Scholarship Overview

  • Country: Belgium
  • Scholarship Type: Merit-based
  • Institutions: KU Leuven
  • Funded by: KU Leuven
  • Tuition Type: Full tuition
  • Degree Program: PhD
  • Scholarship Amount: Tuition waiver, an annual bench fee of €3.720, etc
  • Separate Application Required?: Yes
  • Deadline: 22 February, 2024.

Scholarship Benefits

The Benefits of the scholarship includes the following:

An annual bench fee amounting to €3,720.

A single reimbursement for travel expenses from the PhD student’s home country to Belgium at the commencement of the doctoral program (up to €1,000 for an economy-class ticket reserved via Omnia, which includes additional journey-related expenditures, such as a PCR test).

Waiver of the tuition fees at KU Leuven for the PhD student.

Should a pre-doctoral period be mandated and the candidate does not progress to the doctoral phase, the individual is entitled to claim a refund for the return travel costs to their home country (up to €1,000 for an economy-class ticket booked through Omnia).


The application for a doctoral scholarship at KU Leuven should be made by candidates who fulfill the criteria outlined in the Internal Funds General Regulations. The applicant is expected to serve as the main promoter of the doctorate, while the KU Leuven co-promoter, if applicable, will serve as the co-promoter.

The proposed doctoral project is required to comply with KU Leuven’s stipulations for obtaining a doctoral degree, as specified in the regulations for doctoral degrees and the guidelines for a joint doctoral degree.

Additional stipulations include:

  • The presence of a local co-promoter from the low-income country, possessing the requisite scientific expertise to supervise the project, recognized authority in the field, and active engagement in the project, whether remotely or during brief visits.
  • The research must predominantly occur at KU Leuven. Though short-term visits or assignments to the low-income country in question or other international travels are permissible (up to 6 months, with at least 6-month intervals), these must be detailed in the initial application. Following the application’s approval, such trips must be reported to the Research Coordination Office and align with the initial application. International trips are contingent on the candidate having resided at KU Leuven for a minimum of 4 months.
  • The doctoral thesis must be defended within a 4-year timeframe. The KU Leuven promoter is responsible for asserting the feasibility of this timeline and committing to take all necessary measures to ensure the doctorate’s completion within the allocated time.
  • The PhD candidate is expected to complete the full doctoral trajectory. If the candidate has already embarked on a pre-doc or a doctorate at KU Leuven, it should not have been for more than 8 months (including the pre-doctoral period) by the deadline of the current call.
  • The candidate’s first master’s degree should have been awarded no more than 15 years prior.
  • The PhD candidate should not have requested a Global Mind PhD Scholarship for the identical doctoral project.
  • Applicants must ensure they meet all these conditions to be considered for a doctoral scholarship at KU Leuven.
  • How to apply

To apply for a ‘PhD scholarship for researchers from the South’ at KU Leuven, candidates must first secure authorization to enroll as a doctoral student. The process involves the following steps:

Step 1. Initiation by the Promoter: 

The faculty member who will be acting as the promoter for the PhD candidate will delegate a human resources (HR) representative to initiate the application process.

Step 2. Using KU Loket: 

The HR delegate will use the KU Loket tool’s admission functionality to start the formal application for admission.

Step 3. Candidate’s Role: 

It’s important to note that the actual candidate does not have direct access to this part of the application process.

Step 4. Receiving the Application Link: 

Once the HR delegate has initiated the process, the candidate or prospective PhD student will receive an email. This email will contain a link to an application for academic admission.

Step 5. Completing the Application: 

The candidate must click on the link provided in the email to fill out the academic admission application form.

Step 6. Further Instructions: 

For additional guidance on completing the application, candidates are directed to follow the instructions available via the Admissions section of KU Leuven’s website or portal.

It’s essential that the candidate completes all necessary steps and provides the requested documentation to ensure that the application for academic admission is successfully processed. This is a pre-requisite to being considered for the PhD scholarship.

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