FWO-programmes

FWO-programmes

The Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO) is the best-known Flemish funding body for basic research. The FWO has various programmes available to fund promising researchers, research projects, international mobility and partnerships. All scientific disciplines are eligible (unless stated otherwise). The allocation of funds in each case is based on an inter-university competition.

PhD Fellowships Fundamental Research & Strategic Basic Research

A PhD Fellowship allows young researchers to prepare a PhD. There are two types of fellowships: fellowships fundamental research and fellowships strategic basic research.

Fundamental research in the context of a PhD fellowship stands for challenging and innovative research (at PhD level).

Strategic basic research in the context of a PhD grant stands for challenging and innovative research (at PhD level), which, if successful, may in the longer term lead to innovative applications (products, processes, services) with economic added value for specific companies, for a collective of companies, or a sector, or in line with the Flanders 2025 transition areas (socioeconomic benefits)

The eligibility criteria and the application procedure are the same for both types of fellowships.

What?

With this fellowship, young graduates (masters) can prepare a PhD at a Flemish university. The fellowship has a term of two years, renewable once by two years. A monthly scholarship and an annual fixed banch fee are provided.

Who?
In order to qualify for a fellowship, you need to have the following profile:

  • At the start of the fellowship, candidates must be holder of a diploma at least equivalent to a master's degree following a bachelor's degree and awarded by the competent institutions in one of the countries of the European Economic Area or Switzerland.
  • The master degree or equivalent diploma must have been obtained not earlier than 3 years before the closing date of the call.
  • On 1 March 2021 (application submission deadline) you have 18 months scientific seniority at most.
  • You have not previously received an FWO PhD fellowship (not even in part).

Please note that you can apply maximum two times for a FWO PhD fellowship.

Deadline?
The deadline for submission is 1 March (5 PM). If this date falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the closing date is moved to the following Monday at 5 PM.

More information?
Contact Hasselt University: research@uhasselt.be
Or on the website of the FWO:

Extra support?
The Directorate Research, Library and Internationalisation offers a support program for applicants who will apply with a UHasselt promoter. You can register for this support program via research@uhasselt.be.

Postdoctoral Fellowship

The postdoctoral fellowships of the FWO support researchers in building an independent, international research career.

Meer informatie?
Contact Hasselt University: research@uhasselt.be
FWO Website

Extra support?
The Directorate Research, Library and Internationalisation offers a support program for applicants who will apply with a UHasselt promoter. You can register for this support program via research@uhasselt.be.

Junior and Senior Research Projects

Research projects are initiated by the researchers. Two types can be awarded: junior and senior research projects. The objective of the FWO's Research projects is to advance fundamental scientific research. This happens on initiative of the researcher in all scientific disciplines.

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

EOS

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

Applied Biomedical Research with a Primary Social Finality (TBM)

What?
The TBM programme targets a particular niche within biomedical research: advanced (“late stage”) application-driven biomedical research with a marked societal applicability, yet with only limited potential for industrial applicability.

A TBM project needs to satisfy each of the following conditions:

  • It is aimed at the development of a new therapy, diagnosis and/or specific prevention of a particular human disease or a comparison of existing procedures in order to find out their relative efficacy and cost-effectiveness.
  • It is directed at research that is positioned late in the path from discovery to a specific application (i.e. there is a clinically relevant proof-of-concept) and aims at translating and developing scientific findings into clinical applications rather than creating new knowledge from scratch. On the other hand, it is not positioned too late in the path from discovery to application: it does not consist of implementation activities that no longer require any research.
  • It offers a clear applicability with an added value for the Flemish health situation, including at least a positive medical impact for a particular group of patients or a cost reduction for the Flemish healthcare system.
  • At the time of submitting the application (or in the near future), the industry is not interested in your project for commercial reasons.

A TBM project will last a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 4 years. The project budget must range between €250,000 and €1,000,000 (for large or multicentric trials, exceptionally budgets up to € 1,500,000 euro are allowed).

Who?
Any Flemish research centre can submit a TBM project. A consortium of applicants (with one main applicant and one or more co-applicants) or a single (main) applicant can submit an application. Given the clinical focus of the programme, however, at least one Flemish hospital must be included in the consortium. In addition, the aggregated share of Flemish hospitals in the consortium must amount to at least 10% of the total project costs. Non-Flemish research centres can also be included in the consortium as co-applicants. A condition is, however, that the total budget for non-Flemish research centres does not exceed 20% of the total budget. Companies can not act as applicants. Companies are only allowed to act in the capacity of subcontractor. The cumulated contribution of subcontractors must, however, remain below 30% of the total budget. 

