Scholarships to study at ITM

The Institute of Tropical Medicine manages a scholarships programme for students from low- and middle-income countries.

Which scholarships exist?

The Belgian Directorate-General for Development Cooperation (DGD) is the main scholarship sponsor for ITM. Through ITM, DGD offers scholarships for:

  • Master’s programmes

  • Short courses (and internships or predoctoral traineeships)

  • PhD studies (and postdoctoral scholarships)

As Postgraduate Certificate courses are mainly targeting students from EEA countries, no scholarship programme is available for these courses.

There's the Romain De Cock scholarship for master studies in the field of international health with a research focus on surgical, obstetrical or gynaecological topics, policies or clinical questions of interest for surgical practice and public health. This full scholarship - covering tuition, travel and subsistence - can be awarded yearly to a Low and Middle Income Country (LMIC) student. The same eligibility rules as for the DGD scholarships apply

There are often alternative (full or partial) scholarship opportunities and applicants are strongly encouraged to also search for other sponsors such as employers, private sponsors, development cooperation projects or national agencies supporting studies abroad.

Who can apply for a DGD scholarship?

Citizens from any low or middle-income country (LMIC) can apply.

Applicants need to be both citizen of and actually living in a LMIC, as defined in the OECD-DAC list of LMICs. A majority of scholarships, but not all, will be awarded to citizens from the countries defined as priority countries by the Directorate-General for Development Cooperation (DGD). However, as mentioned above, students from any LMIC can apply.

The DGD list of priority countries includes:

Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Vietnam, Zimbabwe.

Note that candidates with a second citizenship in a high-income country (e.g. through double nationality) or candidates who are employed in a high-income country (or have been for more than one year in the three years preceding the application for a scholarship) are not eligible for a DGD scholarship.

What is included in a DGD scholarship?

DGD scholarships can cover travel, tuition (registration and credit fees), insurances and livelihood.

A DGD scholarship can be full, covering all items mentioned above, or partial, covering only one or a few items (e.g. only tuition fees or only livelihood).

In a part-time MSc study track, a DGD scholarship can also cover the costs of course components (modules) outside ITM, in the framework of credit mobility (e.g. in the tropEd network), or at partner institutions within the framework of a collaborative/joint programme.

How are scholarships awarded? What are the selection criteria?

As stated above, scholarships can only be awarded (full or partial) to candidates who fulfil all criteria for academic admission to the course. During the online application process, applicants can download a DGD scholarship application form.

ITM and DGD will jointly award the available scholarships among the academically highest ranked candidates. DGD scholarships can only be awarded to early- or mid-career candidates. See also ITM's scholarship regulations.

The selection criteria are defined by DGD and used to rank applicants for the available scholarships. They are:

  • Personal motivation

  • Gender (preference for female scholarship candidates in case of equal qualification)

  • Preferably no previous awarded DGD scholarship in the past (and no study experience in a high-income country)

  • Preferably employment in a research institute, a higher education institution, the public sector, the social economy, a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) or a non-governmental organisation

  • Employment characteristics and or prospects, as per support of an employer

  • Likelihood of professional (re)integration after the course

  • Employment in a context where the learnings can be applied and developed for a significant period of time.

Do DGD scholarships for doctoral candidates from LMICs exist?

Each year, three to five PhD scholarships are awarded to ITM alumni and other people with high potential (see Individual Sandwich PhD Scholarship Programme ITM-DGD calls) who are admitted to the ITM doctoral (PhD) programme.

Applying PhD candidates have to comply to eligibility criteria of the DGD (nationality, home address/domicile, home institution and stage in career) before a DGD PhD scholarship can be awarded. A PhD scholarship provides financial support for up to 48 months of doctoral training. These are sandwich scholarships whereby the student can be at ITM for max. 24 months.