ILVO PhD scholarships: general terms and regulations

Candidates for a first grant need to comply with following terms:

  1. 1. Have a Master’s degree relevant to the research topic obtained at least with distinction (or an equivalent thereof). Student candidates finishing the last year of their Master’s studies must provide a certificate of successful completion of their last year of Master’s studies. They need to submit the correct diploma, obtained with distinction, at the start of the grant. Candidates with a foreign diploma or certificate of study must have an equivalency certificate, to be obtained from NARIC Vlaanderen,,
  2. 2. Have obtained a Master’s degree not more than 5 years ago,
  3. 3. Be of irreproachable behaviour,
  4. 4. Based upon the legal notice Ci.RH.241/467.677 dated the 8th of October 2002, no doctoral grant can be assigned to a person who has previously worked as a researcher for ILVO Own Capital (ILVO-EV) during one or more mandates and whose total number of days worked have exceeded the equivalent of a one-year full-time equivalent mandate.
    Under no circumstances may a doctoral grant be given when it can be proven that an ILVO employment contract is being replaced with a doctoral grant. In the application dossier the doctoral promotor will take an oath related to this.
  5. 5. never has had a contract anywhere as a doctoral scholarship student with the exception of a mandate from IWT of FWO.

Each candidate can obtain two consecutive grants of 24 months. Prior to obtaining each of these grants, the candidate must have received a positive evaluation from an ILVO jury. The PhD activities need to be carried out mainly at ILVO (unless otherwise stated). After the grant has been given, the PhD student elaborates the subject further with his/her promoter from university and his/her ILVO promoter. The scholarship recipient needs to register him/herself as a PhD student at the university and complete the necessary administration. This registration must be repeated annually. Proof of registration must be provided to ILVO’s personnel services (Christel Van Dorpe). Within 6 months after the start of the mandate, the PhD student needs to have received confirmation from a university promoter.

The application form contains following documents:

  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a copy of the examination certificate or of the Master’s diploma or a certificate of success from the last year of Master studies with distinction;
  • a vision text.

ILVO will, in compliance with the general terms, investigate the completeness and conformity of the applications. Candidates with an acceptable application will be invited to demonstrate their scientific knowledge and present their vision-text before a jury.

The grants become effective at the date of signature of the agreement with ILVO. The granting of the first mandate is based on the application and the jury’s report. After two years an ILVO jury will evaluate on the basis of a progress report and an explanation of the performed work. The jury will give a justified decision about granting or possibly not granting the next two years. If the PhD student has not submitted his thesis after 4 years, he/she will report in writing on his/her activities to the ILVO jury.

Research grants can only be terminated in case of force majeure or of mutual consent. Each case of force majeure needs to be communicated immediately to the executive director of ILVO, who shall decide on possible changes in the general terms of the grant.

Combining the scholarship with other professional activities, professional benefits or assignments covered by other subsidies is not allowed. Any exception needs to be presented to ILVO and will be evaluated on an ad hoc basis on the provision that they do not contradict with the policy concerning taxes on scholarships. Part time (50% or 80%) scholarships are in principle not granted. Exceptions can be allowed in case of parental leave or after suspension.

Following a doctoral training programme is mandatory according to the rules of the university to which the promoter belongs. The programme will be decided together with the ILVO promoter. Taking courses with the aim of obtaining a Master’s or Bachelor’s degree is not allowed.

The PhD student commits him/herself to work solely on the research programme for which he/she obtained the scholarship. If the student cannot present a thesis after 4 years, a report of his/her activities has to be presented to ILVO. The grant can be withdrawn at any time if the student does not follow the general terms. The scholarships is suspended in case of long term illness or absence due to accident or in case of maternity leave, and can be prolonged, under the same terms, after the end date of the grant.

The agreement between ILVO and the PhD student is drawn up at the start of the mandate. The PhD student is subjected to the same rules and regulations as any other member of ILVO personnel.