BOF PhD Scholarships

In the context of the cooperation agreement between Ghent University, the VUB and the United Nations University (UNU), an independent research institute of the United Nations, Ghent University has been awarding 2 BOF doctoral scholarships with UNU-CRIS label each year since 2017. 

The scholarship amount is approximately €2.590 per month, depending on the family status of the scholar. A bench fee of €310/month is awarded to the promoter for operational costs.

Required UNU-CRIS Label

Proposals must be aligned with UNU-CRIS' research programmes.

The scholarship holders are enrolled as doctoral students at the UGent but will carry out their research activities mainly (4 days/week) at the United Nations University - CRIS campus in Bruges. Physical presence on the campus is an obligation.

During the execution of the selected research project, the supervisor will be associated with UNU-CRIS.

A statement by Philippe De Lombaerde, Director of UNU-CRIS, supporting your application must be added to the application form. To apply for a UNU-CRIS label, please complete this form. 

Who Can Apply for a BOF PhD Scholarship

There are no restrictions in terms of nationality, age or field of research.

To be eligible, the candidate should preferably belong to at least the top 20% best students of the cohort in terms of all degrees obtained.

An application for a BOF doctoral scholarship must always be submitted with the support of a Ghent University supervisor (ZAP member). Other Ghent University researchers can act as co-supervisors, non-Ghent University researchers as ‘researchers involved'.

If you have any additional questions related to the application process, please contact with Andrew Dunn ( in CC.

How to apply

1. To apply for a UNU-CRIS label, please complete this form. You will then be contacted to let you know if you have been granted the UNU-CRIS label, and if so, will be provided with a letter of support. This step must be completed by 16 May.

2. Once you have received confirmation of the UNU-CRIS label and the letter of support, please fill in the application form and send it to This must be submitted by 23 May.

3. The Ghent University supervisor should simultaneously send a separate document with their opinion on the candidate's research potential (advice promotor) to This must be submitted by 23 May.

The application form and other relevant documents can be found at the bottom of this webpage. Please read the call document thoroughly and use it as a guide when preparing your application.

Application Deadline

23 May 2024 (23.59 CET)

In order to ensure your application receives the UNU-CRIS label, please contact us by 16 May at the latest. Inquiries received after this date may not be considered. 

Non-UGent candidates who have not yet obtained their master's degree at the moment of the application deadline are required to send their diploma and final study results no later than 12 July 2024 to

For UGent students, this information is automatically provided by the central student administration.

Announcement of the results

Results online available on 28 August 2024.

Non-awarded candidates will receive feedback within 6 weeks after the results are published.

Duration BOF doctoral scholarship with label

Period: 4 years (1+3)

In accordance with the regulations for PhD scholarship recipients, the doctoral program starts by definition with a scholarship agreement of 1 year. If, before the end of the first year, the doctoral advisory committee or, in the absence thereof, the promoter(s) judge(s) that both the substantive progress in the context of the doctoral research and the overall functioning of the PhD scholarship recipient are such that the doctoral program can be successfully completed within a reasonable period of time, the promoter issues a positive advice in a written form. A positive recommendation leads to a 3-year extension of the doctoral scholarship.

Start date: 1 October 2024