Federal research policy BELSPO

Federal research policy BELSPO

The federal research policy BELSPO guarantees the coordination of the federal science policy and offers various individual research scholarships on an annual basis. In addition, it funds multidisciplinary research cooperation which crosses community and regional boundaries.

More information?
Contact UHasselt: research@uhasselt.be
Website BELSPO

BELSPO programmes




FED-tWIN is a new federal research programme to promote sustainable cooperation between ten Federal Scientific Institutions (FSIs)* 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 FSI* 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 FSI.

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 as of 2024.

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



is defined together by the FSI and university (10 FSIs* under the responsibility of the minister of Science Policy and all Belgian universities). The goal is to create a flow from young talent to the FWIs (PhD should be obtained max. 12 years at the date of submission).


50% a the FSI, 50% at the university


The procedure for the research profiles follows three steps:

1: Defining the scientific profiles by the FSI

2: This information is passed on to all Belgian universities, so they can show their interest in one or more of these profiles.

3: Final defining of the profile by the FSI and the university. All submitted profiles are peer-reviewed. For the selected profiles, vacancies are openend.

Amount of profiles

125, spread over 7 years. Per wave, 25 profiles are created.


Year 1-5: fully subsidised by the Federal government (€125.000 per year)
Year 6-10: 50% subsidy by the Federal government (€62.500 per year). Remaining funding paid by FSI and university (25% each)
Starting year 11: funding entirely paid by FSI and university

More information

Contact UHasselt: Ellen van Cutsem
BELSPO website

BRAIN Programme

BRAIN-be 2.0 (Belgian Research Action through Interdisciplinary Networks) is a recurring research programme overseen by the Federal Science Policy Office which runs throughout the 2018 - 2023 period.

The programme is built around three pillars:

  • Pillar 1: Challenges and knowledge of the living and non-living world
  • Pillar 2: Heritage science
  • Pillar 3: Federal societal challenges


The BRAIN-be programme funds two types of research projects:

  • National thematic interdisciplinary projects
  • Transnational thematic interdisciplinary projects
  • Non-thematic bottom-up projects
  • Non-thematic PhD projects

For whom?

The BRAIN-be programme is open to the entire scientific community in Belgium: universities, university colleges, public scientific institutions and research centres.

More information?
Contact Hasselt University: research@uhasselt.be
BELSPO Website