Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) PhD Scholarships for Developing Countries


The Catholic University of Louvain is Belgium’s largest French-speaking university. It is located in Louvain-la-Neuve, which was expressly built to house the university. UCL has satellite campuses in Brussels, Charleroi, Mons and Tournai. The PhD scholarship for students from developing countries reflects its wish not only to help strengthen the academic systems of developing countries but also to create new partnerships between UCL and research or higher education institutions in these countries.

Eligibility: To be eligible, applicants must fulfil ALL of the following criteria:

  • originate from a developing country
  • have the support of at least one member of UCL’s academic staff;
  • have been accepted to study for a doctorate by the subject-specific doctoral committee (CDD) (for doctorates at UCL) or a research diploma (for doctorates in the applicant’s own institution) in their field of research;
  • not be required to give any undertaking to return to their home country to an organization that has funded a training course;
  • in the case of students who have already started their doctorate and are duly enrolled at UCL, not be in receipt of a study scholarship.

Selection Criteria: After consultation with the Research Board (Conseil de la Recherche – CREC), the International Action Board (Conseil de l’action internationale – CAI) will select the recipients of the PhD scholarships based on the following criteria:

  • the opinion of the UCL supervisor and, where applicable, the local supervisor;
  • the applicant’s academic credentials;
  • the scientific merit of the proposed research;
  • the feasibility of completing the research in the proposed time;
  • the quality of the resources made available to the applicant at the different sites where he/she will carry out the research;
  • the prospects for employability and for exploitation of the thesis to further development goals.

In the event of applications of comparable quality, the CAI will give priority to applicants who:

  • because of their geographical origin or social situation, do not have access to other sources of funding;
  • propose a split-site research project; this involves the PhD student carrying out some of the doctoral work in his/her own institution under the supervision of a local academic contact person and some at UCL.

How to Apply: Applications must be submitted by the applicant’s UCL supervisor, using the appropriate form, to the Chair of the Conseil de l’action internationale (CAI) c/o ADRI, 1 Place de l’Université, L0.01.06, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve by 31 March 2017 (before 12:00 pm Belgian time). An electronic version of the complete application, as one single PDF file, must be sent to Ms Catherine.goossens@uclouvain.be  by the same date.
The CAI will select the successful applicants at the end of June 2017 and the applicants and supervisors will be notified of the results.

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