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Doctoral Programme


PhD, Continuation of Research Master

Candidates typically enter this PhD programme after completing the Research Master in fluid dynamics. 


Collaboration with universities

The PhD thesis may be presented in English, French or Dutch at any Belgian university or at a university abroad leading to a degree of doctor in applied sciences. The collaboration between university and the VKI leads to considerable benefits, allowing to perform research based on the outstanding facilities and unique experience available at the VKI and to work in an international excellence center with colleagues from all over the world.


International environment

Presently, about 60 candidates are enrolled in the doctoral programme of the VKI, representing more than ten countries from Europe and America.


Center of Excellence

The von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics operates a comprehensive range of experimental and computational facilities covering virtually all aspects of fluid mechanics. Support is provided by facility engineers, instrumentation and electronic laboratories, IT and HPC department, a technical library and a publishing office with photolab, a computer-aided drawing/design office and well-equipped workshops.

The benefits for the PhD candidate are considerable, allowing to perform research based on the outstanding facilities and unique experience available at the VKI and to work in an international top level environment with colleagues from all over Europe.


Access to an extraordinary set of wind tunnels
covering all regimes, from low subsonic to hypersonic flow.

FREE access to the internationally recognised VKI short course programme: VKI Lecture Series.


VKI-BAEF fellowships for US citizens

The Belgian American Educational Foundation (BAEF) in collaboration with the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics (VKI)  encourages applications for fellowships for advanced study or research during the academic year 2024-2025, at VKI. The offer is directed to US citizens.

The BAEF will award up to eleven fellowships as outright non-renewable grants carrying a stipend of

  • 29,000 for Master’s or Ph.D. students
  • 33,000 for Post-doctoral Fellows.

BAEF fellowships 2024-2025 can be initiated between July 1, 2024 and December 31, 2024. Fellows should be in residence in Belgium during the tenure of their fellowship and stay for a period of 12 months. If the Fellow chooses to remain in Belgium for less than 12 months, the stipend will be prorated accordingly. The minimum fellowship period is 6 months.

In addition to the stipend, the Foundation will defray the cost of health insurance in Belgium. No additional financial aid is to be expected.

Completed applications for the 2024-2025 fellowships must be submitted as electronic documents in pdf format attached to an email sent no later than October 31, 2023 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.