Application Deadline: 31 December 2018.

The United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS) invites applicants with an exceptional academic track record looking to obtain a PhD in Belgium through the FWO PhD Fellowship programme.

Candidates will be supervised by Prof. Dr. Ine Lietaert and applications should delve into the topic of (forced and/or voluntary) return migrationand post-return reintegration within the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), addressing urgent questions such as:

  • how the GCM relates to, influences, or addresses the needs of national policies of countries of return, communities of return and realities of returnees;
  • the role of states, civil society, NGO’s or other key stakeholders in the implementation of the GCM concerning return migration and in realizing support practices for returnees;
  • the tension between the rights of migrants and state interest in effective border control in the GCM, and the impact of return practices on human rights concerns in general.

UNU-CRIS is located in the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bruges, close to Brussels and many institutions of the European Union. Successful candidates will not only find themselves embedded within the global United Nations University network, which directly supports the broader UN system, but will also be able to take advantage of being additionally affiliated with Ghent University. PhD students will furthermore be provided with an office, along with a computer and free access to both the UNU-CRIS library facilities and those of its partner universities.


FWO PhD Fellowships are open to researchers of any nationality, who must have:

  1. obtained/ will obtain a master’s degree in Political Science or in a cognate discipline from a university in one of the countries of the European Economic Area or Switzerland between 1 March 2016 and 30 September 2019.
  2. An excellent command of English
  3. Excellent study results, visible in their academic transcripts.
  4. Strong writing skills demonstrated through a writing sample.

Expressions of Interest

Expressions of interest should be sent to by 31 December 2018. Please submit:

  1. CV
  2. Motivation letter (1 side of A4) this must include; your research interests, academic track record and competences and how these fit with the proposed research project.
  3. A research proposal which includes; title of the research proposal, background and aims, research question(s), methodology and application potential (max. 5 sides of A4, including references)
  4. University transcripts
  5. A writing sample: the applicant’s master’s thesis or another academic paper.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend a skype interview in the second week of January. You are kindly requested to be available during this period.

Application Deadline: 31 December 2018.

For more information, please visit the official website of the FWO PhD Fellowship.

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