FWO - Sabbatical Bench Fee


Funding organisation:

Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen


The FWO wishes to support sabbatical leaves, in which a researcher wants to focus solely on their research, via a bench fee that can be used for expenses directly related to research activities performed during that sabbatical leave. 
Expenses related to the replacement of the researcher are at the cost of the researcher's host institution.

A monthly maximum amount of 2,000 EUR to be used during the sabbatical leave for research expenses, including research stays at (inter)national organisations such as universities, research institutions, companies, NGOs, governmental organizations, … as long as it concerns (strategic) basic research and/or fieldwork abroad or in Belgium.

Consecutive period of minimally 3 – maximally 12 months, not extendable.

Submission deadlines: March 1st(5 pm), June 1st (5 pm), September 1st (5 pm) or December 1st (5 pm), always at least 3 months before the start of the sabbatical leave.


At the time of applying for a sabbatical bench fee, the researcher holds a ZAP position (salaried) of at least 80% at a university in the Flemish Community.

When applying, the researcher can present a declaration, signed by the rector (or equivalent) and the relevant head of department, in which the host institution officially approves the sabbatical and undertakes to relieve the researcher/applicant from their educational and administrative tasks for the entire period of the sabbatical to allow them to focus entirely on scientific research during their sabbatical leave.

The sabbatical bench fee:
  • is personal and cannot be transferred;
  • cannot be cumulated with a grant for participation in a conference, workshop/course, or short/long study visit abroad;
  • can per person and civil year only be allocated one time;
  • can be allocated for maximally 1 year per term of 3 years, to be counted from the start date of the first given sabbatical bench fee.
The applicant agrees with the Research Integrity Clause.


The applicant must submit their application for a sabbatical bench fee in English to the head of your host institution in due time.
The head of the host institution forwards this application in English to the FWO at least 3 months before the start of the sabbatical leave, taking the abovementioned fixed deadlines (see ‘Features?’ above) into account.

The application is evaluated by the International  Collaboration Committee (CIWC).

More information?

More information about the procedure and regulations, can be found on the FWO website.

Please contact research@uhasselt.be if you want to apply.

Contact Hasselt University?

E-mail ilse.das@uhasselt.be

Tel. +3211268098

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