PhD Scholarships for Developing Countries at KU Leuven

Deadline: 9 November 2015
Open to: applicants with MA from developing countries
Scholarship: the stipend of EUR 1,415 per month


As one of its contributions to development cooperation, KU Leuven offers scholarships every academic year to exceptional students from developing countries to course their PhD in the largest university of Flanders, Belgium. The programme is organised and managed by IRO, the University’s Interfaculty Council for Development Cooperation. Over the past ten years, the Doctoral Scholarships Programme has supported over a hundred PhD graduates. 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.


All applicants must meet following general eligibility conditions:

  • The applicant must be a citizen of one of the countries on the OCDE DAC table that are considered as: Least Developed Countries, Low Income Countries or Low Middle Income Countries;
  • The applicant may not possess a citizenship from an EU country. The applicant may not posses a long-term EU residence permit;
  • The candidate’s latest master’s degree must have been awarded no more than ten years prior to 1 October 2016 (including the ongoing calendar year);
  • The candidate must hold an academic qualification at least equivalent to a high distinction. Degrees obtained with a final score equivalent to second class second/lower division will not be taken into consideration;
  • Excellent academic quality of the research project, focusing on the development relevance of the proposal;
  • The candidate must demonstrate a development-oriented motivation;
  • The candidate must be supported by a local co-promoter at the candidate’s home country to ensure embeddedness of the research within the country’s context;
  • The candidate must be supported by excellent recommendations from relevant referees.


The IRO Doctoral Scholarships are only granted for programmes with a maximum duration of 48 months and, if needed, for one pre-doctoral year as a preparation for the doctoral programme. The scholarship includes the stipend of EUR 1,415 per month for doctoral students or EUR 1,000 per month for pre-doctoral students. For more information about the scholarship please click HERE.

How to apply?

The deadline for applications is 9 November 2015. The candidate must follow the application procedure. Please make sure to fill up the application form with the following instructions:

  • First name and last name as written on the passport;
  • Status: Doctoral Programme (diploma contract) or Predoctoral programme;
  • Academic year: If you apply between September and October 2015, you must select 2015 – 2016; Starting from November, you must select 2016 – 2017;
  • Is this application also intended as a scholarship application? Yes;
  • Name of the scholarship agency: IRO Doctoral Scholarship.

For more information please visit the official website.

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