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Global Minds Doctoral Scholarships Programme at KU Leuven


K.U. Leuven
PhD Degree

Deadline: 15 Jan/29 Apr 2022 (annual)
Study in: Belgium
Course starts October 2022

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Brief description:

As 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. The Global Minds Programme is managed by IRO, the university’s Interfaculty Council for Development Cooperation.

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-promoter. The PhD degree is awarded by KU Leuven.

Host Institution(s):

K.U. Leuven and your Home Institution

Field(s) of study:

 PhD Research Degree in development-related topics

Number of Scholarships:

Not specified

Target group:

Citizen of one of the countries included in the scholarship country list:

Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, D.R. Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, South Africa

Asia: Cambodia, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Palestinian Territories, Vietnam

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Latin America: Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Peru

Scholarship value/inclusions:

The scholarship covers tuition fee, monthly allowance, insurance, travel costs, research allowance, etc. For the full benefit list, refer to this link.


  1. The applicant must be a citizen of one of the countries included in the scholarship country list.
  2. Candidates who have 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 prior to 1 October 2022 (including the ongoing calendar year).
  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).


    The candidate must be officially affiliated to a university in the home country. Should the candidate has no such affiliation yet, he/she is eligible to apply to this scholarship programme but will not be granted the scholarship until an affiliation is obtained.


     The applicant’s home university must provide sufficient financial support for the doctoral project, guaranteeing that the candidate receives financial means, via a fully funded full time position including social security coverage similar to the staff members with the same level and 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.  Candidates who are not yet affiliated to a university in their home country should present a Letter of Intent from the home institution showing that the candidate will be recruited and given the assignment to conduct the doctoral research at that institution. 

  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. However, they can check their eligibility status for PhD Scholarships for Researchers from the South.


     Candidates who have once been employed in an EEA country other than Belgium are not eligible for this scholarship but they may be eligible for the PhD Scholarships for Researchers from the South.


     The candidate must show a development-oriented motivation.


     The candidate must be supported by a KU Leuven promoter.


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


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


     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 enrol as a doctoral student at KU Leuven must be obtained first. We strongly recommend to begin this procedure at least 2.5 months before the deadline (29 April 2022), (procedures started too late may not be evaluated in time by the doctoral committees or doctoral schools).


     The application deadline is 29 April 2022 at 05.00 PM GMT. Applications are submitted through a digital application form (available as soon as possible – see ‘Scholarship application form’). In 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. There will be no exceptions.

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Application instructions:

The application procedure entails two steps: (1) first the candidate should obtain admission to a doctoral or predoctoral program preferably 2.5 months before the scholarship deadline. Applications started after 15 January 2022 might not be finalized in time. (2) Only once this admission has been obtained, can the candidate apply for a Global Minds PhD scholarship. The scholarship application deadline is 29 April 2022 at 5:00PM GMT.

It is important to read the application procedure and visit the official website (link found below) for detailed information on how to apply for this scholarship.


Official Scholarship Website:

About K.U. Leuven:

The KU Leuven (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) is a Catholic research university in the city of Leuven, Belgium. It conducts teaching, research, and services in computer science, engineering, natural sciences, theology, humanities, medicine, law, canon law, business, and social sciences. In addition to its main campus in Leuven, it has satellite campuses in Kortrijk, Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges, Ostend, Geel, Diepenbeek, Aalst, Sint-Katelijne-Waver, and in Belgium’s capital Brussels. KU Leuven is the largest university in Belgium and the Low Countries. In 2017–18, more than 58,000 students were enrolled. Its primary language of instruction is Dutch, although several programs are taught in English, particularly graduate degrees.

Why you should study at KU Leuven


KU Leuven is one of  the best 100 universities in the world according to both  Times Higher Education World Rankings and QS World University Rankings. All of KU Leuven’s disciplines proudly belong to the top 100 in their field. Furthermore, KU Leuven was ranked by Reuters as  most innovative university of Europe since 2016.

Research-based education

Education at KU Leuven is research-based. This  means students learn from the same professors who are performing the ground-breaking research you read about on the internet. New insights and discoveries  are immediately integrated into classes while the  students are encouraged to conduct their own research. In our FabLab, students can use a plethora of high-tech machines to create whatever they want with no cost.

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Promising career perspectives

Top employers worldwide are aware of the quality of the quality of students we produce every year through our CaareerGateplatform. This platform helps our students make a swift transition to the job market. They provide study internships, volunteer work, job fairs, help with writing your CV and much more. Non-European students studying abroad in Belgium will have one year to find work following the completion of their studies.

Located in the capital of Europe

KU Leuven is close to major international cities like London, Paris, Köln and Amsterdam; less than 2 hours away by train. The nearby international airport links you to the rest of the world. This means international students at KU Leuven have the luxury of not only being able to tour around but also a whole list of either neighbouring countries in the same amount of time. This is truly Europe at your doorstep.

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