GTI Short-term Scholarships

Since 2004, by means of annual grants, the Belgian National Focal Point (NFP) to the GTI facilitates short-term taxonomic trainings, in Belgium, for researchers/students from partner countries of the Belgian Development Cooperation.

These trainings enable access to Belgian taxonomic and curatorial expertise and to the rich collections held by Belgian institutes.

About the Short-term Scholarship Grant

The GTI Scholarships fund short-term research stays (up to 4 weeks) of individual students or scientific staff members from eligible developing countries at a Belgian center of taxonomic expertise (e.g., Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Meise Botanic Garden, AfricaMuseum , a specific university research group or another taxonomic facility).

The internships are focused on (a) specific taxonomic group(s) relevant to sustainable ecosystem management and sustainable local livelihoods – it may concern plants, animals, fungi, bacteria or other (micro)organisms – and typically include combined theoretical and hands-on training in taxon identification, taxon classification and/or collection management.

Access to scientific literature, to specialized databases and to specific Belgium-based infrastructure and collections can also be obtained during the study visits.

A call for proposals is issued once a year, usually between March and June. Please check the Open Calls page to stay up to date on active calls.

Grants awarded in the past

During the period 2004-2021, 133 different interns from 33 countries received at least 1 GTI Short-term Scholarship (238 grants awarded in total)

General eligibility criteria

These are the general eligibility criteria for GTI Short-term scholarship calls. They may vary from year to year (eligible countries, study object,…), in which case it is indicated on the current call page.

Regarding the study object of the projects, organisms of all taxa are generally accepted (plants, animals, fungi, bacteria or other (micro)organisms), as long as it concerns extant taxa. However, the overarching theme of the call may vary from year to year (e.g., related to One Health, conservation biology, etc.). Proposals may involve traditional methods, molecular and other new techniques, or a combination of both.

As for the candidates, they must be a citizen of one of the following countries:

Benin* – Burkina Faso* – Burundi* – Cabo Verde – Cambodia – Cote d’Ivoire – DR Congo* – Gambia – Ghana – Guinea* – Guinea Bissau – Kenya – Laos – Liberia – Mali* – Morocco* – Mozambique* – Niger* – Nigeria – Palestinian Territory* – Rwanda* – Senegal* – Sierra Leone – Tanzania* – Thailand – Togo – Uganda* – Vietnam.

Candidates from official partner countries of the Belgian Development Cooperation (indicated with an asterisk in the above list) will be given priority, even more so if they are associated with a scientific institute with which CEBioS/the Belgian GTI-NFP has a privileged relationship (institutional cooperation). These institutes are:

  • Université d’Abomey-Calavi (UAC, Bénin);
  • Institut de Recherches Halieutiques et Océanologiques du Bénin (IRHOB);
  • Office Burundais pour la Protection de l’Environnement (OBPE, Burundi);
  • Centre de Surveillance de la Biodiversité (CSB, DR Congo);
  • Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN, DR Congo) with implementation of activities by Congolese scientific institutes.

Additionally, applicants should be able to answer “yes” to the following questions:

  1. Does your project contain clear taxonomic components (e.g., taxonomic revisions, elaboration of checklists/guides/identification keys, biodiversity assessments/monitoring, …)?
  2. Does your project address key taxonomic gaps/take into account priority taxonomic needs of your country or region?
  3. Does your project aim at building taxonomic expertise and advancing research in your country or region?
  4. Does your research contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and/or ecosystem services in your country or region?
  5. Does your research contribute to improving livelihoods of local communities in your country or region (in the medium or long term, directly or indirectly)?
  6. Does your work support the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the targets of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework established in the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity?
  7. Is there an expert working on your taxa at a Belgian scientific institute (Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Meise Botanic Garden, AfricaMuseum, a specific university research group or another taxonomic facility)?
  8. Are there any collections of your taxa held by a Belgian scientific institution?
  9. Are you under the age of 40?
  10. Do you hold – at least – a Bachelor degree?
  11. Are you currently affiliated with a university or an official research institute in an eligible country (as a student, research staff, lecturer, …)?
  12. Do you plan to disseminate your work (poster, publication, diploma, oral communication at conference, …)?

Applicants who have already completed 3 stays in Belgium in the framework of the External GTI call can no longer apply.

Applications by women are highly encouraged.

Application documents

Please use the official template, which is available in English and French, when completing your project proposal, and submit this document as a Word file (not as a PDF).

 Template scholarship application form EN (available by next call)

 Template scholarship application form FR (available by next call)

Application forms must be accompanied by an up-to-date curriculum vitae (including a recent profile picture) and a proof of affiliation to a University or an official research institute.

It is recommended that candidates already specify and contact an expert working on their taxa at a Belgian institute. For example, a copy of the email exchange with the expert, showing his/her willingness to provide a taxonomic training in case of acceptance of the project, can be attached. This will increase the chances of the project being selected.

Complete applications should be sent electronically to cbd-gti[at] no later than the date specified in the call. The Belgian GTI‑NFP will send an acknowledgment of receipt.

If you would still have unanswered questions or in case of problems with filling out the application form or contacting a Belgian expert, you can email us using the same address above.

Note that applications are only possible when the call is open. Please check the Open Calls page to stay up to date on active calls.


Within one month after the end of the training, an internship report as well as an evaluation document must be completed by the grantee and sent to cbd-gti[at]

Please use the official templates:

 Template scholarship report EN

  Template scholarship report FR

 Template scholarship evaluation form EN

 Template scholarship evaluation form FR