KU Leuven PhD Scholarships for Students from Developing Countries 2022/2023

KU Leuven is pleased to offer 10 PhD scholarships to excellent students from the Global South. By training researchers from low-income countries, we help build institutional capacity in their home countries and tackle development challenges together.

Application Deadline: March 10, 2022 at 17:00

Eligible Countries: Developing Countries

Inclusion (Country): Belgium

About KU Leuven PhD Scholarships:

KU Leuven invests in sustainable development research through excellent students from low-income countries. The aim is to support relevant research for the development of the countries of the Global South, to strengthen the local capacity building of the local institution and to ensure the local integration of the researcher after completing the doctorate. KU Leuven promoters can apply for a 4-year PhD project for a candidate from a developing country wishing to do a PhD at KU Leuven (“developing country” refers to a country on the OECD-DAC list of the categories “Least Developed Countries” , “low-income countries” or “lower-middle-income countries”). The project must address an issue relevant to sustainable development.In order to strengthen the integration of research within the respective country, a co-sponsor belonging to a university or research institution from the same or another developing country should participate in the project. At the end of the doctorate, a return is sought in order to strengthen the capacity of the cooperating institution.

Type: Doctorate



Eligibility: Applicants and co-promoters (optional) from KU Leuven meet the requirements to be a promoter or co-promoter of an internally funded project. The applicant is also the promoter of the doctorate at KU Leuven.

The planned doctorate must meet the doctoral requirements of KU Leuven (see doctoral regulations and common doctoral guidelines). The following additional conditions apply:
There is a co-organizer in the relevant developing country. This co-sponsor must have the necessary scientific expertise to oversee the project and be an authority in the field and institute.This co-promoter must have an active role in the project, remotely or as a short-stay host;
The study is to be carried out at KU Leuven. Short stays or business trips to the respective developing country and/or other stays abroad are permitted, but must be described in the original application. If the application is approved, these stays must be reported to the research coordinator and must correspond to the original application;
The dissertation must be defended within 4 years. The KU Leuven sponsor must confirm that this is possible and that they will do whatever is necessary to ensure that the promotion can be completed within the planned time frame.
In principle, the doctoral candidate must complete the entire doctoral path. The doctoral candidate may have already started pre-doctoral or doctoral studies at KU Leuven, but no longer than 8 months (including the pre-doctoral period) as of the deadline of this call;
The PhD student has not applied for a Global Mind PhD Scholarship;

Selection criteria: The research council (or its board) applies the following selection criteria:

Mainly the scientific quality of the doctoral project and the research competence of the candidate;
The scientific quality of all (co-)sponsors;
The quality of the planned supervision of the doctorate.
The IRO selection committee uses the following selection criteria:
The importance of the development problem described in relation to its local context in which the research will have an impact;
Added value of the proposed solution or better understanding of the development problem under study;
The local insertion in the developing country: the efficiency and sustainability of the project.

Number of scholarships: A maximum of 10 “Southern Researchers PhD Scholarships” can be funded at KU Leuven per year.

doctoral scholarships from KU Leuven: A scholarship includes a doctoral scholarship at KU Leuven for 4 years, a pre-doctoral period of max. 12 months (on the recommendation of the doctoral committee) and a one-time reimbursement of travel expenses from the doctoral candidate’s country of origin to Belgium at the beginning of the doctorate (max €1000 and after proof of expenditure).The doctoral student is exempt from the tuition fee at KU Leuven. If a pre-doctoral period is imposed and the pre-doctoral program is unsuccessful, the person concerned can also request reimbursement of travel expenses for the return journey to the country of origin (max. €1,000 and against proof).

Program Duration: Doctoral scholarships have a maximum duration of 4 years. The mandate begins on October 1 of the year of approval.



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