More than 70 students from Belgium and abroad are working on doctoral studies within the VITO research groups. KarenVercammen and Liesbeth Roofthooft ensure that everything runs smoothly.

How many PhD students does VITO have?

Currently 74 doctoral students are working here. 40 % are non-Belgians, both Europeans and non-Europeans. Students are monitored daily by their supervisors within the research group. Every year, they present their results to an internal jury consisting primarily of VITO employees who have nothing to do with their research. This dual follow-up ensures quality and resultoriented research, a must for earning a doctorate. And possible problems can be handled more quickly.

At VITO research is done in a multidisciplinary environment

How do you select research subjects and doctoral students?

We propose topics that are complementary to the expertise and infrastructure of the universities and seek maximum connection with the research focus of VITO, which targets the long-term needs of society and industry.

VITO strives for excellence:

  • The aspiring student first appears before a VITO jury that screens the student’s knowledge and sees that this fits the chosen research topic.
  • Each doctoral student is affiliated with a university that provides the supervisor and confers the doctorate, and with VITO, which in most cases also pays the student’s wages.
  • Arrangements on property rights, patents … are put in a cooperation agreement with all parties involved.
  • Since 2010, we have been focusing more on collaboration with foreign universities.

In what way do students and VITO benefit from a PhD? 

  • Doctoral students may focus 100 % for four years on a research topic in a multidisciplinary environment with the latest infrastructure and high-tech expertise.
  • They are fully integrated in our research groups. Because we focus on applied research, the students also easily come into contact with companies.
  • The big advantage for us is the direct knowledge exchange with universities.
  • Plus the students bring fresh, new insights that help us to develop our research knowledge to improve society.