EctPlus - Erasmus Mundus in environmental contamination and toxicology

March 04, 2022

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Location (s):

  • Belgium
  • France
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Spain
Liege, Bordeaux, Pau, Trondheim, Porto, Leioa


The main goal of the ECT+ EMJMD programme is the formation of post-graduates in the knowledge developed in toxicology, ecotoxicology and chemistry for generating high-level technologists and scientists devoted to the scientifically based protection of the environment. By addressing emerging One-Health concepts and paradigms, the programme will provide students the scientific basis required for covering the goals of the new European policies. In its entirety, ECT+ EMJMD faces up to key scientific and technological challenges recognised as a priority by the European institutions, and combines a fully innovative scientific approach with the direct application of the results for protecting human health and the environment.


Main Features

  • Academic quality. The aim of the ECT+ programme is to develop critical understanding of technical and scientific tools together with excellent management abilities and personal skills.
  • Added value of the integrated study programme: The ECT+ EMJMD programme is the result of a structured cooperation between higher education institutions aimed to offer enhanced quality in higher education with a distinct European added value, attractive both within the EU and beyond its borders, and with a view to fostering excellence in environmental postgraduate teaching. The structure of the ECT+ EMJMD in modules and its flexibility gives the student the opportunity to develop an individually tailored curriculum.
  • Career profile. Environmental protection against pollution and associated risk management and policies require multidisciplinary team work and the integrated action of professionals with complementary expertise capable of understanding each other and promoting synergies.
  • Academic needs and opportunities. Our vision is that graduates will be the next generation of scientists and managers who need to understand the global environment under the framework of the One Health principle (environmental health = human health) and to solve environmental problems derived from chemical pollution and related environmental stress sources at regional scale.

Socio-economic Background

The European chemical industry generates over thousand billions of euros per year, and is the most important sector worldwide, with 1.14 million of direct employments and 3 additional millions of indirect employments. The chemical industry is a key contributor to the sustainable development of our society, ideally equipped to provide solutions and the technological backbone to exciting, high-tech developments that shape our lifestyle and our future. The European chemical industry’s vocation is to be a responsible industry, holding itself accountable to society and committed to addressing its concerns actively and transparently, ensuring that chemical products manufactured and developed in Europe, properly used, are as safe as possible, both from an environment and a health perspective. National governments and the EU have strict regulations on consumer and environmental protection, occupational health, chemical processes and transport and the management of chemical substances. As a result, the toxicosphere emerges as a realm where thousands of chemical pollutants interact with the living organisms and therefore regulations to protect the environment are required.

The European Environment and Health Strategy (EC, 2003)¡ and the UN Program advocate for the integration of health and ecosystem protection. Healthy ecosystems provide a variety of crucial services related to food supply, provision of raw materials and natural resources, habitat, climate regulation, erosion and flood protection, pollutants detoxification, pollination, etc., which can be seen as the “bridge” between nature conservation and human wellbeing. As many human activities disrupt, impair or reengineer ecosystems, society is becoming aware of the vital importance of nature conservation if we are to maintain and improve our quality of life, wellbeing and health (WHO’s “One Health” approach). In consequence, our society is currently demanding models of sustainable development that take into account the conservation of natural resources and the maintenance of vital ecosystem services and processes, which is reflected in new compulsory legislation pursuing ecosystem protection. The ecosystem health paradigm is aimed to provide the scientific basis required for covering the goals of the new environmental policies in Europe.


The programme runs full-time over 24 months (120 ECTS) and consists of advanced courses (90 ECTS) and a Master Thesis, with a dissertation (30 ECTS).

  • During Semester 1, students will follow different individually tailored combinations of courses integrated in one of the fundamental modules (1-5) in UBx, ULiège or UPPA.
  • During Semester 2, they will follow another individually tailored combination of courses integrated into the advanced specialised modules (6-10) in NTNU, UPO or EHU.
  • During Semester 3 the students must follow the compulsory INCyTA course (6 ECTS) as a part of the Module 10.
  • The MSc Thesis research is undertaken during Semester 4 (30 ECTS) and consists of a 5-6 month research under the supervision of a PhD holder.

Partner Universities

  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU, Norway)
  • University of Porto (UPO, Portugal)
  • University of Pau et des Pays de l’Adour (UPPA, France)
  • University of Bordeaux (UBx, France)
  • University of Liège (ULiège, Belgium)
  • University of the Basque Country (EHU, Spain)


  • Compulsory mobility is instrumental to the learning outcomes and to the success of the programme, as well as to facilitate the development of soft skills by the students.
  • Each student studies at least in three universities and visits additional locations during courses, summer research internships, professional practice placements and for the realisation of the MSc thesis research.
  • Scholars recruited from associated partners all over the world contribute to internationalization and excellence in the consortium.
  • Scheduled satellite activities, summer research internships and professional placement internships contribute to enhance the general and transversal skills.

