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Double Degree PhD Program with Universidade de São Paulo

The Universidade de São Paulo in Brazil and the University of Groningen have a long history of PhD collaboration: more than fifty students have enrolled since 2010. Initially, collaboration was mainly focused in the fields of Life Sciences & Health and Science & Technology. Nevertheless, 2023 marked a big step forward: the Framework Agreement that makes it possible to enroll Double Degree PhD candidates in any academic field was signed.

USP and the Groningen have since then agreed on a centralized process for acceptance of candidates to the Double Degree (DD) PhD program.

Home & Host University

Acceptance to the DD implies that successful candidates have fulfilled the admission requirements of the PhD programs at both institutions. In most cases, candidates will already be PhD students at the time of application, because they will have secured admission at one institution (their “home university”). They subsequently seek to be admitted at the other institution (the “host university”).

Admission at the host in all cases is based on an evaluation of the academic quality and the academic and financial feasibility of a project. This means that it is not sufficient to have only secured the financial means to undertake an international PhD mobility (e.g. via CAPES or FAPESP)!

How to apply?

You should first of all contact latinamerica Why? Acceptance to the DD PhD in any case also implies the submission and evaluation of a so-called “application package”. This serves to ensure that the degree requirements at both universities will be met. Note that you always have to submit an application package: it does not matter whether your home university is USP or UG!

The application package to the DD PhD includes the following documents:

  • Sandwich PhD application form (template*)
  • Research Proposal (template*)
  • Support letter by the USP and UG main supervisors (template*)
  • Financial Statement (template*)
  • CV in English
  • Proof of English proficiency
  • Copy of diploma (highest degree)

All templates can be requested via latinamerica


  • All prospective DD PhD candidates, prior to submitting their application, should contact the UG Representative Office for Latin America via latinamerica You will then receive detailed information on procedures and specific admission requirements (e.g. language requirements), as well as appropriate tailor-made support.
  • The application package will check whether the documentation is complete and filled out correctly. After that, it will ensure that the application package is submitted to the relevant authority for admission at the host.
  • Once the PhD candidate has been accepted to the DD PhD program, an Individual Doctoral Agreement will be signed. This process will also be coordinated by the Office.
  • Note that the approximate period between submission of the DD PhD application package and the start of the PhD trajectory at the other institution is a minimum of approximately six months.
  • If considered convenient, the process of obtaining funding and the submission and evaluation of the application package may take place simultaneously. A positive evaluation may in those cases lead to a conditional acceptance.
Last modified:19 January 2024 3.31 p.m.