Steps to take

In summary, which steps should I take before coming to work in ECCO?

Let's assume that you have become interested in ECCO research, e.g. through this website, publications or lectures, and that you consider joining the group. What do you do?

After receiving several dozen applications to join ECCO over the past few years, from which about a dozen were successful, we have gathered quite some practical experience with the process and its likely pitfalls. This allows us to summarize the full procedure in the form of an "algorithm" or decision tree, with the following steps (note that some of these steps may not be necessary for you, e.g. because you have the Belgian nationality, already live in Belgium, or don't need a PhD registration).

  1.  Get to know us better: simply read different documents available on our website, study some of our research, perhaps have conversations with some of our members. If you still think that this is where you fit, go to the next step,
  2. Present yourself: send us all the material that may help us to get to know you, indicating why you would like to join. If we like what we see, we will invite you to the next step.
  3. if you plan to register as a PhD student, you can already try to collect the necessary documents to fulfill the formal university requirements, or look for financial support
  4. Come to visit us: if you come from abroad we can help you with some practical things such as providing temporary accommodation or writing invitation letters, but we normally cannot pay your travel costs. If your and our impression is still positive, you have been accepted to join ECCO, and you can use the occasion of your visit to Brussels to submit the necessary documents to the university. However, these documents can also be submitted by mail later.
  5. Wait for the admission letter that allows you to register as a PhD student. This can take a couple of months, depending on the period (slower in summer) and the faculty to which you apply.
  6. if you are not an EU citizen, apply for a student visa at the Belgian consulate in your country, submitting the admission letter and some further required documents.
  7. once you are allowed to reside in the country, move to Brussels, where we will try to arrange temporary accommodation for you, while you look for an apartment.
  8. register in person as a PhD student at the VUB, and visit the different student support services that will help you with health insurance, residence papers, etc.
  9. start working in ECCO