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Organised by Ghent University

International Master of Science in Rural Development (IMRD)




Sept 2022 - sept 2024



The joint International Master of Science in Rural Development (IMRD), part of the European Commission's Erasmus Mundus programme, addresses rural development through a variety of approaches and applications. The IMRD is a high-level academic programme aimed at training top students from all over the world into specialists in integrated rural development, focussing on socio-economic and institutional aspects. The two-year Master’s programme (120 ECTS) is jointly organised by 15 world-leading universities in rural development and agricultural economics. The methodology combined basic and specialised training in technical, economic and social sciences, an intensive one-month case study, a research-based Master’s dissertation and a vast degree of student and scholar mobility.

Go to the detailed page of the ICP Connect call

Can I apply for this scholarship?

Candidates that meet the following criteria* may apply for an ICP Connect scholarship:

  • Nationality and country of residence: Candidates’ must be nationals of one of the 29 eligible countries and must be a resident of one of these countries (not necessarily the same country) at the time of application.
  • Age: candidates' age on January 1 of the year of intake must be no higher than 35 for an initial master and 45 for an advanced master.
  • Professional background and experience: Preference will be given to candidates employed in higher education, government or civil society, or those targeting a career in one of these sectors. Candidates employed in the private sector or newly graduated candidates with no work experience may also be considered if they provide a strong motivation and profile.
  • Scholarship applications: Candidates may apply for only one ICP Connect scholarship application per year.
  • Previously awarded scholarships: Candidates may not have previously received a scholarship from the Belgian government to attend a study programme and may not have enrolled in a study programme at a Belgian higher education institution before January 1 of the year of intake.

*Please note that additional criteria may be imposed by individual institutions. These can be found under the drop-down menu 'more detailed information & application' on this page. 

What are the scholarship selection criteria? 

Within the ICP Connect framework, scholars are seen as potential agents of change that may contribute to societal change in their home country (or region) after completing their studies. Scholars are selected following an objective evaluation of their scholarship applications based on the following criteria:

  • Motivation: Candidates' motivation and professional goals must reflect their competence in transferring knowledge/skills or setting up extension activities and highlighting themes relevant to sustainable development and pertinent to the study programme. Not only are academic results important, but so are - especially - the potential and  commitment of the candidates to become an 'agent of change' after completing their studies.
  • Professional experience: Preference will be given to candidates who can demonstrate a greater chance of implementing and/or transferring newly gained knowledge/skills upon completion in a sustainable development context, such as in the higher education sector, government, civil society or the private sector, thereby contributing to positive societal change.
  • Gender balance: A balance between male and female candidates awarded ICP Connect scholarships is targeted. VLIR-UOS strongly encourages female candidates to apply. Read more about our gender policy here.
  • Regional balance: A reasonable cross-section of scholars from different countries and regions is targeted, provided there are sufficient qualified candidates.
  • Leave No One Behind (LNOB): In case of equally qualified candidates, preference will be given to candidates from vulnerable groups.
  • Previously awarded scholarship: Preference will be given to candidates who have never received a scholarship to study in a higher income country (bachelor or master).

More detailed information & application

Apply now

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