KU Leuven – Melbourne Call for Joint PhD Projects

Critical Dates

7 July 2020

Call opens 

8 September 2020 - 5:00pm (Brussels time/GMT +2)

Applications due

October 2020

Results released



The University of Melbourne (UoM) and KU Leuven seek to support research collaboration and the development of globally-engaged researchers by establishing an international team of project supervisors for jointly awarded PhDs. The international team of principal investigators (PIs) will apply for a research project on which to train young researchers who will gain international research experience. PhD candidates engaged in the project will be enrolled at both institutions. The research work will be performed under joint supervision and will be judged according to academic standards of both institutions. At the end of the program, each PhD candidate will be eligible to receive a PhD, recognized by two testamurs, one from UoM and one from KU Leuven, stating the joint nature of the award and name of the partner institution.

In 2020, UoM and KU Leuven are calling for project proposals to establish up to 10 joint graduate research projects across five separate pairs of PIs. Each of these five PI pairs will access funding for two joint PhD candidates, including tuition fee waivers, a full living allowance, health insurance and relocation support.

It is up to the partners involved in the individual projects to cover consumable costs.


The Supervisory team must comprise of at least two principal investigators, one at KU Leuven and one at the University of Melbourne, both with capacity to supervise jointly enrolled PhD candidates.

PIs at UoM must be registered to supervise as per the Supervisor Eligibility and Registration Policy. For more information, including forms for supervisor registration, please consult the information for supervisors section on the Graduate Research Hub. Honorary employees whose primary academic affiliation is the University of Melbourne are eligible to lead the application if:

  1. they are eligible to be a primary supervisor at the University of Melbourne; AND
  2. if their primary employer has entered into an agreement to fund the Melbourne cash support component of the collaborative activity; or may participate at their own expense if they are otherwise unaffiliated (for example, they hold an emeritus position).

The PIs on KU Leuven side must meet the requirements of the General regulations and conditions Internal Funds. The KU Leuven PI and main applicant will also become the ‘promoter’ of the doctorate at KU Leuven.

Additional colleagues (including other partners in Australia, Belgium or internationally) are not eligible to apply as primary supervisors, although they can participate in co-supervision of joint PhDs.

Applications that do not satisfy these criteria will not be eligible.

How to apply

  1. Review the guidelines

    Please review the guidelines before the submission.

  2. Complete and submit the application

    The Word doc application form should be completed collaboratively. Once ready for submission, the KU Leuven PI should then submit the application through the KU Leuven SAP-system.

Supporting documents

KU Leuven - Melbourne Joint Call Guidelines 

Joint application form (Word doc)


UoM contact details:

Mark Gregory
International Research Project Officer,
Chancellery, Research and Enterprise. The University of Melbourne

Submission and KU Leuven contact details:

Marian Schoenmaekers
Internal Funds (IF), Process Management and Organization
KU Leuven

An Vanoyenbrugge
Internal Funds (IF), Process Management and Organization
KU Leuven