Special Research Fund- Doctoral Scholarship

Due to Corona the deadline for submitting an application for a BOF PhD fellowship has been postponed to 11 May 2020. The selection will take place on 7 October 2020. Results will be available on 8 October 2020. Starting date for new fellowships is 1 November 2020.
Please note that at Ghent university doctoral studies are only open toward students who have the explicit invitation of a professor at Ghent University to join his/her research group as future PhD student. As soon as you have secured the support of a Ghent University professor you can start a scholarship application.

Duration and starting date

    • Period: 2 x 2 years
    • Funding: the scholarship is approximately € 2.175 per month, depending on the family status of the scholar.  A bench fee of € 310/month  will be awarded to the promoter.
    • Deadline: 11 May 2020; 23:59 (new!)
    • Start scholarship: 1 November 2020 (new!)
    • Results online: 8 October 2020 (new!)

Who can apply for a BOF-doctoral  fellowship

Applications must be submitted with the support of a Ghent University promoter. It is allowed that the application also contains a co-promoter and 1 or more involved researchers.

To apply for a BOF doctoral fellowship candidates must meet several conditions:

To act as a (co-)promotor of a BOF-doctoral fellowship several conditions must be met:

BOF doctoral scholarship within a specific collaboration

There are 2 programs to apply for a BOF doctoral scholarship within a specific collaboration:

  1. BOF PhD scholarship with UNU-CRIS (United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies) label
  2. BOF PhD scholarship with I-SITE ULNE (I-SITE Université Lille Nord-Europe) label
  • Ghent University is one of the 14 partners in the excellence programme of Lille University (I-SITE Université Lille Nord-Europe or I-SITE ULNE). The aim of this excellence programme is to create research collaboration between Ghent University and Lille University or one of the other founding partners of the I-SITE ULNE excellence program throughout joint doctorates. Since 2019, Ghent University commits itself to allocate 2 BOF PhD scholarships with "I-SITE ULNE" label on an annual basis, for 3 consecutive years.
  • read more on applying for applying for a BOF PhD scholarship with I-SITE ULNE label

Submission at FWO

  • Candidates who are awarded a BOF doctoral scholarship in 2020 and who are eligible to apply for a FWO PhD Fellowship fundamental research or FWO PhD Fellowship strategic basic research in 2021 are obliged to do so.
  • In case the awarded BOF doctoral scholarship holder also applied for a FWO PhD Fellowship FO or SB in 2020 and is invited for the second FWO evaluation round (interview), he/she is obliged to participate and prepare the interview thoroughly in advance.
  • If the FWO fellowship is awarded, the candidate is obliged to switch to FWO funding. The BOF scholarship will then be reallocated to a candidate on the BOF reserve list. In this way the number of awarded doctoral scholarships at Ghent University can be maximized.

How to apply?

Applications for a BOF PhD grant have to be submitted on the forms provided for that purpose and sent by e-mail to .

The application can be submitted either in Dutch or English.

The promoter of the application must submit a document "advice promoter".

Apply for a BOF doctoral scholarship

For the promoter: complete the advice promoter

The following enclosures can be added to the application:

  • Obliged:  for non-Ghent University degrees (including interuniversitary programs at Ghent University): copies of diplomas, transcripts of records, and proof of ranking among fellow students and/or percentile scores. Candidates who did not yet obtain their master degree at the moment of the application deadline have to send their diploma and final study results no later than 27 July 2020 to
  • If applicable and available: document concerning ethical implications
  • If available: own enclosures
  • Obliged: in case of a BOF-doctoral scholarship with UNU-CRIS label, a statement by dr. Philippe De Lombaerde, Director ad interim of UNU-CRIS, should be added to the application form, in which he supports the application of the candidate for a BOF-doctoral scholarship with UNU-CRIS label.
  • Obliged: in case of a BOF-doctoral scholarship with I-SITE ULNE label, a statement of the promoter at Lille University or at one of the founding partners of the I-SITE ULNE excellence project is required, in which he/she confirms to support the application of the candidate for a BOF-doctoral scholarship with I-SITE ULNE label.

Additional information for applicants

Evaluation procedure

  • The PhD grant proposals will be evaluated by the evaluation committees of the Research Council of Ghent University . The Research Council will base its recommendation on the evaluation of the qualifications of the applicant (study results) and the PhD project proposal; also the scientific potential of the Research Group(s) as well as the development of the scientific potential of the institution can be taken into account for this evaluation.

  • This results in three scores: (1) a score for the candidate, (2) a score for the project and (3) a score for the supervisor.

The score for the candidate has the largest impact on the final evaluation of the application. The score of the candidate is calculated on the yearly study results of the candidate during the complete period of study and the ranking among fellow students of the candidate for all diplomas granted.


Scientific report

End report: within three months following upon the end of the grant a final scientific/scholarly report has to be sent electronically to . The promoter and co-promoter (if applicable) are included in this e-mail (either as sender, or in CC). This report will relate only to the last two years of the BOF grant. The first two years are reported in the application for prolongation (see further).

Start scientific report

Prolongation of a BOF doctoral scholarship: 2nd term

The BOF scholarship contains 2 terms of maximum 2 years. After an intermediate evaluation a second term of maximum 2 years can be granted. Candidates who have to submit an application for the prolongation of their BOF doctoral scholarship will be invited by the BOF team in January. T

he promoter will be asked to submit an advice for the prolongation.


Deadline: 2 March 2020 (23.59 Belgian time)

Start date: After a positive evaluation, the second term of the BOF doctoral scholarship will start immediately after the first term.

Result: Online available from 15 May 2020 

Apply for a polongation of the BOF doctoral fellowship

For the promoter: complete the advice promoter


Research Department
Research Co-ordination Office - Special Research Fund

Mrs. Cédrique Walthoff-Borm


T 09/264.30.90

More information

The entire call and application form can also be downloaded below.

Forms first term doctoral scholarship

Form second term of the BOF doctoral scholarship

Due to corona measures, the Research Council has decided to change the timing for submitting and evaluating the applications for the BOF PhD fellowships.