Dual Award PhD Program in Chemical Engineering with Katholieke Universiteit (KU) Leuven
The dual PhD degree in Chemical Engineering is offered collaboratively by UAEU and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) that leads to the award of a dual degree with two separate certificates, one from each institution. This program allows a student to receive academic training and to perform research work under the joint responsibility of a supervisor from UAEU and a supervisor from KU Leuven. The Doctoral student is required to satisfy the admission requirements of both institutions, comply with both institutions’ academic regulations, and defend a single dissertation that meets the requirements of both institutions. For each student in the Dual PhD Program, an individualized agreement specifying the details of the student’s course of study, academic requirements, and plan for the completion of the Dual Degree will be negotiated and signed.
This program provides students with a unique opportunity to demonstrate innovation in a wide range of Chemical Engineering research areas. The dual PhD degree in Chemical Engineering is awarded to candidates who successfully complete a program of advanced courses, qualification and research requirements and dissertation defense. Students are expected to carry out an independent investigation in a Chemical Engineering research area under supervision of experienced researchers. Graduates of the program are anticipated to meet the challenges in the Chemical Engineering discipline and provide innovative solutions based on the most recent developments in Chemical Engineering.
The total duration of the doctoral studies in the dual degree program normally takes between 4-7 years. Shorter or longer periods can be agreed by the two institutions as long as all the requirements are met within this period. The student is required to spend a minimum of six months (preferably longer time) at each of the partner institutions.
Upon successful completion, the candidate will receive two separate certificates, one from each of the two institutions, indicating that the program in which the student was enrolled is a dual degree program.
The principle of “main-partner” institution will be applied for this Program. Typically, the institution where the PhD student starts or where he/she will spend most of his/her time, will be indicated as the main institution. The other institution will be considered as the partner institution.
Benefits of the Program
This program enhances the academic training and research experience of Doctoral candidates. Students will have access to the facilities, resources, professors and research environments of the two institutions, giving the doctoral candidate the full benefits of international experience. Dual supervision allows complementary approaches to research questions. Students will also gain knowledge and experience from research groups at both institutions, learn to be mobile, be willing to mediate between two supervisors who may have different institutional priorities, be able to adapt to the culturally-different approaches to research, and be able to fulfill the demands of two administrative systems. In addition, the program provides students with excellent networking opportunities, which can result in more promising future job prospects.
Privilege to participate in the Dual PhD Program is only extended to students who have demonstrated a record of excellence and who can demonstrate that they will be able to successfully complete the requirements of the two institutions within the maximum time period allowed by each institution. Candidates should have previous research experience, which is evident from their publication records in the area. Highly qualified students who are interested in the Dual PhD Program should begin by discussing this option with their supervisor and a prospective supervisor at the partner institution, who is preferably engaged in an active collaboration between two partner institutions. Normally, students should have completed one year in the Doctoral program at the main institution before applying to the Dual PhD Program. Alternatively, the two supervisors from the partner institutions may recruit an excellent student for the Program. After receiving confirmation from the potential supervisors at both institutions about their willingness to jointly supervise the candidate, the student needs to apply to the appropriate authorities at the two institutions. The applicant needs to follow the standard admission procedures and deadlines and meet the academic requirements of both institutions.
Candidates need to be admitted to the Doctoral program at both institutions. The minimum requirements to Doctoral admission include having obtained a relevant master degree with excellent grades and be meeting the English proficiency requirements of the two institutions. Any of the two institutions can decide to request additional course(s) and/or research assignment before final admission of the applicant. An Individualized Dual Degree Agreement specifying the details of the student’s course of study, academic requirements, and plan for the completion of the Dual Degree will be signed by the two institutions for each applicant. The partner institution should not accept a student who has been nominated for the dual degree program at the main institution outside the dual degree framework.
Admission to UAEU does not automatically grant admission to KU Leuven. UAEU students who are interested in the dual degree PhD program with KU Leuven must apply for and secure academic admission at KU Leuven as per their policy. There is just one PhD admission procedure for all PhD candidates at KU Leuven, no distinction is made between regular PhD students and dual PhD students. The admission decision at KU Leuven is made by the Faculty Doctoral Committee, which considers input from various individuals and departments in its decision-making process.
