Your doctoral studies at ITM

Are you ready to make an original contribution to science? You’ve probably already considered pursuing a research-based PhD. The Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) guides graduates along the way to becoming independent researchers in one of its many scientific fields. ITM offers doctoral training in medicine, health sciences, medical anthropology and more, in collaboration with leading universities in Belgium and abroad.

New future scientists every year

ITM currently (co)supervises more than one hundred doctoral students. Half of them come from low- and middle-income countries and follow a sandwich PhD programme. Other PhD students are based at ITM and work as junior researcher or academic assistant, are hosted at ITM as FWO PhD fellow (Flemish Research Foundation) or university fellow, or are self-supported. PhD applications by candidates – other than sandwich PhD candidates – are considered ‘light review’ PhD applications.

The PhD trajectory typically takes four years.

You can only apply to the ITM PhD programme if you have the formal support of an ITM supervisor. Thus, the first step is to discuss PhD research opportunities with the professor or scientist in your area of expertise.

Start your PhD today!

Discuss the PhD opportunities with the ITM professor or scientist in your area of expertise.

Do you have questions? Don't hesitate to contact us.


Your path to the title of doctor (PhD) starts here.

Sandwich PhD Programme

This programme is aimed at international doctoral candidates from low- and middle-income countries.

  • Main requirement: fieldwork and research in your country of origin, guided and overseen by your home institute supervisor.

  • Remaining time: research activities pursued at ITM.

  • Types of sandwich PhD programmes:

  • Deadline for applications: 15 September and 1 March

    (Exception: Individual Sandwich PhD Scholarship Programmes have a single annual deadline on September 15th.)

PhD Light Review

ITM Academic Assistent Track

  • Main requirement: you prepare a PhD thesis and assist your professor in other academic duties including education and scientific services delivery.

  • ITM employee (labour contract). Consult our research vacancies.

ITM Junior Researcher Track

  • Main requirement: you conduct research in the context of a specific research project or multiple projects.

  • ITM employee (labour contract). Consult our research vacancies.

ITM PhD hosting programme for university fellows or self-supporting students