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I'm currently in the process of applying for various scholarships to fund my PhD.

Many scholarships mention explicitly the approximate amount per year of the scholarship. This is usually the amount excluding tuitions, so the amount mentioned is intended to be a stipend to cover living expenses.

I've never seen it mentioned anywhere, nor could I find a definite answer of this online: will this stipend be taxed? E.g., should I subtract a certain percentage off the scholarship amount that's mentioned, to calculate my real monthly income? Does this depend on the country the scholarship is given in, or are there international agreements on this?

I'm in the initial stages of setting up my PhD programme, therefore I'm in contact with professors in New Zealand, Australia, the United States and Canada, so ideally, answers to my question apply to any of these countries. If it's relevant: I'm a dual citizen (European/American Citizen).

1 Answer 1

In Belgium, we have two kinds of ways of paying PhD students. One is a bursary, which is untaxed. The other is a salary, which is taxed. The amount the student gets in the hand is roughly the same, though there are factors such as amount of experience, whether there's a family and/or children, etc, that affect the value.

Whether a bursary or salary was offered depends upon where the funding comes from. In practice, the tasks of the students in each case are the same. No additional money is provided for tutoring, though it is expected that students help out with tutoring and other activities.

Tuition fees (less that 1000 euro per year) are not covered by the scholarship. Money for books is not provided, though in our department students can order books for the library and keep them on their desk for as long as they want to. Sufficient money for conference attendance is generally available, independent of the scholarship, as far as the student is concerned (which means, managed collectively by the supervisor).

Belgian PhD students earn a comparatively good amount of money, I think almost the highest among PhD students in Europe. (I can't find a reference for that at the moment.)