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The International Doctoral Program in Global Health, Humanitarian Aid and Disaster medicine

The International Doctoral Program in Global Health, Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Medicine is a joint PhD designed and offered by the Università del Piemonte Orientale (UPO), Italy, through the Research Center in Emergency and Disaster Medicine (CRIMEDIM) and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium, through the Research Group on Emergency and Disaster Medicine (ReGEDiM).

A Joint PhD is a doctoral degree awarded by two different institutions, who share the responsibilities of supervising, coordinating and examining a researcher’s work towards the PhD degree.

In other words:

You will be enrolled in two universities, but Vrije Universiteit Brussel will be your Home Institution

You will be awarded two separate degrees from both Universities

You will be supported by tutors and professors from the two organizing universities and from a network of collaborating institutions worldwide

You will experience an international environment, become part of a stimulating network of researchers and pursue a prestigious academic career

This is a unique opportunity to work in a multidisciplinary and international way, building on your knowledge, skills, interest and passion to carry out innovative research on global health, humanitarian aid or disaster medicine with mentorship from expert faculty.

The application deadline is on 31 July 2020, 12PM CEST


Program Start: 1 November 2020

Program Length: 3 years

PhD students will perform a research study with strong affiliation to one of the three main themes: global health, humanitarian aid or disaster medicine. Proposals should adhere to disaster-related subjects or humanitarian context. Following are examples of some fields of research applicable in this context:


Humanitarianism and humanitarian assistance


Health and medicine in natural and technological disasters, humanitarian crises and conflicts, migration and displacement


Global Health


Health systems management in low-resource environments


Emergency public health


Psycho-social aspects in disasters and humanitarian crises


Disaster risk reduction, disaster management and global resilience


Ethical and legal aspects in disasters and humanitarian crises

PhD students will attend an induction course in Novara (February 2021) in which basic and advanced research skills will be taught. Students will then follow the route of his/her research proposal with the supervision of UPO and VUB senior researchers.


A maximum of 5 students will be accepted for the 2020-2023 course:


5 places in UPO, of which 4 with scholarships and 1 without scholarship

Novara, Italy

No places available at VUB (Belgium)

Brussels, Belgium

Admission to this Doctoral Program is highly competitive. Applicants must possess a very good academic record, previous research experience, and a keen interest in global health, humanitarian aid and/or disaster medicine research.

The minimum academic requirement for admission as a PhD student is to hold a Master’s degree in a health-related field. Applicants with a different academic background will be evaluated case-by-case by the Admission Board.

Candidates who did not graduate in an English-speaking country must provide evidence of their proficiency in English, which will be tested during the oral interview.


A maximum of 5 students will be accepted for the 2020-2023 course:

UPO offers four scholarships of

€ 1.132 PER MONTH

awarded to the candidates that choose UPO as their Home Institution, according to the evaluation of the selection.

No research grant available



At VUB there are no scholarships available for the current edition. For any information please contact the VUB course director Prof. Ives Hubloue:



per year as a tuition fee
per year as a contribution for the sporting facilities
per year for the regional education tax (EDISU)

Candidates who do not receive a scholarship will be exempt from the payment of the tuition fee and the contribution to the sporting facilities (212 €)

At VUB there are no scholarships available for the current edition. For any information please contact the VUB course director Prof. Ives Hubloue:


Ready to embark the journey?

First of all, you need to choose your Home Institution:


If you wish to choose UPO as your Home Institution, the procedure for application is the following:

The call for applicants will open on 1th of July 2020. Candidates must submit the following documents by 31 July 2020, 12PM CEST Time, trough an online procedure accessible by clicking here. A fee of 30 Euro will be charged for the application process.


If you wish to choose VUB as your Home Institution, please contact the VUB course director Prof. Ives Hubloue:



Cover letter including a personal statement about your motivation and interest in a specific field of research, including prior experience in research and/or field-work related



Curriculum Vitae



Scientific publications



Reference letter



Copy of your academic degrees and transcripts



Copy of passport or ID

The application procedure will be entirely online. Details will be provided in the month of July.



The selection committee will select candidates according to the following criteria:


Curriculum vitae, academic records, scientific publications and recorded experience (max 30 points, min 15 points)


The list of applicants who successfully passed the first selection stage will be published mid September 2019 on the following websites,

The candidates who succeed the selection process will register at UPO during the first half of November 2019. Foreign students will be asked to provide an official declaration of conformity of their academic titles (Diploma Supplement issued by the University, declaration of value issued by the Embassy, or Declaration of Comparability issued by CIMEA).



Research proposal (discussed during the oral interview), motivation and interest (max 70 points, min 45 points).






Time-line phd

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