Application procedure

Thank you for your interest in GIGA Doctoral School. Our doctoral program encourages applications from Master students of diverse background who would like to pursue their PhD in the field of biomedical sciences.


The GIGA Doctoral School follows a transparent selection procedure in which candidates will be selected based on their individual qualities, research background and motivation to become a professional.


The workflow for the recruitment of ESRs will consist of following steps:

1. Application

2. Skype interviews

3. Personal interviews at GIGA (Liège)

More detailed description of the stages can be found below.


The complete applications should be addressed to Marianna Bevova and sent to the following email Please make sure you indicate “Doctoral School 2018” as a subject of your email.

The deadline for the applications is 1st of May 2018.

The program will start in October 2018.


Application procedure

Stage 1: A candidate has to submit a complete application package including: CV, a motivation letter, names and contact details of two referees and education transcripts.

Eligibility criteria for the Stage 1:

-       Completed Master degree

-       Educational transcripts (mean grades >6.5) 

-       Motivation letter

-       References

-       Writing style 

-       Information provided


Stage 2: Eligible candidates from Stage 1 will be invited for a ±20-minutes Skype interview with members of the recruitment committee (RC). Appointment for the interview is made together with the candidates and is fixed at least one week in advance. Each candidate will be asked to prepare a 10-minute presentation in an open format that will describe personal and professional interests and research background. Skype interviews will be conducted by at least three members of the RC representing different thematic units, an English language expert and an HR specialist from the University of Liège.


Selection Criteria for Stage 2:

During the interview the motivation and suitability of the candidates will be assessed. Moreover, English proficiency and communication skills will be evaluated. Candidates will be asked about their educational background, international activities (internships, summer schools, exchange programmes), work experience, research interests, career plans and motivation to enrol to the GIGA Graduate School. The decision about each candidate will be done collegially by members of RC.


Stage 3: The candidates selected after the Skype interview will be invited for the Recruitment Day (RD). This event will be organized by GIGA and candidates will receive reimbursement for all travel and accommodation costs. The candidates will come to Liège for a full day. At RD, candidates will be asked to give a short 10- minute scientific presentation of their Master project in public, which will be followed by an open discussion with the RC members, the GIGA researchers as well as other candidates. Additionally, each of the candidates will have a 10-minute closed door interview with the RC. Based on the interview, research presentation, discussions and informal talks of each candidate on RD, the following aspects will be assessed: motivation and enthusiasm of the candidate, communication skills and social interactions of the candidate, capacity of an applicant to explain a research project and hold a discussion.


At the end of the Recruitment Day the recruitment committee will hold a meeting to make a high priority/reserve list/non-eligible ranking of the candidates. High priority candidates will be notified by an official email about the position offer and will be given two weeks to make a decision. Non-eligible candidates and candidates from the reserve list will be notified about the results of the Recruitment Day within five working days. If any of the priority listed candidates declines a position offer, the next applicant (based on the final score) on the reserve list will be contacted and offered a position. 

After each step of the selection process, all candidates will receive an email with a feedback. 


The working conditions of the PhD candidates recruited for the GIGA Doctoral School  comply with the EU, national and ULiege institutional regulations. ULiège is one of the European Universities which in 2005 committed itself to honouring the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. ULiege is hosting a EURAXESS Mobility Center for researchers, takes an active part in Erasmus Staff Trainings that focus on HRS4R initiation and the introduction of OTM-R principles in institutional evaluation & selection procedures. It was the first Belgian University to receive, in 2011, the HR EXCELLENCE IN RESEARCH lable.


Redress procedure

If a candidate believes that there have been shortcomings in the handling of their selection procedure and that these shortcomings have jeopardised the outcome, he/she will be able to submit a request for redress. Redress requests should be raised within 10 days after receiving the feedback letter on the outcome of the relevant selection phase provided by the GIGA Graduate School, and should be sent by email (indicated in the feedback email).

Requests must be related to the procedural aspects of the eligibility check and must include a clear description of the reason to complain. The Internal Redress Committee, that will be formed by representatives of the Redress Committee, will examine any complaints. The redress procedure will address application evaluation. If a candidate provides evidence of shortcomings in the application and selection process, the Redress Committee may recommend a re-evaluation of the final decision. The Redress Committee will not question the scientific or technical judgement of the evaluator. Final decisions about application refusal or acceptance will be sent by email and post within 10 working days after receipt of the redress request. Individual feedbacks will be given to each applicant thus protecting the privacy of the applicants.


Promoting equal opportunities

Gender: GIGA is highly ranked in terms of gender equality and has comprehensive policies to ensure this is maintained. Out of the 601 members of GIGA, 53% are female. The same gender balance is present at the managerial level. GIGA is managed by a male director and a female vice director. From the nine research and three support thematic units of GIGA, six are currently lead by female directors. Accordingly, the GIGA Graduate School strives for gender balance at all levels. The selection of candidates will be based on the above-defined quality parameters. For the final ranking, the Recruitment Committee will make serious considerations for gender-balance when finalizing the rank list of candidates.

Ethnicity: We anticipate and encourage a selection of candidates with different cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

Researchers with special needs: GIGA and ULiège have solid policies in place for accommodation of disabled employees. Facilities and buildings are generally accessible for persons with special needs and specially equipped facilities are provided. Help and information will be provided for such candidates at later stages regarding the identification of the suitable housing. In the case of equality of candidates, the above mentioned groups will receive the priority in selections.