Scholarship Overview

  • Country: Belgium
  • Scholarship Type: Merit-based
  • Institutions: KU Leuven
  • Funded by: Marc Vervenne Fund (MVF)
  • Tuition Type: Full tuition
  • Degree Program: PhD
  • Scholarship Amount: € 1,420 monthly
  • Separate Application Required?: Yes
  • Deadline: 22 February, 2024.

Scholarship Benefits

The MVF Scholarship program provides financing for four distinct research visits to KU Leuven, each with a duration of three months, or 90 days. Recipients are permitted to undertake one visit per annum. Included in the scholarship is a round-trip ticket for every research period. Throughout each stay, recipients of the scholarship obtain a stipend of €1,420 monthly.


  • Eligibility for the MVF Scholarship mandates that the applicant be a DRC national actively engaged in research that promotes the development of local communities.
  • Applicants must not possess long-term residency rights in any nation other than the DRC.
  • Candidates should be either enrolled as PhD students or employed by a DRC-based university or research institution.
  • Prospective applicants are required to have completed a Master’s degree, or an equivalent postgraduate qualification, in a discipline pertinent to their proposed doctoral research. They should have demonstrated excellence in their academic pursuits or notable professional accomplishments. Moreover, it’s necessary for MVF aspirants to secure admission to the relevant doctoral programme at the KU Leuven Doctoral School overseeing the research area in question.
  • The project must have robust local backing to ensure its successful execution and the subsequent dissemination of findings for peer assessment within the relevant research field.
  • PhD research activities must primarily take place within the DRC.
  • All candidates will have an academic advisor at KU Leuven, complemented by a local supervisor from a DRC institution, to ensure the research remains contextually grounded. While the local co-supervisor is not eligible for financial support, mobility grants through the Global Minds program are available (for more details, please visit the designated website).
  • Candidates must supply endorsement letters from authoritative referees to validate their scholarly aptitude.
  • Proficiency in academic English and other languages pertinent to the research community is required. Details regarding acceptable English proficiency tests and certificates can be found on the specified website.
  • The application process involves two stages: securing admission to a doctoral program at KU Leuven and subsequently applying for the scholarship. The KU Leuven supervisor is responsible for submitting the scholarship application by the deadline of 09 March 2023. Detailed application guidelines can be accessed in the Application Procedure section.

This scholarship is only open to citizens of DRC.

How to apply

To apply for the MVF Scholarship, the following documentation and information are required:

Step 1:

Proof of your affiliation as a PhD student or employee with a DRC university or research institute.

Step 2: 

An acceptance letter confirming your admission as a doctoral student.

Step 3: 

A detailed doctoral research proposal, not exceeding six pages, which includes a description of the local context of your research and the support provided by your home institution’s supervisor. The proposal must articulate the developmental impact and how it addresses local challenges. It should also illustrate the researcher’s integration with the local environment and how their expertise will enhance the capacity of their home institution. The proposal needs to bear the electronic signature of the KU Leuven supervisor and the original signatures of both the applicant and the home institution’s supervisor.

Step 4: 

Your curriculum vitae, which should be formatted according to the Europass standard.

Step 5: 

A motivation letter, not exceeding three pages.

Step 6: 

The ‘Cooperation between the Congolese Institution and KU Leuven’ form, which your supervisor will upload. This form must contain the electronic signature of the KU Leuven supervisor and the original signatures of both the applicant and the co-supervisor at the home institution. Only the official MVF form is acceptable.

Step 7: 

Proof of secured funding to cover operational research costs in your home country.

Step 8: 

The local co-supervisor’s CV from your home institution, to be uploaded by your supervisor.

Step 9: 

Two letters of recommendation from relevant external referees, following the official MVF template. Note that these cannot be provided by either your home institution’s supervisor or the KU Leuven supervisor.

Official Websites