In the case where a student selects a supervisor from another faculty at KU Leuven, the initial screening is conducted by the Admission Office, a central department at the university. The advice given by Admissions regarding a PhD application initiated by one supervisor will be consistent if another supervisor were to initiate the admission procedure. While it's theoretically possible for another Faculty Doctoral Committee to make a different final decision, it's important to note that they typically adhere to the same admission guidelines. If student identifies another KU Leuven supervisor during the academic journey, who is willing to supervise the research, this supervisor can submit a new admission application.
Enrollment and Fees
Doctoral students need to register at both institutions throughout their study period. However, they will typically pay enrollment fees only at the main institution and will be exempted from paying similar fees to the partner institution unless otherwise specified in the Individualized Agreement. Any costs related to periods of research spent at the partner institution, attendance of national and international conferences, the organization of the PhD defense, and other costs specific to the Dual PhD Program shall be discussed and determined in mutual agreement between the supervisors from the partner institutions.
Research at the partner institutions
The PhD student shall spend alternate or consecutive research periods at both partner institutions. The research periods are to be agreed upon following consultation between the PhD student and the supervisors. The student is required to spend a minimum of six months (preferably longer time) at each of the partner institutions.
The Doctoral student needs to have a supervisor at each of the two institutions. Also, before the end of the student’s first semester in the dual degree program, an advisory committee needs to be formed. The Advisory Committee shall be appointed by the authorities of both institutions, in accordance with the regulations of both institutions.
Duration of the Dual Degree Doctoral Program
The total duration of the doctoral studies in a dual degree program normally takes between 4-7 years. Shorter or longer periods can be agreed by the two institutions as long as all the requirements are met within this period.
The Examination Committee of Dual Doctoral students consists of the two supervisors and at least one other faculty member from each of the partner institutions, and at least one member who is external to both institutions. The Examination Committee shall be appointed by the authorities of both institutions, in accordance with the regulations of both institutions. All members of the examination committee need to be able to take part in the evaluation at the defense (preferably face-to-face or by exception via video conference, e.g. Skype, MS Teams, etc.).
A dual degree with two separate certificates, one from each of the participating institutions will be awarded to the student. Permanent student records, including transcripts and diplomas will indicate that the program in which the student was enrolled is a Dual PhD Program. For transparency reasons, list of courses taken at the partner institution will be indicated on the student’s transcripts.
(The required coursework is based entirely on the courses offered in the PhD program in Chemical Engineering at UAEU)
- Establish a Joint Supervisory Committee composed by members from both partner institutions.
- Spend a minimum of six months (preferably longer time) at the partner institution depending on the program requirements of the partner institution.
- Have at least one accepted international peer reviewed publication.
- Actively participate (via an oral presentation or poster) in at least one international congress.
- Give at least one oral presentation before the Supervisory Committee during the student’s research stay at the host institution.
- Follow the training on Scientific Integrity offered at KU Leuven or an equivalent training at UAEU.
- Additional courses at KU Leuven or UAEU as per discretion of the doctoral/advisory committee.
- Offer a rigorous and innovative engineering education that promotes innovative research in engineering areas related to national priorities.
- Prepare graduates to be inquisitive, to reason critically, and to lead nationally and globally.
- Contribute to the advancement of the UAE knowledge-based economy and quality of life through community engagement, knowledge transfer, and industry partnership.
Program Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:
- Identify gaps in the current state of knowledge and outline directions to produce new knowledge at the frontier of the chemical engineering discipline.
- Apply advanced theories and research methodologies to critically analyze open research problems in chemical engineering and develop innovative solutions.
- Produce and defend an original research work that advances the state of the art in the chemical engineering discipline.
- Communicate research findings, orally and in writing, at a high level of proficiency to faculty, peers, and the lay public.
- Evaluate and manage complex professional engineering activities and diverse ethical issues within the work context.
Required Credit Hours :
minimum 54 hours
Any two (2) 700-level courses offered by the University, as approved by the Advisory Committee (6 hours