PhD at ID

Doing a PhD at Interface Demography

You are passionate about science and research? You are curious by nature and you have an innovative spirit? You have the ambition to examine a part of our societal puzzle? A PhD might just be the thing for you!
Interface Demography is always looking for new PhD candidates from within or outside the VUB, from Belgium or abroad. For doing a PhD at Interface Demography, you need to do at least three things:

1. Writing a research proposal
2. Choosing a PhD supervisor
3. Getting PhD Funding

1. Writing a research proposal

Writing a proposal with a research topic, state-of-the art, research questions and a work plan is the best start of doing a PhD. Writing such a research proposal usually takes much time and we suggest that you write this proposal in close collaboration with your PhD supervisor.

2. Choosing a PhD supervisor

A PhD supervisor guides you through the entire process of writing a PhD. It is, therefore, important that you find a supervisor who has the right expertise and with who it is feasible to work together. There are currently five potential PhD supervisors at Interface Demography who can support you in writing your research proposal and getting PhD Funding. Below you find their names, research interests and contact details. To start a PhD in the next academic year (e.g. 2020-2021), you best contact one of the supervisors by October/November of this academic year (e.g. Oct/Nov 2019).

3. Getting PhD Funding

Writing a proposal with a research topic, state-of-the art, research questions and a work plan is the best start of doing a PhD. Writing such a research proposal usually takes much time and we suggest that you write this proposal in close collaboration with your PhD supervisor.

1. Personal FWO funding:
In this case, you apply for PhD funding in close collaboration with your supervisor. The most important funding agency in Flanders is FWO. The ‘PhD Fellowship Fundamental Research’ of FWO is funding channel to prepare young and promising researchers to complete their PhD. Especially last-year master students are strongly encouraged to apply for FWO funding. The application deadline for this type of FWO funding is the 1th of March to begin with your PhD project at the 1th November of the same year. Do not underestimate the workload of applying for FWO PhD funding. It is, therefore, important to start early enough with writing your FWO application dossier. The dossier includes a research proposal, work plan, personal statement, communication strategy to a non-academic audience and some other documents. After submitting your application dossier, you could be invited by FWO for an interview to discuss and elaborate on your candidacy as part of the evaluation process. As a preparation for this interview, the R&D department of the VUB will organize workshops, but also mock jury defenses during which candidates may practice their presentation and experience Q&A from an expert academic jury.
More details about the PhD Fellowship Fundamental Research of FWO can be found on this website.

For getting PhD Fellowship funding of FWO, we propose the following time table:
– October/November 2019
Contacting a PhD supervisor from Interface Demography
– Christmas break 2019
First draft of your research proposal
– 15th of February 2020
Second draft of your research proposal
– 1th of March 2020
Submission deadline of your FWO Application
Mock defence as a preparation for the FWO interview
FWO interview
– October 2020
Announcements of results
– 1th of November 2020
Start of your FWO-funded PhD research project

2. Funding from your supervisor: In this case the PhD supervisor already got research funding and is looking for a PhD candidate to work on a research project. Here, you don’t have to write a research proposal by yourself. The main sources for funding from supervisors are Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, Innoviris, Belspo and FWO.

3. Funding as a teaching assistant: The Department of Sociology is sometimes looking for a new teaching assistant (so-called ‘AAP’). A teaching assistant is employed by the VUB and combines writing a PhD (50% of the time) with assisting the department in its teaching duties (50% of the time). This type of employment usually covers six academic years (three terms of two years). The number of vacant positions as a teaching assistant is usually rather limited.

4. Some special funding sources: In addition to the three main funding options, there are a few funding sources for some specific (international) target groups. Please, contact one of the supervisors for more details.
• Erasmus Mundus
• China Scholarship Council (CSC) – Chinese citizens only
• Interuniversity exchange doctorate – For researchers from South America
• European University Institute (EUI)
• …

Writing your PhD as an external PhD candidate. In this case you will work on your dissertation in your own time under the guidance of a ID supervisor and without PhD funding.

General information

On this website, you can find some additional information about doing a PhD at the VUB