FWO Ph.D. Fellowship – Hosting Offer

The United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS) is seeking applicants with an exceptional academic track record looking to obtain a PhD in Belgium through the FWO PhD Fellowship programme. 

Candidates will be supervised by Prof. Dr. Samuel Standaert and Prof. Dr. Glenn Rayp and applications should focus on the measurement and analysis of regional integration, including:

  • the measurement of institutional (de jure) integration and estimating its impact on interregional trade, investment, and migration using, for example, gravity models.
  • analysing worldwide patterns of integration using, for example, network analysis and multiple indicator measurements.
  • estimating the extent to which regional integration facilitates the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

UNU-CRIS is located in the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bruges, close to Brussels and many institutions of the European Union. Successful candidates will not only find themselves embedded within the global United Nations University network, which directly supports the broader UN system, but will also be able to take advantage of being additionally affiliated with Ghent University. Candidates will also have the opportunity to work with RIKS, a unique database on regional integration. PhD students will be provided with an office, along with a computer and free access to both the UNU-CRIS library facilities and those of its partner universities. 



FWO PhD Fellowships are open to researchers of any nationality, who must have:

  1. Obtained/ will obtain a master’s degree, preferably in either Economics or Political Science, from a university in one of the countries of the European Economic Area or Switzerland between 1 March 2017 and 30 September 2020.
  2. An excellent command of English
  3. Excellent study results, visible in their academic transcripts.
  4. Strong writing skills demonstrated through a writing sample.


Expressions of Interest

Expressions of interest should be sent to rjohnson@cris.unu.edu (with adunn@cris.unu.edu in CC) by 30 November 2019. Please submit:

  1. CV
  2. Motivation letter (1 side of A4) this must include; your research interests, academic track record and competences and how these fit with the proposed research project.
  3. A research proposal which includes; the title of the research proposal; background and aims; research question(s); methodology; and application potential (max. 5 sides of A4, including references)
  4. University transcripts
  5. A writing sample: the applicant’s master’s thesis or another academic paper.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend a skype interview in the first week of December. You are kindly requested to be available during this period.


Questions should be directed to rjohnson@cris.unu.edu.