/she decides to subscribe, the UGent PhD scholarship recipient is requested to fill out the subscription form and send it to the insurance company.

The UGent PhD scholarship recipient is insured until the first renewal date of the policy after the end of the PhD contract.

Occupational illness

UGent PhD scholarship recipients who are inflicted by an occupational illness are advised to contact the Department of Occupational Medicine and file for compensation at Fund for Occupational Illness (Fonds voor Beroepsziekten).

Health and safety at Ghent University

 

Leave

UGent PhD scholarship recipients are entitled to:

  • palliative leave (taking care of a dying family member)
  • leave to care for a sick family member
  • parental leave
  • compassionate leave (in the event of marriage, death, etc.)

More information on leave

Pay and payslip

The UGent PhD scholarship is paid in monthly parts at the end of every month, except for the holiday and the end-of-year bonus. After the PhD has been obtained, the scholarship can continue until the contractual expiring date. Non-EU citizens should in that case comply with the residence conditions required by law.

UGent scholarship recipients are able to consult their personal payslip online via Apollo.

See also: scholarship - amount

Pension

Only for the PhD scholarships which are subject to social security regulations (i.e. scholarships from EU countries or countries that have a social security agreement with Belgium) the UGent PhD scholarship recipient and UGent pay pension contributions. Work periods with said scholarships are taken into account for pension rights.

Pensions in Belgium

Pregnancy

UGent PhD scholarship recipients who are pregnant are requested to inform the Personnel Department immediately and submit a medical certificate stating the due date.

Maternity leave amounts to 105 days for a single child. During this period the health insurance company will pay the bursary's wages.

In case of health risks for mother and/or child, the Department of Occupational Medicine must be contacted within the framework of 'workplace prevention for expectant mothers'.

Rules and regulations

Read up on:

Other rules have been brought together by The Legal Department: all relevant documents, such as decrees, parliamentary decisions, and (internal) regulations together into one legal manual (for the most part in Dutch).

Scholarship

Amount

The PhD scholarship is not actually a salary, i.e. a compensation for professional activities by order of the university or a third party. The UGent PhD scholarship amounts are yearly fixed and index-linked by the Board.

The net amount is yearly stipulated by the rector and amounts to 100% of the net salary of a assisting academic staff member is the same family circumstances.

The individual amount is stated in the UGent PhD scholarship agreement and is only adapted in case of changes in family situation or seniority. Rules regarding social security have no influence on the net amount.

See also: pay and payslip

Length

The UGent PhD scholarship is awarded for a maximum of 24 entire months. If different scholarships are awarded, consecutively or not, the total period awarded should not exceed 48 entire months.

To calculate the length other scholarships or other employment are taken into account.

The UGent PhD scholarship cannot be awarded in case an earlier appointment as UGent staff (administrative, academic assisting or scientific) is to be converted or replaced, unless the earlier activity is not continued as PhD research.

A fiscally exempted scholarship cannot be awarded for a second PhD.

Social security

Ghent University pays social contributions for all scholarship recipients from EU countries or countries that have a social security agreement with Belgium.

For other PhD scholarship recipients Ghent University pays diminished contributions. This way these people are insured and may in some cases receive child benefits but are not entitled to unemployment allowances or pension rights.

Sports

UGent PhD scholarship recipients are welcome at the UGent Sports Center (GUSB) and can participate in university student and personnel competitions.

UGent Sports Facilities

Tax form

See: fiscal affairs

UGent ID card

A UGent PhD scholarship recipient receives a student and also a personnel ID card. Either card grants:

  • UGent account and IT support (see above)
  • access to UGent sports facilities and restaurants
  • university libraries

See also: admittance to the premises

Overview of university badges

Unemployment benefits

The PhD scholarship recipients who receive a scholarship which is subject to social security regulations (i.e. scholarships from EU countries or countries that have a social security agreement with Belgium) can be admitted to the unemployment system of Belgium. Other PhD scholarship recipients are not entitled to unemployment benefits.

Valorisation of research

Besides the publication of your PhD research there are a number of possibilities to 'valorise' your research.

Technology Transfer provides the link between Ghent University’s researchers and external partners in industry. It draws up contracts, establishes negotiations, provides advice on I.P. and actively encourage and assist researchers in their efforts to translate new ideas and technologies into commercial realities.

Work-related accident

An accident is classified as an 'occupational/industrial accident' when it happened either:

  • during your regular work-related activities,
  • on your regular way from home to work,
  • or on your regular from work to home.

UGent PhD scholarship recipients are insured for work-related accidents via a private insurance policy which UGent takes out especially for them (Generali NV).

Procedure work-related accident

During a period of disability as a result of a work-related accident the UGent PhD scholarship recipient will continue to receive his/her salary from Ghent University. For the first 30 days of absence one will receive the full scholarship amount; thereafter one will receive 90% of the full amount.

See also: insurance

Insurance policy details

Work-related travel abroad

All UGent students and staff benefit from a specific travel insurance policy for university activities abroad.

If the UGent PhD scholarship recipient conducts his/her research entirely or partially abroad, he/she should in advance report the objectives, the destination and the duration of the stay abroad to the rector, through the Personnel Department, including an attestation of the supervisor’s approval of this stay abroad.

See also: commuting.