PhD at ULB

Doctoral training is a post-graduate program aiming at specializing in research. The program matches the “Lisbon Strategy”, in which the European Union asserted the will to make Europe “the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion”. The strategy aims at preparing the transition to knowledge-based economy and society, by better policies for the information society and R&D, as well as by stepping up the process of structural reform for competitiveness and innovation and by completing the internal market.

The Departments of Political and Social Sciences pride a long doctoral training and theses tradition in the field.

The international scientific dynamism that characterizes our Research Centers and our Faculty constitutes a major asset on the one hand, to ensure of the quality of the students themselves and of their supervision and on the other hand for the doctoral candidates to register in the best European research networks.

A PhD is divided in two parts: first the doctoral training, and second, the doctoral thesis.



The doctoral training program is submitted to the Jury of the Department (who accepts it) by a PhD committee. An amount of 60 ECTS credits are needed to complete the doctoral training.The doctoral training can cover different possibilities: taking part in Doctoral Schools’ activities, attending scientific training (lectures and seminars), producing scientific materials at national and international conferences or publishing papers, didactical and pedagogical activities, reports on the advancement of your research, taking part in summer programs at universities, etc. At the end of the doctoral training, and after the Jury of the Faculty validated it, you are given a Certificate of Doctoral Training.The main course of the doctoral training is the 'Seminar on Theory, Methodology and Research in Political Science' (POLI-D-504). The course outline can be found here.



The research work, the writing as well as the private and public defenses are integrated in the validation of the 120 ECTS.



1 - Admission and Registration​​

To be admitted to the Certificate of Doctoral Training and to the doctoral thesis, candidates must first submit a written application to the Admission and Degree Equivalence Office: Registration

The application is sent to the Jury that will decide and inform the admission and degree equivalence service. According to the decision of the Jury, the registration can be effective for both the doctoral training and the PhD or for the doctoral training only.

Registration fees amount to about 837€. For additional information, consult the règlement général des études.

2 - PhD Committee

The PhD committee of the candidate is appointed by the Jury at most one year after the admission has been completed. The committee proposes a doctoral training program that must be validated by the Jury. It also assesses the progress of the works and gives its approval to the re-registration.

3 - Re-registration

Candidates have to register again every year. Registration can be done from June 30 to December 1. To complete it, the signatures of the supervisor, the PhD committee Chairman and of the Dean are needed.

4 - Thesis submission and oral defense

The thesis must be registered in the appropriate faculty. When the thesis is submitted, it must also be encoded in Bictel, the theses’ database. If parties agreed, the entirety of the text can be inserted.

The summary and the table of contents MUST be inserted.

The jury is appointed at most one month after the thesis has been registered. Le defense takes place at least one month after the jury was appointed and at most two months after. Usually a private and a public defense are scheduled. All these time periods are suspended between July 15 and August 15.

5 - Degree and Thesis report

After the Faculty Jury, the recipient and the Principal signed it, the degree is delivered along with the thesis’ report.



A thesis can be co-supervised, this means in two universities (in Belgium or abroad) at the same time. 

Co-supervision can be interesting in regard to international mobility or the experience it can provide, as well as to the access to a richer scientific framework. Still, it is required that a part of the doctoral training or research be carried in both universities.

Co-supervision can lead to being delivered either a joint degree or two distinct degrees.



  1. Decide, with the supervisor or the PhD committee, whether a co-supervision is useful for the research
  2. Choose and contact a co-supervisor in the other university
  3. Prepare and sign a co-supervision convention: documents are available at the Research Department (Département recherche)

For more information, see the Règlement-cadre du doctorat de l’Académie:

In charge of the doctoral training in Political Science:Ramona COMAN: Ramona.Coman@ulb.ac.be +32-(0)2-650.34.80



Secretary's Office in charge of the PhD training : Carlotta Piscopo 

Academic Persons in charge of the PhD training:

Specific administratives information for each Departments of the Faculty:

Keypersons at the central administration office :

  • Admission, inscription : Carine Faniel, tel: 32.(0)2.650.25.67 (doctorants EU et hors UE).
  • Co-tutelle et questions générales : Sabrina Dejongh, Département recherche, 32.(0)2.650.23.53