As a PhD scholarship student, you will have four years to dedicate to the preparation of your doctoral thesis. You are minimally engaged in executing other tasks, such as teaching assignments or providing services. Given the fact that you are not joining an existing research project, but draft your own application text, you will be given the opportunity to independently, albeit in consultation with your promoter, outline your research path.
You do not apply for a vacancy, but independently file your PhD proposal with a financing institution (BOF, FWO, IWT). You are therefore in direct competition with all other applicants. Depending on the quality of your study results and/or your application text, you may or may not be selected for financing. Depending on the financing path which appeals to you, more weight is attached to excellent study results, or your capacity to orally defend your research proposal in front of a jury.
More specific information with regards to deadlines and conditions can be found on the page scholarships and mandates.