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A Flemish university cooperates with another Flemish, Walloon or foreign university in the preparation of a PhD. This means that the PhD candidate has a promoter at each of the cooperating universities and spends at least six months at each one. This results in multiple PhD degrees: the PhD candidate will receive a diploma from each of the cooperating universities.

One of the obvious benefits is that the PhD candidate will obtain a double PhD degree at the end of the research. Mobility (within Belgium or internationally) is also an asset as to the student's future professional career, both within as well as outside the academic world. Moreover, being in contact with multiple research cultures and perspectives tends to have a positive effect on the development of a young researcher.
For the university, a joint PhD can be the starting point of more intense cooperation with the partner university, which can lead to future joint research projects, exchanges of doctoral and other students, etc. Collaboration on various double PhDs between partner institutions in both directions (PhD student funded by university A also pursuing a PhD at university B and vice versa) helps increase the number of PhD researches an diplomas at both partner institutions in a cost efficient way. 


  • For joint PhD degrees with other Flemish universities slightly different rules apply. Contact phd@uhasselt.be to find out more.
  • Universities from some countries are not permitted by law to award joint PhD degrees. Contact phd@uhasselt.be to find out more.

PhD students coming from abroad, who wish to perform research at Hasselt University under a UHasselt promoter for at least 6 months, and who wish to pursue a double degree with Hasselt University can apply for internal funding (BOF - Bilateral Cooperation). UHasselt doctoral students who whish to perform research abroad for at least six months and pursue a double degree, can apply for external mobility funding (e.e. the FWO mobility grants) a cooperation agreement needs to be filled out and signed by both universities.

In both cases a cooperation agreement needs to be drawn up and signed by both partner universities. The Research Coordination Office assists in drawing up these contracts. They can be contacted via phd@uhasselt.be