Special Research Fund – Doctoral Scholarships for Candidates from Developing Countries – call 2022

  • 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 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 2022 and 28 February 2023.
  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.

Exceptions to the mandatory mobility scheme

  • Applicants who can demonstrate that they are unable to start their 4 year PhD research with a research stay in Ghent because the partner university/research center in the South requires a successful completion of a PhD study program in their university before commencing further research activities, can request an exception to the mobility scheme.
  • Applicants who can demonstrate that they have successfully completed a full-time funded PhD research appointment/PhD study period (of up to 12 months) at the partner university/research center in the South can request to integrate this period in the required 24 months of locally funded research stay in the South.
  • UGent will decide whether this period of pre-financing can be included as part of the obligatory 48-month of funding (24 months co-financing South + 24 months co-financing Ghent University).

Applicants who want to make use of this exception have to request an approval from the research administration of Ghent University (Special Research Fund, e-mail to bof@ugent.be) by Jan 10, 2022.
Applicants need to motivate their request thoroughly and submit the necessary supporting documents. They have to be able to demonstrate that in this period they will have/had a ‘full-time salary/income’ and will be/were ‘sufficiently exempted from other duties’ to be able to ‘focus full-time on their PhD research’.

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.

How to apply for this scholarship

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

Deadline scholarship applications

  • 1 February 2022

Results scholarship selection

  • From 18 May 2022 onwards, the result of the selection will be announced online.



Research Department
Research Co-ordination Office – Special Research Fund

Call and application forms

Prior to their scholarship application all applicants need the explicit commitment of a Ghent University professor who will act as their personal PhD supervisor. If you need to approach a Ghent University professor please browse the list of faculties and research topics available on our research directory.

Scientific report

Final 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).

For more information please open this link
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