Call for doctoral Scholarships "South Partnership"



UCLouvain is organising a call for applications for doctoral scholarships, or for mobility scholarships in the framework of a doctoral or post-doctoral stay, for nationals of developing countries. Through this approach, UCLouvain wishes to contribute not only to the strengthening of the academic fabric of developing countries, but also to the establishment of new partnerships between UCLouvain and research or higher education institutions in these countries.

The 2023-2024 call is a joint call for two streams of funding opportunities for Doctoral candidates:

  • UCLouvain's Conseil de l'Action Internationale (CAI) South Partnership Doctoral grants
  • ARES-CCD (Commission pour la coopération au développement) Doctoral mobility grants

Both instruments provide funding for doctoral theses for nationals from the Global South, with slightly different conditions for access and funding. In addition, post-doctoral stays are also funded by ARES-CCD:

  • ARES-CCD post-doctoral mobility grants

1. Eligibility criteria

To be eligible, the applicant must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • Be a national of one of the following countries:
    • UCLouvain-CAI Doctoral scholarship “South Partnership”:
      Eligible countries are: Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Belize, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Comoros, Congo, Congo (Democratic Republic of), Ivory Coast, Cuba, South Africa, Djibouti, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Eswatini (Kingdom of), Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iraq, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Micronesia (Federated States of), Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Uganda, Philippines, Central African Republic, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Chad, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tunisia, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
    • ARES-CCD mobility grants in the framework of a doctorate or post-doctorate:
      Eligible countries are: Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Haiti, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Vietnam, Zimbabwe.

  • Be supported by at least one member of the academic staff of UCLouvain;
  • Having initiated the process to be admitted by the Doctoral Domain Commission (CDD) of the candidate's research field at UCLouvain;
  • Be free of any commitment to return to the country with respect to a granting organization that has financed training;
  • For students who have already started their doctorate and are regularly registered at UCLouvain, not be a recipient of a scholarship.

Nationals of a country eligible for this call who, because of their administrative status within the EU, are comparable to Belgian students in terms of residence and/or social rights, are not eligible for this competition.

2. Selection criteria

The International Action Council (IAC) of UCLouvain will select the beneficiaries of the doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships on the basis of the following criteria:

Research dimension

  • Academic quality: CV of the candidate.
  • Quality of the research project.
  • Quality of the environment: Suitability and quality of the teams at UCLouvain and in the partner institution(s) supervising the candidate

Development cooperation dimension

  • Partnership: it is expected that the projects will directly involve a partner from a Southern institution (co-supervision or other form of collaboration with a scientist from the South). At a minimum, the project will describe one of the following elements: the involvement of one or more scientists from an institution in the South in the supervision of the thesis or post-doctoral research, collaborations with other ongoing projects in the South or in the North, or dissemination, awareness-raising and/or networking activities that are foreseen at UCLouvain and in the partner institution(s) in the South with a view to transferring skills and knowledge.
  • Relevance in terms of global development and societal issues: scientific projects are expected to address development issues (in the sense of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals - SDGs), beyond the objective of quality education (higher education), or the development of competences that are relevant for the partner institution or at least the country of origin. The project should refer to at least one of the following elements: the link with one of the MDGs, the capacity building components for the Southern partner(s) or the relevance of crossing South-North views on the project theme.
  • It is expected that the project respects, where relevant, the dimensions of human rights, ethics and integrity, academic freedom, gender equality, and plurality of South and North views.

In case of multiple applications for new theses from the same promoter, the IAC members will select a maximum of one application, except for reasons deemed exceptional by them.

After the selection, a reasoned feedback will be sent to the promoter and the candidate upon request.

The deadline to respond to this call is February 28, 2023. The application file and the exact conditions of each scholarship are available on the university intranet and can be requested from the promoter who will lead the project.

To find a promoter, you can contact the Committee for the doctoral programme which is relevant to you.

Many other general information on doctoral programmes at UCLouvain are also available on this website.