PhD Institutional Sandwich Programme
Deadline: 16 September 2023
The Institute of Tropical Medicine works with 24 partners in twelve countries across three continents as part of a comprehensive capacity strengthening programme supported by the Directorate General for Development (DGD). The countries we collaborate with are RDC, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Guinea, South-Africa, Rwanda; Cambodia,
Nepal, Vietnam, Cuba and Peru. In some of these so-called 'country programmes' funding is available to grant PhD fellowships to selected candidates.
The candidates must be embedded in the 'country programme' partner institute and present a PhD project proposal co-supervised by supervisors at the home institute and ITM, and at the university that is awarding the PhD degree. The fellowship is awarded after a positive review by the ITM PhD Committee based on the evaluation of academic merit, a full PhD project proposal and the quality and relevance of the institutional and supervisory set-up. Selected candidates will be registered as ITM PhD students and must endorse the Principles for PhD students as laid down in the Code for effective PhD supervision.
The doctoral research project will typically last four years, although exceptionally shorter tracks are possible too. The scholarships are of the ‘sandwich’ type; meaning that the student will spend the doctoral research time partly in the home institute/country and partly at ITM.
The grant is initially allocated for a period of 18 months with a renewal for another 30 months after a positive progress evaluation. The ITM PhD Committee will evaluate the progress after 1 year of PhD research based on the review of documents in writing and an oral defence in presence of all the candidate’s supervisors (home institute, ITM, PhD awarding university).
The grant includes allowances to cover costs for the student (living allowance), research costs and supervision costs:
- The living allowance in Belgium amounts to 1.750 € per month and can maximally be allowed for up to 24 months (in the total grant period of 48 months). A monthly living allowance in the home country/institute can be awarded: maximum 100% of a PhD salary/fellowship according to the home institute’s salary/PhD fellowship regulations + possibility of a maximum 80% topping up of the gross salary, if justified. Together maximum 1500 €/month. The payment and follow-up will be ensured by ITM’s Student Support Services. The fellowship does not constitute an employment relationship between ITM and the grantee; in Belgium the candidate will have the legal and fiscal status of a student. The legal and fiscal status in the home institution and country is the responsibility of the candidate and the home institute.
- A research allowance (bench fee, to be accounted for) of maximally 6000 € per year is allowed to cover costs directly related to the student’s training and research.
- The supervision allowance (max. 300 €/month, lump sum) is meant to cover costs for the support and supervision of the student. Payment of the supervision allowance will be made to the scientific department/unit of the supervisor of the home institute during the candidate’s stay in the home institute and to the scientific department/unit of the ITM supervisor during the candidate’s stay in Belgium. The supervision allowance can also be used as an additional bench fee to cover research costs.
- Other allowances included in the grant: insurance (40€/month) logistical allowance (700 €), 1 annual flight ticket in economy class, PhD registration fees at the university (reference amount = registration fee at Belgian universities, in 2022 - 979 €), 1 mission per academic year of max. 10 days for the ITM or home institute supervisor.
All grant specificities will be detailed in the sandwich PhD student contract. The ITM and DGD scholarships regulations apply.
The aim of PhD training at ITM is to train PhD students to become ‘independent researchers’, this means that they should be able to:
- demonstrate a systematic understanding of their field of study and mastery of the skills and methods of research associated with that field;
- demonstrate the ability to conceive, design, implement and adapt a substantial process of research with scholarly integrity;
- make a contribution through original research that extends the frontier of knowledge by developing a substantial body of work some of which merits national or international refereed publication;
- the critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas;
- communicate with peers, the larger scholarly community and with society in general about their areas of expertise;
- promote, within academic and professional contexts, technological, social or cultural advancement in a knowledge based society.