A PhD at imec, a unique environment: 
  • Imec is a bridge between the university and the industry.
  • You collaborate in advanced research with industrial relevance.
  • You get in touch with imec’s global international partner companies.
  • You work in an inspiring international environment.
  • You are part of imec’s multidisciplinary research teams.
  • You have access to state-of-the-art research labs and clean rooms.

Imec offers a stimulating environment to do PhD research. The world-class facilities and available expertise guarantee an unmatched support. And if you come to imec from abroad, you will find an international atmosphere, and most likely also colleagues from your home country.
Our PhD supervisors are imec employees with an assignment as a professor at a Belgian university.
Financial aid is arranged through imec and is sufficient to cover all living expenses, housing, health insurance and registration as a student.



We have two application windows with strict submission deadlines on June 15th and December 15th. During these application windows the imec admission office collects all incoming applications. After closure of the application window, a panel of scientists evaluates the applications and makes selections..

We don't accept applications at this moment. The next application window with deadline December 15th, 2016 will open end of October.


STEP 1 : First of all, carefully read the PhD admission requirements below to make sure you qualify for doctoral research at imec.
STEP 2 : Choose maximum three PhD projects from the PhD topics list below and motivate your choice.
STEP 3 : Download and complete the imec application for admission form. Convert to PDF.
STEP 4 : Download and complete the motivation letter. Convert to PDF.
STEP 5 : Collect all documents listed below:

  • Resume (in PDF)
  • Bachelor's degree and transcripts
  • Master's degree and transcripts - If you have not finished your master program yet, you can submit your degree when you graduate. Do submit your master examination results available at the time of application.
  • Proof of your English language proficiency (refer to the PhD Admission Requirements below for details)
  • GRE score (refer to the PhD Admission Requirements below for details)

Send all the above documents in separate PDFs to by December 15th, 2016 at the very latest.
Do not submit unsolicited documents with your application, e.g. do not submit high school diplomas.
If we do not receive all required documents by the application deadline, your application will not enter the screening process.
We do not accept any revised documents or additional information after the application is submitted, so please be sure to review your application form, motivation letter and other documents very carefully before submitting your application.

STEP 6 : Ask two referees to fill out the evaluation form for you and have them send their input to before the deadline (December 15th, 2016).
Professors and senior research staff who are very well acquainted with your academic performance are good choices for completing the evaluation form.
The letters of recommendation are confidential and are an essential part of your application.
If you spent time outside your home country within the context of your education be sure to have your experience abroad evaluated by your host supervisor/employer.
Please note that we will not be able to process your application without the evaluation forms.

We will acknowledge receipt of your application by email. Please take into account that processing your application - especially around the application deadline - may take several days.

We recommend that you have legalized copies of your Bachelor's and Master's degrees and transcripts available as you will be required to submit them in case of acceptance to the imec doctoral program.

As our PhD students are selected based on a centralized application procedure and not by individual supervisors kindly refrain from contacting our professors directly.


The PhD topics listed below are not open for application. They are merely online to give prospective applicants an indication of what kind of projects imec offers. 


Before applying for a PhD at imec, make sure that you are eligible. Read through the PhD admission requirements carefully.

University degree
If you want to apply as a PhD student, you should hold a relevant Master's degree equivalent to 120 credits (equivalent to the ECTS credit system, that is corresponding to a minimum of 5 years of master study) with excellent grades.
Applicants with a Belgian Master’s degree should have obtained at least a distinction (final MS degree or mid-term/provisional end score).
For all other applicants, check the list here to see what your minimum grades should be in order to enter the selection process. A GPA (Grade Point Average) of at least 75% of the scale maximum is required.
Applicants who have not yet received their Master’s degree at the time of the application deadline, can also apply but the expected graduation date should be due no later than 6 months after the application deadline.

Strictly speaking there is no age limit, but typically we do select young graduates for our PhD projects. 
If there is a gap of more than 6 months between your MS graduation date and your PhD application at imec, you will be required to motivate the reason for this in the application for admission form.

Test scores
For students with a non-European Master's degree, we strongly recommend that you have passed the (general) GRE test (Graduate Record Examination test). Adding GRE scores will definitely add value to your application. Your percentile rank (% below) on Quantitative Reasoning should be minimum 80.
Do arrange a date for your test well ahead of your application and submit the results of your test together with your application. Imec does not have an ETS institution code.
GRE test scores are not mandatory for applicants with a European Master’s degree.

Due to the international character of imec, candidates must have an excellent command of English. You need to prove your English language proficiency by means of an IELTS, TOEFL or a Cambridge English test
The minimum score required for IELTS is 7 (with no subscore under 6.5), for the TOEFL internet-based test it is 90 (with no subscore under 22).  For the Cambridge English test you should have passed at least B2 level.
Applicants with a university degree earned in Australia, English-speaking Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom or the USA and applicants who have completed their Master's degree at an institution where all courses are taught in English are exempted from this requirement.

Further requirements may depend on your nationality and on the university that issued your Master's degree. If you have a Master's degree from a non-EEA country, we might require you to follow a pre-doctoral program depending on your educational profile. A pre-doc will make your Master's degree equivalent to a European Master's degree. In most cases, a pre-doctoral program consists of attending and passing a number of courses, and giving a presentation on a research topic to a pre-doctoral jury. Passing the pre-doctoral program is a prerequisite to start the PhD program.

For more information, contact us.