Portal for

    Harvest Grants will now be submitted through an electronic form, see the announcement d.d. June 2nd 2021 on WeareVUB.

    Upcoming Harvest Grants with deadline October 1st 2021 will as of now be through separate Electronic Forms depending on the type of Harvest Grant: being either for activities, travel, language and publishing grants.

    Organize an activity for PhD researchers

    Call for activities

    Internationalization for PhD researchers

    Call for travel grants

    Language support for publications

    Language support

    Support to publish your PhD

    Publishing grants

    Funding research activities

    Doctoral schools provide financial and organisational support for PhD researchers who want to set up activities such as presentations, lectures or workshops.

    Eligible activities

    The Doctoral Schools aim to sponsor upcoming activities related to PhD research such as master classes, research reviews, workshops …. The most notable and common ones are described below.

    There is no limit set for the financial support for Inter University activities, defined as activities that are supported by the doctoral schools of the VUB and at least two other Flemish universities. In this case, the support must be negotiated with the directors and will depend on size of the activity and the involvement of the other universities.

    The financial support for non-Inter University activities is limited to €750.

    The reporting of a granted activity is done through a participation list and evaluation. Templates for reporting this Training activity feedback and Number of participants are available online.

    Each type of activity must fulfil certain conditions in order to be considered for a grant. Please consult the page dedicated to the activity you wish to organise before submitting an application.

    The application has to be one through an electronic form.

    Ask for an expert's feedback

    Master Classes / PhD research reviews

    Present to the research community

    PhD Presentation Days

    Discuss a specific topic

    Content seminars / Workshops

    Lectures in your field of expertise

    Interdisciplinary lectures

    Harvest Travel Grants & COVID-19 context

    Harvest Travel Grants & COVID-19 context

    Doctoral candidates who received a Harvest Travel Grant for going to a congress, workshop, secondment abroad which has been cancelled due to COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) may keep the grant amount.

    Probably this amount has already been used to cover flight and or accommodation expenses. Additionally, if the grant money has not been spent yet, the supervisor in collaboration with the doctoral candidate can decide for which research purposes the grant may be used in the future, as long as they are related to your doctorate.  

    PhD research: going further

    In order to encourage an international research network, VUB's Doctoral Schools provide support for PhDs who participate in research activities abroad.

    Funding PhD research abroad

    Doctoral Schools provide travel grants of up to €750 for PhD research activities outside of Belgium. This can cover expenses at workshops, summer schools, conferences (active participation), or the expenses of staying abroad.

    • The supervisor must provide a positive recommendation on the need and relevance of the event.
    • Workshops, summer schools or stays abroad receive a higher priority over conferences to stimulate internationalization.
    • The application must be done at most 6 months before and at most 1 month after the event.

    The PhD travel grant application is set up such that it's as compatible as possible with FWO applications for international mobility (https://https://www.fwo.be/en/fellowships-funding/international-mobility...). This is done in order to stimulate FWO applications and to train the applications to submit FWO applications for international mobility.

    Apply for external funding

    Doctoral Schools prioritise PhD researchers who apply for external sponsorships such as FWO grants

    Help us encourage international research

    FWO travel grants

    Priority of applications

    The selection procedure for DS travel grants prioritises the applications in the following order:

    1. Highest priority: Starting PhD researchers who cannot apply for FWO grants. This is because FWO requires its applicants to have at least one peer-reviewed publication, which is unlikely for 1st and 2nd year doctoral students.
    2. High priority: Applicants that have already been granted FWO funding for travel. The DS travel grant shall be used to cover costs that are not included in the FWO grant.
    3. Applicants for FWO funding that have not been accepted.
    4. Members of FWO fellowships.
    5. Others.

    Priority is given to PhD candidates who haven't been granted a Doctoral School Travel Grant as a result of a previous request.


    To qualify for travel grants, the PhD event needs to meet the following criteria:

    • It has to take place outside of Belgium.
    • The event has to be explicitly targeted at the training of PhD candidates.
    • Proposals that are accepted by the FWO are automatically recognised as a PhD event.
    • It must be relevant to the PhD research of the applicant.
    • The application must be done at most 6 months before and at most 1 month after the event.

    In order to be eligible for a DS travel grant, a grant application has to meet the following conditions:

    • The researcher must be enrolled as a PhD candidate at the VUB.
    • A positive recommendation of the supervisor is required.
    • The applicant has to be accepted to participate in the event. Proof of attendance can be provided after the grant application.

    The use of additional funding is encouraged, but different grants cannot be used to cover the same expenses (e.g. traveling cost using FWO grant, subscription covered by doctoral school).

    NSE and LSM candidates must apply for external funding if eligible

    LSM candidates

    • Every PhD candidate is eligible for only one travel grant per category during their PhD, i.e. one summer school or workshop, one stay abroad and one conference.
    • There is no support for online activities
    • A stay abroad will be supported for max. €1000


    NSE candidates

    • Grants for workshops, summer schools or stays abroad receive a higher priority over conferences, to stimulate internationalisation.
    • A stay abroad is stimulated by not considering the number of previously granted conferences, workshops, or summerschools when evaluating a stay abroad.
    • The support of an online activity is limited to max. €300, physical to max. €750.


    DSh candidates

    • Travel grants for conferences are only granted if the event is upcoming at the date of submission.
    • A Travel grant is set to (the fixed amount of) €750.
    • Doctoral candidates can apply for online international conferences to cover expenses (e.g. registration fee, …).


    Applying for Doctoral School support

    In order to request a Doctoral School travel grant:

    1. Complete and submit the electronic webform

    Requests are collected, sorted by priority and evaluated at the harvesting moments:

    • 1 February
    • 1 April
    • 1 July
    • 1 October
    • 1 December

    PhD’s will be informed (about) one week after the respective harvest moment.

