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Research funding


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FED-tWIN is a new federal research programme to promote sustainable cooperation between ten Federal Scientific Institutions (FWIs)* and Belgian universities through the funding of joint research profiles.

The federal research policy office BELSPO coordinates this new federal programme, in which long-term research profiles (postdoc and ZAP) are funded. These research profiles are always a collaboration between a FWI* and an university. The research profiles are executed by the researchers with a PhD. The researchers will be employed half-time at the university and half-time at the FWI.

BELSPO will launch five waves, spread over 7 years (2017-2023). In each wave 25 profiles will be created, which makes 125 research profiles in total (2017-2023). The programme has an open end, which means that new waves can be created by KB as of 2024.

Below you will find an overview of the basic elements for these new FED-tWIN research profiles.




Jointly defined by the FWI and the university (10 FWIs).  To promote the flow of young talent to the FWIs (PhD degree, maximum 12 years at the date of application).


Half-time at the FWI, half-time at the university


The procedure is a three step process. Below you'll find the steps chronologically:

o   STEP 1: Definition scientific profiles by the FWI.

o   STEP 2: This information is provided to all Belgian universities, which can show their interest in one or more profiles.

o   STEP 3: Final definition of the profile by the FWI and the particular university.

-  Peer review of all submitted profiles by international experts: rating and ranking.

-  Publication of the selected profiles: vacancies for postdoctoral staff will be opened hereafter.

Amount of profiles

125 profiles, spread over 7 years (2017-2023).  25 profiles are created in each wave (every year).


Fixed amount of 125.000 euro each year the first five years (personnel cost, maximum of 10% overhead, any remaining budget may be used for research activities)

 o   Year 1-5: fully subsidized by the federal government (125.000 euro/year)

o   Year 6-10: 50% subsidized by the federal government (62.500 euro/year). Other funding borne by the FWI (25%) and the university (25%)

o   As of year 11: funding fully borne by the FWI and the university.

More information  

Koninklijk Besluit

Press release of Elke Sleurs, former federal Secretary of State for Science Policy

Contact person at Hasselt University

Nele Nivelle

* Ten federal scientific institutions (FWI, Federale Wetenschappelijke Instellingen): de Musea voor Schone Kunsten, de Musea voor Kunst en Geschiedenis, het Instituut voor het Kunstpatrimonium, het Instituut voor Natuurwetenschappen, het Museum voor Midden-Afrika in Tervuren, de Koninklijke Bibliotheek, het Algemeen Rijksarchief, de Sterrenwacht, het KMI en het Instituut voor Ruimte-aëronomie