Global Minds Doctoral Scholarship Program 2024/2025 For PhD Students In Developing Countries – KU Leuven, Belgium

Global Minds Doctoral Scholarship ProgramAs one of its contributions to development cooperation, every academic year KU Leuven selects exceptional students from developing countries as scholarship candidates to obtain their PhD from the largest university of Belgium.

Application Deadline: 22nd February  2024 at 05.00 PM GMT.

Eligible Countries:

  • Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Cameroon, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Niger
  • Asia: Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia, Palestinian Territories, Vietnam
  • Latin America: Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua, Peru

About the Global Minds Doctoral Scholarship Program

The aim is to give students the opportunity to conduct PhD research in a ‘sandwich’ system, which means that 50% of the research takes place at KU Leuven and 50%at the home institution of the scholar, supported by a local co-promotor. The PhD-degree is awarded by KU Leuven.

The scholarships are offered to excellent proposals that deal with a development-relevant research topic, preferably linked to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Having obtained their doctoral degree from KU Leuven, the PhD-holders are expected to utilise their expertise at the university in their home country.

KU Leuven is situated at about twenty kilometers from Brussels, the capital of both Belgium and Europe. It is the oldest university of the Low Countries. As such, it has a long-standing tradition of hospitality towards students and scholars from abroad. Currently, almost 7,000 international students (about 15% of the total number of students at KU Leuven) have found their home away from home in Leuven.

Eligibility for Global Minds Doctoral Scholarship Program: 

1. The applicant must be a national and resident of one of the countries included in this list.

2. Candidates who hold citizenship of the EU will not be selected. The same applies to applicants with a long-term EU residence permit.

3. The candidate’s latest Master’s degree must have been awarded no more than ten years ago, so not before 2014. 

4. The candidate must have been awarded an academic grade equivalent to High Distinction or higher. Degrees obtained with a final score equivalent to second class second/lower division will not be taken into consideration.

5. The research project must be of excellent academic quality, with a special focus on the development relevance of the proposal.

6. The research project must have a clear time frame indicating how the research periods at KU Leuven and at the home institution will alternate (a maximum period of 12 months at the home institution should alternate with a maximum period of 12 months at KU Leuven).

7. The candidate must be formally affiliated to a university in the home country. In case the candidate has no such affiliation yet, she/he is eligible to apply to this scholarship programme but will only be granted the scholarship once such an affiliation is obtained.

8. The applicant’s home university must demonstrate sufficient financial support for the doctoral project, guaranteeing that the candidate receives financial means, through a fully funded full-time position including social security coverage similar to that of staff members at the same level and with the same qualifications within the home institution. The home institution must also guarantee, in writing, that the candidate can dedicate himself/herself sufficiently to conducting doctoral research during the periods spent at the home institution. As will be stipulated in the contract, at least 80% of the time spent at the home institution should be dedicated to conducting the doctoral research. Candidates who are not yet affiliated to a university in their home country should present a Letter of Intent from the home institution signaling that the candidate will be recruited and given the assignment to conduct the doctoral research at that institution. The scholarship will only be granted once the candidate is formally affiliated to a university in the home country and when, consequently, that university can demonstrate sufficient support.

9. Candidates who are already enrolled as PhD-students at KU Leuven and who are financed by KU Leuven are not eligible for this programme. They may be eligible for the PhD Scholarships for Researchers from the South though.

10. Candidates who have been employed before in an EEA country other than Belgium are not eligible for this scholarship. They may be eligible for the PhD Scholarships for Researchers from the South though.

11. The candidate must demonstrate a development-oriented motivation.

12. The candidate must be supported by a KU Leuven supervisor.

13. The candidate must be supported by a local co-supervisor at her/his home university.

14. The candidate must demonstrate excellent recommendations from at least two relevant referees.

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15. The candidate must follow the 2-step application procedure. In order to be able to apply for a KU Leuven Global Minds Doctoral Scholarship, approval to enroll as a doctoral student at KU Leuven must be obtained first. We strongly recommend to start this procedure at least 2.5 months before the deadline (February 22, 2024), (procedures started too late may not be evaluated in time by the doctoral committees or doctoral schools!).

16. The application deadline is February 22, 2024 at 05.00 PM GMT. Applications are submitted using a digital application form (available as soon as possible). On this form you will find further specifications (about the number of pages, language, attachments, and so on).

17. The candidate has read and agreed to the Regulations, Obligations and Conditions for Terminating the KU Leuven Global Minds Doctoral Scholarship. The candidate must also conform to the Internal Regulations for the Awarding of PhD Scholarships at KU Leuven (please consult your promotor on this).

18. Candidates are asked not to submit their application unless it fulfils the conditions listed above. Incomplete or late applications will not be taken into consideration. No exceptions will be made.

Benefits of the Global Minds Doctoral Scholarship Program: 

The scholarship covers ALL related expenses (full cost).

How to Apply : 

  • The candidate must follow the application procedure  and complete his/her file before February 22, 2024. Please make sure to fill in the application form with the following instructions in LINK Here
  • It is important to go through ALL Application instructions and requirements on the Program Website (see Link below) before applying

Visit Official Website Here

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