Doctoral Programme on Marine Ecosystem Health and Conservation
 How to participate without an Erasmus Mundus PhD grant?

MARES aims to attract PhD candidates without a MARES Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate fellowship and is open to accept doctoral candidates who have secured a grant from other sources (for example a national PhD grant).

For these types of candidates only a yearly contribution to the MARES fund has to be paid (240 euro). They also need to fulfill the MARES requirements in order to receive a MARES Joint Doctorate.

These types of candidates will have equal rights in the MARES network and thus will have access to the same facilities as MARES candidates with an Erasmus Mundus grant.

A major advantage of participating in MARES without a MARES PhD grant is that these candidates will have access to dedicated MARES trainings at much lower costs than other (non-MARES) candidates.

The procedure to enrol into MARES without having been selected for one of the nine Erasmus Mundus grants that are available each year, will differ depending on whether you have previously applied during a call for applications and whether you already have secured funding. 

How to participate without an Erasmus Mundus PhD grant?

  1. You will need academic admission from the MARES Management Board in order to be allowed to the programme.
    • In case you have applied for MARES and been put on the “top (A) reserve list” of a specific MARES call you are automatically considered as academically admitted. 
    • In case you have not previously applied, the MARES Secretariat will check your CV, Master degree, transcript of records and motivation letter; and possibly doctoral research proposal. You need to email these documents to the MARES Secretariat. In case admitted you can receive a pre admission letter.
  2. After the MARES Secretariat has received the official selection news from EU/EACEA (by early May) we relay this message to the candidates on the main list & reserve list. Academic eligible candidates (top A reserve-list candidates) can ask for a Pre-Admission Letter to the MARES Programme. This letter can be useful for the candidates’ search for funding. Note that these letters are only sent upon express request by the candidate.
  3. By the end of May an updated Subject Catalogue is published on the MARES website. Candidates will no longer be able to apply for a Doctoral subject that has already been awarded to a selected candidate. Non selected subjects and subjects that were originally not offered for Erasmus Mundus funding will be listed in this updated catalogue.
  4. Optional: Contacting the promoters: End of May / Begin of June all the supervisors are contacted by the MARES Secretariat in order to know whether the unawarded PhD subjects could still be advertised on the MARES Website.
  5. Optional: Pre-Approval of the promoter of a certain Doctoral Subject. It is possible that - when applying at other funding sources than MARES - you require a pre-approval of the promoter of the doctoral subject you want to do research on. In this case, contact the MARES Secretariat to obtain the provisional pre-approval of the promoter, in order to know whether he/she can accept you as a doctoral student. This is not the same as a formal approval, it's a pre-approval on the condition that you are able to secure funding on your own initiative. 
  6. As soon as a candidate has found funding, and has come to an agreement with the promoter, he/she should contact the MARES Secretariat. The MARES Secretariat will then ask the promoter(s) of the subject for formal approval on acceptance of the candidate for the PhD subject. Once this is done further administrative follow up will be started by the MARES Secretariat. In order to get the formal approval of the promoter, the candidate needs to write a motivation letter for that particular PhD subject he/she is applying for, wherein the candidate introduces him/herself and shows that he/she is the best person for the job. 


  • You need to be academically eligible
  • You can ask for a pre-admission letter
  • You need to find funding yourself: the MARES Secretariat cannot help candidates in their search for funding
  • As soon as you have found funding, the MARES Secretariat will ask the approval of the promoter in question. You need a motivation letter for this. When we have received the approval, we will start the necessary paperwork.

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Last update on 04/12/2019 -
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