New PhD opportunity

the International Doctoral Program in Global Health, Humanitarian Aid and Disaster medicine

The International Doctoral Program in Global Health, Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Medicine is a joint PhD designed and offered by the Università del Piemonte Orientale (UPO), Italy, through the Research Center in Emergency and Disaster Medicine (CRIMEDIM) and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium, through the Research Group on Emergency and Disaster Medicine (ReGEDiM).

A Joint PhD is a doctoral degree awarded by two different institutions, who share the responsibilities of supervising, coordinating and examining a researcher’s work towards the PhD degree.

In other words:

You will be enrolled in two universities, one of which will be your Home Institution. The program structure, the duties and the rights will be the same for each student, but rules concerning application, registration, scholarships and administrative procedures will be different according to the Home Institution you choose

You will be awarded two separate degrees from both Universities

You will be supported by tutors and professors from the two organizing universities and from a network of collaborating institutions worldwide

You will experience an international environment, become part of a stimulating network of researchers and pursue a prestigious academic career

This is a unique opportunity to work in a multidisciplinary and international way, building on your knowledge, skills, interest and passion to carry out innovative research on global health, humanitarian aid or disaster medicine with mentorship from expert faculty.

Applications will close on August 6th 2019 at 12 CEST time


Program Start: 1 November 2019Program Length: 3 years

PhD students will perform a research study with strong affiliation to one of the three main themes: global health, humanitarian aid or disaster medicine. Proposals should adhere to disaster-related subjects or humanitarian context. Following are examples of some fields of research applicable in this context:

Humanitarianism and humanitarian assistance
Global Health
Emergency public health
Disaster risk reduction, disaster management and global resilience
Health and medicine in natural and technological disasters, humanitarian crises and conflicts, migration and displacement
Health systems management in low-resource environments
Psycho-social aspects in disasters and humanitarian crises
Ethical and legal aspects in disasters and humanitarian crises

For the 2019 Edition the following research themes are of particular interest:

  • Emergency Medical Systems in resource-constrained environments
  • Research and training in the context of Emergency Medical Teams Initiative in Europe
  • Heat waves and health: strategies for mitigation

PhD students will attend an induction course in Novara (February 2020) in which basic and advanced research skills will be taught. Students will then follow the route of his/her research proposal with the supervision of UPO and VUB senior researchers.


A maximum of 6 students will be accepted for the 2019-2022 course:
5 places in UPO, of which
3 with scholarships
1 with research grant
1 without scholarship
Novara, Italy
1 place in VUB (Belgium), without scholarship
Brussels, Belgium

Admission to this Doctoral Program is highly competitive. Applicants must possess a very good academic record, previous research experience, and a keen interest in global health, humanitarian aid and/or disaster medicine research.

The minimum academic requirement for admission as a PhD student is to hold a Master’s degree in a health-related field. Applicants with a different academic background will be evaluated case-by-case by the Admission Board.

Candidates who did not graduate in an English-speaking country must provide evidence of their proficiency in English, which will be tested during the oral interview.


UPO offers three scholarships of

€ 1.132

awarded to the candidates that choose UPO as their Home Institution, according to the evaluation of the selection.

And one research grant of

€ 2.000

awarded to a candidate who graduated outside Italy and is willing to work in CRIMEDIM HQ in Novara (Italy) on the following research theme: “Use and validation of new simulation technologies for education and training in Disaster Medicine, Global Health and Humanitarian Aid”

At VUB there are no scholarships available for the current edition. For any information please contact the VUB course director Prof. Ives Hubloue:


Accepted candidates who chose UPO as their Home Institution will be required to pay the following fees:


per year as a tuition fee

per year as a contribution for the sporting facilities

per year for the regional education tax (EDISU)

Candidates who do not receive a scholarship will be exempt from the payment of the tuition fee and the contribution to the sporting facilities (212 €)

At VUB there are no scholarships available for the current edition. For any information please contact the VUB course director Prof. Ives Hubloue:


Ready to embark the journey?
First of all, you need to choose your Home Institution:

If you wish to choose UPO as your Home Institution, the procedure for application is the following:

The call for applicants will open on 1st July 2019. Candidates should submit the following documents by August 6th 2019 through an online procedure accessible by clicking here

If you wish to choose VUB as your Home Institution, please contact the VUB course director Prof. Ives Hubloue:

Cover letter including a personal statement about your motivation and interest in a specific field of research, including prior experience in research and/or field-work related
Curriculum Vitae
Scientific publications
Reference letter
Research Proposal
(click here to download the form)
Copy of your academic degrees and transcripts in English or in Italian
Copy of passport or ID

The application procedure is entirely online and is available at the following link.

The selection committee will select candidates according to the following criteria:

Curriculum vitae, academic records, scientific publications and recorded experience (max 30 points, min 15 points);

Research proposal (discussed during the oral interview), motivation and interest (max 70 points, min 45 points).

The list of applicants who successfully passed the first selection stage will be published mid September 2019 on the following websites,

The candidates who succeed the selection process will register at UPO during the first half of November 2019. Foreign students will be asked to provide an official declaration of conformity of their academic titles (Diploma Supplement issued by the University, declaration of value issued by the Embassy, or Declaration of Comparability issued by CIMEA).


Selected candidates for interview

Interview Schedule

Selected Candidates

Watch the video of the induction course of the first edition of the Doctoral Program.

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Applications are closed from 6th August at 12.00 CEST time.