scholarship program

Global Minds Doctoral Scholarship Program 2024/2025 For PhD Students In Developing Countries

scholarship program

Introduction to the Global Minds Doctoral Scholarship Program

Applications are now open for the Global Minds Doctoral Scholarship Program, organised by KU Leuven. Every academic year, KU Leuven chooses deserving students from developing nations as scholarship candidates to pursue PhDs from Belgium’s largest university as one of its contributions to development cooperation. 

The scholarship program is open to students from all countries, with priority given to candidates from developing countries. The scholarship covers tuition fees, a living allowance, travel expenses, and health insurance. Selected students will also receive additional support in the form of seminars and workshops.

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 Ph.D. degree is awarded by KU Leuven.

The scholarships are given to the best proposals addressing research related to development, ideally with a connection to the Sustainable Development Goals. It is expected of PhD holders that they will apply their knowledge at their home university after graduating from KU Leuven.

The distance between KU Leuven and Brussels, the capital of Belgium and Europe, is roughly twenty kilometers. It is the oldest university in the Low Countries. As such, it has a long history of extending hospitality to international scholars and students. Approximately 7,000 international students, or 15% of KU Leuven’s total student body, have made Leuven their home away from home.

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

Eligibility for Global Minds Doctoral Scholarship Program

  1. The applicant must be a national and resident of one of the countries included in the list of eligible countries.
  2. Candidates who hold citizenship in 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 a 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 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 with 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. Still, she/he 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 doctoral research. Candidates who are not yet affiliated with a university in their home country should present a Letter of Intent from the home institution signalling that the candidate will be recruited and given the assignment to conduct doctoral research at that institution. The scholarship will only be granted once the candidate is formally affiliated with a university in the home country and when, consequently, that university can demonstrate sufficient support.
  9. Candidates who are already enrolled as Ph.D. 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.
  15. The candidate must follow the 2-step application procedure. To be able to apply for a KU Leuven Global Minds Doctoral Scholarship program, approval to enrol as a doctoral student at KU Leuven must be obtained first. We strongly recommend starting this procedure at least 2.5 months before the deadline. Procedures started too late may not be evaluated in time by the doctoral committees or doctoral schools!

How to Apply for the Global Minds Doctoral Scholarship Program

  • Applications are submitted using a digital application form On this form, you will find further specifications (about the number of pages, language, attachments, and so on).
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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 the link provided below.
  • Going through all application instructions and requirements on the scholarship program webpage (see link below) is important before applying.

Other opportunities you can consider:

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *