Calls for Travel Grants

Travel Grants for participation in:

  1. a conference
  2. a workshop/summer school
  3. a stay abroad.

Due to limited budget the Doctoral Schools cannot allocate a Travel Grant to PhD researchers who received a Travel Grant during the past year (= actual harvest moment minus 12 months)..


The Doctoral Schools of the VUB are making grants available to their members in order to allow them to attend events that is specifically targeted at PhD students and that takes place outside Belgium. Through this grant system, the Doctoral Schools wish to support the PhD-related training of their members and to stimulate the addition of an international dimension to their formation.

The goal of the selection criteria (see below) is to provide travel grants for researchers who are unable to apply for external funding and to stimulate the application for external funding. An overview of the different FWO external funding can be found on the FWO website and includes:

  1. Grants for the participation at international congresses abroad (these grants cover the relocation allowance),
  2. Grants for participation at a workshop or a course abroad (these grants cover the relocation allowance and a fixed contribution to the accommodation expenses),
  3. Grants for a short stay abroad (these grants cover the relocation allowance and a fixed contribution to the accommodation expenses).


The PhD events that qualify for these grants need to meet following criteria:

  • The PhD event has to take place outside Belgium. This implies that the physical meeting(s) has (have) to be outside Belgium, disregarding the affiliation of the organizer(s). 
  • The PhD events have to be explicitly targeted at the training of PhD students. The focus on PhD training has to be (one of) the primary and demonstrable objectives of the event. Examples of such events are: PhD workshops, master classes, summer schools, conferences, a short stay at a foreign research group, ….
  • Proposals that are accepted by the FWO for funding are automatically recognized as a PhD event for the grant (i.e. Grant for participation at a conference abroad; Grant for participation at a workshop abroad; Travel Grant for a short stay abroad).
  • The PhD event has to be relevant to the PhD research of the applicant.
  • The different Doctoral Schools can make small exceptions to the general criteria:

For NSE and LSM: The selection criteria are refined in order to cope with the large number of requests for travel grants. The new selection criteria for NSE and LSM are the following:

  • The grant types “workshop / summerschool / stay abroad” receive a higher priority over “Conferences” to stimulate internationalization. Hence, all conference requests will be treated after the other grand types.
  • Only 1 travel grant (all types / conferences included) will be rewarded every 12 months.
  • A maximum of 1 conference travel grant will be rewarded over the complete PhD research period. Previous granted travel grants are also taken into account.
  • The category 5 (other) is no longer be supported to encourage the request for external funding.

For DSh: Travel Grants for conferences are only granted if the event is an upcoming event at the date of submission.

In all cases, the supervisor must provide a positive recommendation on the need and relevance of the event.

Financial support

The Doctoral Schools will provide grants with a maximum of €750 which can be used for paying travel costs, accommodation costs and/or event registration fees, as long as these expenses are directly related to the PhD event.

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

  • The PhD researcher must be enrolled as a PhD student at the VUB.
  • The topic of the PhD Event has to be of high relevance for the research project of the PhD student.
  • Attracting external funding (FWO grants) is stimulated: the priority will be given to applications that show the use of external funding.
  • The use of additional funding is stimulated but different grants cannot be used to cover the same expenses (e.g.: traveling cost using FWO grant, subscription covered by doctoral school).
  • A positive recommendation of the supervisor is required.
  • The applicant has to be accepted to participate (evidence of acceptance can be provided after the grant application).
  • The supervisor acts as guarantor that the funding is used conform the aforementioned conditions.

Selection Criteria

The selection procedure ranks the applications as follows:

  1. PhD events for starting PhD researchers (1st & 2nd year PhD students) without an  international publication (and thus not able to apply for FWO funding).
  2. Applicants that have already been granted FWO funding for travel. Costs, not included in the FWO grant, can be covered by the Doctoral School Travel Grant.
  3. Applicants who applied for FWO funding but have not been accepted.
  4. FWO bursary
  5. Others not covered by the above criteria.

Priority will be given to those PhD students who previously haven't been granted a Doctoral School Travel Grant.


  1. Complete the electronic webform to submit the application. (don't forget to login first before you hit the 'apply now' button - form is only visible when logged in: Log in HERE )
  2. At the harvesting moments, all requests are collected by the director of your doctoral school.
  3. The requests are ranked according the aforementioned order.
  4. In case a selection needs to be made, the quality of the proposals, combined with 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.


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