Learning outcomes

ECT+ EMJMD has been designed as a Research Master, with students expected to continue on into a PhD programme. However, particular attention is paid to providing a sufficiently applied background, such that students can apply directly for employment, having completed the MSc. In view of the needs analysis and future career prospects (both academic and non-academic), the learning outcomes prepare students to undertake integrated, multidisciplinary research. ECT+EMJMD graduates will be able to integrate into multidisciplinary teams; contributing expertise in a given environmental discipline or at the overlap of distinct disciplines within the field. Students must be able to communicate with environmental scientists and technologists of diverse expertise, facilitate communication between co-workers (e.g. lawyers, civil engineers and ecotoxicologists) and promote synergies. They must be able to accomplish transverse research (from nm/µm scale to km phenomena/data; from sec/min scale to decades). The general learning outcomes are summarised below. Details on specific competences and skills, corresponding to the diverse components of the coursework and research, are given in the Module Description Book.

Competences. Having completed successfully the ECT+ EMJMD programme, the student will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a wide range of topics:

  • Fundamentals of pollution and its biological consequences with the viewpoint of core disciplines (e.g. Biogeochemistry, Environ. Analytical Chemistry, Toxicology, Ecotoxicology, Ecology, Risk Assessment).
  • Main processes of chemical pollution and its biological consequences at different temporal and spatial scales.
  • The terminology, nomenclature and classification systems used in environmental sciences.
  • Theory, practice, acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data, across a range of environmental applications.
  • The value and need for multi-disciplinary approaches in advancing knowledge.
  • Application of chemical and biological knowledge to contribute to sustainable environmental management
  • Wide selection of cutting-edge research topics, together with specialised techniques used to investigate them.

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

The Programme is open to holders of a first cycle higher education degree (Bachelor degree (min. 180 ECTS), or equivalent) from Programme Countries’ and Partner Countries’ universities, in the field of biosciences, chemical sciences, geosciences, physical sciences and engineering; as such, the relevance of the BSc degree (or equivalent) of the Applicant will be assessed. In cases of doubt regarding the quality of the issuing institution, external advisors will be consulted, in order to establish the status and quality of the institution concerned. In certain cases, the ECT Consortium JPB can verify the student qualifications using Internet search networks, or through the collaboration of Associated Partners.

Proof of proficiency in English is essential (e.g. at least a minimum of Cambridge First Level C is a requisite). Proficiency in French, Spanish and/or Basque is optional.

Specific individual requirements may be established for each Applicant, according to his/her qualifications and prior learning, selected courses and expected academic and professional prospects. These specific requirements will be defined individually, by a mentoring system provided to pre-registered Applicants.

Students will be selected based upon the quality of their degree, the level of the marks obtained in previous studies and the relevance of the competences and skill acquired during the BSc studies in relation to the ECT+ EMJMD programme.

The Letter of Statement (where the Applicant explains his/her background, why ECT+ EMJMD has been selected, and his/her prospects for the future) is a relevant criterion.

Relevance of work experience, motivation, and future career objectives, as well as any additional information provided in the mentor’s report, will also be taken into consideration in reaching a final decision.

Additionally, applicants will need to:

  1. Accept (it may be conditionally) the Revised Study Plan; this is proposed by the ECT Consortium JPB Chair upon revision of the documents, information and Proposed Study Plan provided by the applicant, only to identify the applicant’s academic profile.
  2. Accept the Student Agreement Draft (SAD); this is a non-signed on-line full draft version of the future Draft Agreement which upon acceptance by the applicants is considered as a proof that they know the rules, conditions, commitments, rights and duties, as well as the administrative, academic and economical main questions dealing with the ECT+ EMJMD programme they are willing to enrol if selected. The SAD is not a entailing document. The definitive legally binding Student Agreement will be signed by the selected students and the ECT Consortium JPB Chair in two originals at the time of enrolment or later, and can be revised by common agreement.
  3. Indicate on the application whether they are applying for a scholarship, the nationality (including a copy of the passport as a proof, which is relevant in the case of those applicant with double/multiple nationality; only one must be selected), the residence country (including an official certificated proof; see the PRADO website for details), and a declaration of being in compliance with call-specific regulations (e.g., the 12-months Rule).

