Special Research Fund – Doctoral Scholarships for Candidates from Developing Countries – call 2021 – Ghent University

PhD & PostDoc
  • With support from its “Special Research Fund” (BOF) Ghent University grants PhD “sandwich” scholarships to promising PhD students from developing countries who wish to carry out half of their PhD research at Ghent University (North) and half at a university in a developing country (South).
  • Ghent University only finances the part of the research that will be carried out in Ghent (24 months), the candidate must have full-time co-funding for the other 24 months of research to be carried out in the South.

Who can apply for this scholarship

  • Candidates need to come from – and have the nationality of – a developing country (see country list)
  • The proposals must be jointly submitted by a candidate, a supervisor (promoter) at Ghent University and a supervisor at the partner university (South)
  • No restrictions are imposed on the field of research, nevertheless  preference will be given to topics that are relevant for development
  • Only degree students (students who intend to obtain a (joint ) PhD degree at Ghent University) are welcome to apply. Exchange students cannot apply for this scholarship
  • Ghent university wants to encourage more female researchers to apply for this scholarship. That is why a Ghent University supervisor can support maximum 2 candidates per call on condition they are of a different gender.


  • Co-financing is mandatory with this scholarship, for more details about which co-financing is allowed, please consult the call documents.
  • In general the following partnership conditions needs to be fulfilled:
  1. there must be a local PhD supervisor at the partner university or research center in the South
  2. A written statement from the partner university is requested stating that the candidate will receive a fulltime local PhD scholarship or salary for a period of 24 months when working on the PhD at the partner university in the South AND
  3. will be sufficiently exempted from teaching or other assignments as to be able to fully concentrate on the PhD research in the South. Applicants can dedicate maximum 10 % of their time (fulltime appointment) to other tasks (teaching and other tasks)

Mobility scheme of the scholarship:

  • The following mobility scheme is mandatory:
  1. Students need to start and end with a research stay of 3 -12 months in Ghent.
  2. The first research stay in Ghent needs to be started between 1 October 2021 and 28 February 2022.
  3. At least 24 months of locally funded research stay in the South must be scheduled in between the first and last research stay in Ghent.

How to apply for this scholarship

  • Application forms must be submitted (in English) electronically via e-mail to BOFapplication@ugent.be
  • The Ghent University supervisor must submit the following 2 documents:
    • An advice on the candidate, stating the supervisors opinion on the capability of the candidate as a future researcher.
    • An advice on the ethical and biosafety context of the proposed research project


The Research Council makes a selection of the applications based in part on the recommendations obtained from members of the Council for Development Cooperation.  Please consult the call documents regarding the importance and definition of development relevance.

  • Selection criteria:

Please note that this call is highly competitive. The success rate for this call is 19% (call 2019).

  1. the qualifications of the applicant
  2. the relevance of the research topic for development & capacity building
  3. the doctoral project

(including the scientific/scholarly potential of the promoter’s research group(s); including the partnership between Ghent University and the local institute; the scientific/scholarly potential of the local institute).

Scholarship funding

  • PhD scholarship at Ghent University  (in total 24 months).
  • The Ghent University promoter receives a bench fee of € 310/per month of research in Ghent + € 8000 travel budget to cover (part of) the operational costs, as well as part of the travelling costs of the student and both the Ghent University and the local promoter.

Results scholarship selection 

From 19 May 2021 onwards, the result of the selection will be announced online

Deadline scholarship applications

  • 4 February 2021

Official Site Ghent University

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *