Erasmus Mundus Doctoral Programme on Marine Ecosystem Health and Conservation

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Erasmus Mundus Doctoral Programme on Marine Ecosystem Health and Conservation

The MARES PhD scholarship programme is for EU and Non-EU students. MARES is a three-year world-class Joint Doctoral Programme offered by a consortium of 24 partner institutions (11 full partners and 13 associated members) originating from 14 countries. Ghent University (Belgium) is the coordinator of MARES. All MARES doctoral candidates will study with two of the partner institutions and will be awarded a joint Ph.D. degree (Doctorate in Marine Sciences). The MARES doctorate programme includes a compulsory collaboration between at least two partners (and/or associated partners) during the preparation of the doctorate. Therefore, institutional mobility and placements of minimum 6 months is foreseen at the start of the doctoral period by involving at least two MARES partners per doctoral subject. At least one of the partners should be eligible to award the doctorate degree; this partner will be acting as the `main doctorate promotor`.


  • Applicants must have a Master degree in Biology, Ecology, Environmental Sciences, Oceanography, Marine Sciences, Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, or other equivalent degrees with a minimum of 60 credits.
  • In fact a minimum requirement of 240 ECTS combining the B.Sc. and M.Sc. (or equivalent to 4 years of graduate studies with thesis) is eligible.
  • Recent (max 3 years old) proof of knowledge of the English language is also a requirement (CEF-level –C1).

The following proofs of English will be allowed:

  • A recent TOEFL Certificate: minimum score: 570 points (Paper) or 87 points (Internet).
  • A recent IELTS Certificate: minimum score: 6.5.
  • A recent First Certificate in English of the University of Cambridge.
  • A recent Certificate of a University Language Centre testifying that the student masters the necessary knowledge of English to function academically (specify CEF-level) – C1 level.
  • A recent proof that the candidate followed at least 2 Years of higher education taught in English.

If you were an Erasmus Mundus Master Course student in the EMBC project, then it suffices to upload a word-document stating that you finished your EMBC Master Course.

An Erasmus Mundus PhD grant is a grant lasting for 3 years (36 months). With the grant PhD candidates get an employment contract (including social security). The monthly salary will be approximately 1400 euro (depending on the country and institute where the candidate will be employed. Next to the employment finances an Erasmus Mundus PhD grant also foresees in bench fee money of 600 euro per month (7200 per year). From this budget the following costs are paid:

  • Yearly contribution to the MARES fund of 240 euro,
  • Costs of training course participation,
  • Costs related to research activities,
  • Participation costs of conferences,
  • Enrollment costs at universities,
  • Participation to the obligatory MARES annual meetings,
  • Travel costs between host institutions (partner 1 – partner 2) are normally not paid from this budget. The doctoral guidance committee however can decide on this case per case.

Each year MARES will receive 8-10 EM PhD grants. For the call 2010 nine grants are available.

These 9 grants are split as follows:

  • 5 grants for Category A candidates (Category A candidates have to be third-country applicants: they cannot come from one of the 27 EU member states, an EEA-EFTA state (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway), a candidate country for accession to the EU (such as Croatia), or Switzerland).
  • 1 grant for Westeren Balkan and Turkey Candidates (Western Balkan countries include Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo under UNSC Resolution 1244/99, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia).
  • 3 grants for Category B candidates (Any candidate who does not fulfill the criteria of a category A applicant).

How to apply?
The application process consists of the following steps:

  • Register yourself and get a MARES application account.
  • Complete the application form and fill out all required fields.
  • Find at least two referees who are willing to write a recommendation letter. Note that recommendation letters should be written by academics (people with advanced academic background, currently or earlier active in academic research or teaching).The letter is sent by regular mail (address information) or email to the MARES secretariat. In case it is sent by email use the following address: [email protected]
  • Submit your complete application form electronically by pressing the “submit” button. (The submit button will only appear after you have filled in all the required fields).
  • You will receive a confirmation email that we have received your application. This email will have the application form as attachment.

Deadline: 15 December 2011

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