Offers will be made only to those Applicants that satisfy the requirements for entry, as set out above, for whom the supplemental information is deemed satisfactory according to the ECT Consortium JPB. All members of the JPB have to agree to the admission of an Applicant, so that there is shared understanding and agreement on the calibre of applicants acceptable onto the Programme. If one member of the ECT Consortium JPB does not wish to admit an Applicant, that Applicant will not be admitted to the Programme.

The ECT Consortium JPB will decide whether any exceptional circumstances, or special considerations, should allow for deviation from one or more of the admission criteria set out above.


  • Programme countries are the EU countries, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Turkey. Partner country is any non-Erasmus+ Programme Country.
  • Participation costs are different for Programme and Partner Country Students whose citizenship is one of the Erasmus+ Partner Countries count as Partner Country students.
  • Contribution to subsistence costs cannot be provided to scholarship holders from a Partner Country for the EMJMD periods exceeding 3 months spent in any Partner Country.
  • A number of Erasmus+ Student Scholarships are specifically allocated for students from targeted regions of the world.

Therefore, only applicants who declare and demonstrate their nationality (accredited by their passport) are eligible for Erasmus+ Scholarships, according to the following considerations:

  • Students whose citizenship is one of the Erasmus+ Programme Countries count as Programme Country students.
  • Students with a Partner Country citizenship who do not fulfil the 12-months rule count as Programme Country students.
  • Students with a double nationality (of a Partner and of a Programme Country) must specify, and provide proof of, the nationality under which they submit their scholarship application.

12 Months Rule

  • Partner Country students who are not residents nor have carried out their main activity (studies, training or work) for more than a total of 12 months over the last five years in any Programme Country are considered as Partner Country students. The five-year reference period for this 12-months rule is calculated backwards as from the submission deadline (defined by the consortia) of applying for an EMJMD student scholarship.
  • The 12-months residency rule should not apply to the Partner Country candidates who for various reasons and under various circumstances have sought refuge and received a refugee status in a Programme Country.


The contribution to student travel and installation costs and the monthly subsistence allowance depend on the place of residence of a Erasmus+ scholarship holder:

  • A unit cost per academic year and a distance band of 4.000 km applies to any student resident in a Partner Country (including students with a Programme Country citizenship).
  • Students resident in a Programme Country (including students with a Partner Country citizenship) are covered by a fixed unit cost per academic year.
  • A contribution to installation costs is offered only to students resident in a Partner Country.
  • Contribution to subsistence costs cannot be given to scholarship holders for the EMJMD periods (study/research/placement/thesis preparation) spent in their country of residence.

Therefore, the place of residence must be certified by the applicants on the basis of the provision of the documents listed in the PRADO website. For example:

  • a residence certificate issued in accordance with the candidate’s municipality normal registration rules;
  • a certificate from the candidate’s place of work, study or training issued by the employer or institution in question.
  • IMPORTANT: Both documents must have been issued within 12 months before the submission deadline of applying for an EMJMD student scholarship (March 1st every intake).


Deadline: March 04, 2022

Cost/funding for participants:

Erasmus Mundus Student Scholarships (EMSS)

  • These scholarships are open to higher education Partner Country and Programme Country students from all over the world. They include obligatory study and research periods, in at least two universities, and recognised double, multiple or joint degree diplomas.
  • They cover tuition fees, participation costs (including insurance coverage), travel cost contribution, installation cost contribution, and monthly allowance.
  • EMSS are intended for full-time studies only.
  • Students can apply for an EMMS even if they have not yet completed the studies required by the ECT consortium for the joint programme. They must however have completed the relevant degree before the enrolment deadline in the joint ECT+ EMJMD programme.
  • Programme Country students are from the 27 EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway. Partner Country students are from any other country, provided they are not currently residents of these eligible countries (above), nor have carried out their main activity (studies, work, etc.) for more than a total of 12 months over the last five years in one of these countries.
  • Students/scholars benefitting from an EMSS can benefit from other non-EU funded support while performing his/her EM joint programme activities (e.g. student jobs or placement/internship allowances) if the national legislation of the host country permits it. The basic and only rule in this case is that a Community funding beneficiary can never benefit from other Community financial support for the same activities for which he/she has already received funding.
  • More details in ERASMUS MUNDUS web page

Erasmus Mundus Scholar Scholarships

  • Thanks to the support from the European Commission, the ECT Consortium is in a position to offer scholarships to visiting scholars from outside of Europe.
  • Every scholarship amounts to an average budget of  1 200 EUR per week, for a mobility of one week minimum (eq., 4+ working days including travel journeys).
  • It is expected that scholars interact in an active way with the ECT+ EMJMD students during their stay at the partner institutions.
  • For application information please contact the ECT secretariat (
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