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Research funding


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The Strategic Basic Research (SBO) programme focuses on innovative research which, if scientifically successful, will create prospects for economic or social applications (e.g. a new generation of products, processes or services). SBO is thus aimed not at pure knowledge dissemination, but at the acquisition of new knowledge in dialogue between the research centres that carry out the research and the companies and social stakeholders that will subsequently translate the results into concrete applications. Out of this dialogue valorisation projects can be initiated. The SBO programme breaks down into two finality parts: an economic programme part for projects with primarily an economic finality and a social programme part for projects with primarily a social finality.

In principle, an SBO project has a duration of four years. The project budget is initially set to maximum €500,000 per year. However, if the project is carried out by a consortium, the project budget may be increased to a maximum of €500,000 per year multiplied by the number of legal entities acting as a project applicant, provided the project sub-budget of these project applicants amounts to at least 15% of the total project budget.

An SBO project proposal is submitted by at least one Flemish research centre. Two or more research centres together may also form a consortium. In this case, one of the Flemish research centres is appointed as the project coordinator. Companies can not act as an applicant in SBO applications. Companies can be involved in SBO projects by inviting them to become a member of the advisory committee or through cooperation with the SBO research consortium where companies, in parallel to the SBO project execution, undertake certain R&D activities that are related to the SBO project.


27 April 2018 (17h)

As supervisor of the project, you prepare your proposal via the FWO e-portal and transfer your proposal in preparation to your host institution (=main applicant of the proposal ) through the FWO e-portal by April 27, 2018 at 5 PM

This preliminary application should contain at least the following information:

  1. full composition of the project consortium,
  2. summary of scientific & valorization goals,
  3. choice of the research topic and thematic SBO-expert panel and
  4. experts to be avoided (max. 5).
14 May 2018 (17h)

Deadline final application of ‘host institution of the supervisor’ (=main applicant)

Attention: The submission of the final project proposal is carried out by the Research Coordination Office. The Research Coordination Office needs enough time to control all applications, therefore there is an internal deadline. The deadline of 14 May is only for applications of which Hasselt University is the main applicant. 

18 May 2018 (17h)

Deadline submission final project proposal by the main applicant


More information?
Contact Hasselt University: Annelies Stockmans
Contact FWO: sbo@fwo.be
Or on the website of the FWO

Extra support?

On the 1st of February 2018 the research coordination office held an information session on the new SBO call. Slides of the session can be found here. From this call onwards, the application form in the FWO e-portal contains 5 questions concerning data management that need to be addressed. General guidelines for answering these questions can be found on our webpages on responsible research.


An important change, compared to previous calls, is that FWO has made data management a key element of its policy. Data management covers procedures on the description of research data and metadata, their storage and long-term preservation, the discoverability, the designation of responsible persons, the handling of highly sensitive data, and the open access to and sharing of research data. From these calls onwards, the application form in the FWO e-portal contains 5 questions concerning data management that need to be addressed. Furthermore, if a proposal receives funding, a data management plan will be requested. 
To introduce our researchers to data management and to prepare them for drawing up a data management plan, the Research Coordination Office organizes an extra session on Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) and Data Management Plan (DMP), directly after the FWO information session.

The Research Coordination office:

  • Helps with process-related questions (e.g. questions about the application template, submission procedure etc.).
  • Acts as an intermediary between the researchers and FWO
  • Acts as an intermediary when internal (TTO, PER, FIN) or external (ICL, etc.) consultation is necessary
  • Helps with preparing the project budget 
  • Checks the final project budget 
  • Helps with administrative formalities relating to Hasselt University 
  • Coordinates the signing process of the declaration of intent by the rector