Institute of Development Policy

ICP Connect Scholarships

The IOB offers 10 full scholarships for each Advanced Master. The scholarships are funded by the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR-UOS).

Eligibility criteria

  • Nationality and country of residence: A candidate should be a national and resident of one of the 29 eligible countries (nationality and country of residence not necessarily the same) at the time of the application. The place of residence of the applicant will be checked. Eligible cuntries: Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroun, Cuba, DR Congo, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Guinee, Haiti, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Peru, Philippines, Palestina, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Zimbabwe.
  • Age: The maximum age for an Advanced Master programme candidate is 45 years. (Age on 1 January of the intake year.)
  • Professional background and experience:  Candidates should preferably be employed in higher education, government or civil society, or should aim at a career in one of these sectors. However, candidates employed in the private sector or newly graduated candidates without any work experience can also be eligible depending on their motivation and profile.
  • Previously awarded scholarships: The candidate has never received a scholarship from the Belgian government to attend a study programme and was never enrolled in a Belgian higher education institution to attend a study programme.
  • Scholarship applications: ​Candidates may apply for only one ICP Connect scholarship application per year. Candidates cannot receive any other scholarship or grant to participate in this study programme or another programme simultaneously.

It is not allowed to submit an application for more than one ICP programme across Flanders. In case more than one application is submitted, all applications will be rejected automatically. 


For each Master, 10 effective scholars and 10 substitute scholars will be selected.

The scholarship selection is based on the ICP Connect selection criteria: the IOB applies a gender and regional balance; professional experience is an important asset to award this scholarship and an outstanding motivation is highly valued. Preference will be given to scholarship applicants who have never received a scholarship before.

Given the need to balance out the ICP Connect selection criteria, it is in theory possible that not the best scoring students get a scholarship. For example, if there are many high scoring male students from country X, it is probable that the best scoring might get a scholarship (if he is eligible). But it is also likely that a female from country X or Y (with a lower score) gets a scholarship too. Though this might seem unfair vis-à-vis the better scoring males, VLIR-UOS prefers positive discrimination in terms of gender in such a case. Added to this, since the pool of applicants changes from year to year, and since scholarships are awarded taking into account relative criteria (number of females, regional balance, etc…), the odds that a scholarship is awarded in year 1 for candidate X might be completely different in year 2. This explains why some students apply several times without success before they get accepted – even though their application file did not change in essence.

The scholarship covers all expenses related to the studies. For detailed information please check the website of VLIR-UOS.