    In case a selection needs to be made, the quality of the proposals, the above-mentioned conditions and the need for disciplinary diversity will be used to guide the selection process.

    The director of your Doctoral School will be responsible for the selection.

    PhD writing, free of error

    PhD publications are held at the highest standards of academic writing. Doctoral Schools provide support for the editing and proofreading of PhD documents.


    Support for the quality of academic writing comes in the form of Language Vouchers with values of up to € 750. To qualify for Language Vouchers, the PhD publications need to meet the following criteria:

    • The publication has to be relevant to the PhD research of the applicant.
    • It has to be explicitly targeted at participating on the international level, e.g. Conferences or Journals or towards finalising the thesis itself.
    • The applicant is a registered PhD candidate at the VUB.
    • The applicant has followed a course on Academic English organised by the Central PhD Office, and/or the applicant obtained a BA or MA of Arts in de Taal-en Letterkunde English…, or can prove a passed IELTS test of British Council for CEFR level C1 or other official tests .
    • The PhD candidate has not received a language voucher in the previous harvest period.
    • Editing that is done up to four months ago can also be taken into consideration if all the above criteria are met.
    • Each Doctoral School can make small exceptions to the general criteria.

    Where can I use the Language Vouchers?

    There are no restrictions on where the Language Vouchers can be used. Candidates are free to choose any editing bureau they prefer.

    The Academic Language Centre of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (ACTO) also offers editing and proofreading services. To make use of their services, you will have to contact ACTO personally to make arrangements.

    Applying for Language Vouchers

    In order to apply for Language Vouchers: please use the following electronic form.

    Requests are collected and evaluated by the Doctoral School directors at the harvesting moments:

    • 1 February
    • 1 April
    • 1 June
    • 1 October
    • 1 December

    PhD’s will be informed (about) one week after the respective harvest moment.

    Helping PhD research hit the shelves

    At the end of your studies, you can choose to publish your PhD thesis. VUB can help fund the publication of your research.


    Only PhD candidates that are enrolled at the VUB may access the Doctoral School publishing grants.

    Publishing grants are not available for the Doctoral School of Natural Sciences and (Bioscience) Engineering (NSE).

    The Doctoral School of Life Sciences and Medicine (LSM) offers publishing grants of up to € 250, while the Doctoral School of Human Sciences (DSh) offers publishing grants of up to € 750 only for the publication of a monography.


    To apply for a publishing grant, the following conditions must be met:

    • The doctoral thesis must have been submitted.
    • The PhD candidate defended the thesis successfully or is admitted to the doctoral thesis defence (date of the defence = date t).
    • Candidates must apply for the grant within the period of t-2 months until t+12 months. An exception is made for PhDs in the Arts: t-2 months until t+24 months.
    • The following documents must be submitted to the Doctoral School:
      • An abstract of the thesis
      • The contract between the publisher and the PhD candidate
      • A positive recommendation from the supervisor

    Applying for publishing grants

    In order to request a Doctoral School publishing grant: please use the following electronic form.

    Requests are collected and evaluated at the harvesting moments:

    • 1 February
    • 1 April
    • 1 June
    • 1 October
    • 1 December

    Find out more about the harvesting procedure in the document on application harvesting.

    In case a selection needs to be made, the quality of the proposals, the above-mentioned conditions and the need for disciplinary diversity will be used to guide the selection process.

    The director of your Doctoral School will be responsible for the selection.

    Sponsors of education and research

    The University Foundation

    Since its inception, The University Foundation has made contributions to the development of higher education and scientific research.

    The Foundation provides financial support for less affluent students and subsidises scientific publications realised by Belgian researchers.

    As a researcher in a Belgian institution for Higher Education and Research, you can access the publishing grants of the University Foundation. These grants can be used to partially cover the publishing of scientific books, to promote scientific journals, or to cover the expenses for publishing articles in international peer-reviewed journals.

    Funding research publications

    The University Foundation

    Our academic publishing company


    Grant for activities for PhD's and postdocs

    The Flemish government allocates a grant to the Flemish universities (the so called ‘OJO’ grant) to develop training and career development initiatives for young researchers (PhD’s and postdocs). The goal of these activities are both scientific development as well as a more broader, professional development.

    These activities are set up by the Doctoral Schools at each university, sometimes in collaboration with external organisations.


    A lot of scientific associations/societies and centers of expertise already organise activities that could be interesting for doctoral students and postdocs. To encourage and support such activities, the Doctoral Schools have decided to provide grants of maximum 5.000€ for one-day activities and maximum 8.000€ for activities of two or more days (the exact amount that will be allocated will depend on the exact budget overview that will be submitted). Examples of initiatives are workshops, summer schools, conferences, …

    We would like to invite your organization to submit a proposal for activities.

    The criteria for eligibility are:


    • Active participation of young researchers (for example via hands-on activities, poster or oral presentations)
    • Participation of young researchers of minimum three Flemish universities (preferably all five)
    • Young researchers can participate free of charge. It is allowed to ask for a contribution for catering.
    • The initiative has to take place before 30 November 2020.

    The allocated budget can only be used for the transport (economy class for flights) and hotel/sustenance costs (max. 250€ per day) and the honorarium (max. 250€) of renowned international guest speakers/scientists. (Further conditions can be found in the attached application form).

    If your organisation is interested in submitting a proposal, please fill out the attached application form and send it to Nele.Robberechts@vlir.be. The deadline is 17/05/2019.

    2019-2020 is a trial periode for this grant program. Depending on the evaluation this might become a structural program in the future.

    Application form 2019-2020_EN
    Aanvraagformulier 2019-2020_NL