Deadline?
There is one deadline each year (March).

More information?
Contact Hasselt University: research@uhasselt.be
Contact FWO: tbm@fwo.be
FWO website

Extra support?
The Directorate Research, Library and Internationalisation:

  • 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

Strategic Basic Research (SBO) projects

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.

More information?
Contact UHasselt: research@uhasselt.be
Contact FWO: sbo@fwo.be
FWO website

Extra support?
Potential applicants may request an exploratory discussion with the FWO staff. Please send an e-mail to sbo@fwo.be including a short abstract (max. 1 A4 page). The applicants should also provide a number of possible dates when this exploratory interview could take place. The information that is provided during this meeting should be interpreted as non-binding advice and no rights can be derived from this information.

The Directorate Research, Library and Internationalisation:

  • 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
  • Submits the final proposal

Odysseus Programme

What?

The Odysseus programme provides outstanding researchers who have built up a career outside Belgium, a start-up funding in order to develop or to set up a research line during a five-year period a research group within a Flemish university, potentially in collaboration with (an)other Flemish research organisation(s), and become progressively more involved in the Flemish research landscape.

What makes this programme unique is the combination of a position at a Flemish university and sufficient project funding to establish their own research team. This symbiosis forms the ideal starting point to attract high level, international research to Flanders.

2 types of project funding based on the profile of the researcher:

  • Odysseus Type I
    • for researchers who are internationally recognized as pioneers in their field;
    • research funding: from 400,000 euro to 1,000,000 euro per year (2,000,000 euro to 5,000,000 euro for the 5-year period).
  • Odysseus Type II
    • for postdoctoral researchers who have the potential to develop a leading international position;
    • research funding: from 100,000 euro to 200,000 euro per year (500,000 euro to 1,000,000 euro for the 5-year period).

Who?
Only Flemish universities can nominate candidates with the FWO.

Conditions to be an eligible candidate:

  • you shall have a main appointment of minimum 80% at a foreign institution on the date of the FWO deadline.
  • you shall have been affiliated with a foreign institution, with an appointment of minimum 80%, for at least three years in the past five years preceding the FWO submission deadline. During this period abroad, you shall have had an appointment of maximum 10% in Belgium.
  • you are only allowed to submit one application per Odysseus call.

Procedure when the call is open

STEP 1: Nomination by university (internal selection) 
External candidates can contact the Directorate Research, Library and Internationalisation for more information on the application process. Please find here our brochure for external applicants (pdf, 250 KB) and the pre-application form that needs to be submitted.

STEP 2: Online submission to FWO (via web link provided by Directorate Research, Library and Internationalisation)
Final submission will be done by host institution itself.

More information?
Contact Hasselt University: Ellen Van Cutsem
FWO Website

Grant for a Short Stay Abroad

With this programme, the FWO aims to support young and advanced researchers in gaining research experience abroad for a short period of time.

What?
The FWO Grant for a short stay abroad covers travel expenses. For research stays with a duration of more than 7 days, the applicant also receives a fixed stipend of 66 euros per day. The grant is meant for a short stay of up to four weeks.

Who?
Candidates are affiliated to one of the following institutes and have an appointment of at least 50% for a period of at least one year preceding the start of the stay abroad.

  • a university in Flanders
  • a university hospital in Flanders
  • a federal or Flemish scientific institute
  • a hospital with an academic character recognized as research center in the Flemish Community.

As a PhD student, you have obtained a master degree in one of the member states of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
To be eligible, you also have at least 1 peer-reviewed publication, included in Web of Science or VABB-SHW.
Candidates with a FWO fellowship cannot apply for a grant for a short stay within Europe (they have a bench fee to cover this).

Application
Applications are written in English and must be accompanied of the invitation of the host institution abroad.
If you're not a member of the Independent Scientific Staff (Zelfstandig Academisch Personeel, ZAP), your application must contain the advice of the head of department/supervisor. 

Deadline?
Applications need to be submitted at least three months prior to departure.

More information?
Hasselt University contact person: Ilse Das
FWO Website

Grant for a Long Stay Abroad

With this grant, the FWO supports researchers who wish to stay abroad for a long period of time in view of their research.

What?
The FWO Grants for a Long Stay Abroad cover one-off travel expenses and a fixed stipend of 66 euros a day. Researchers can use this grant to finance their stay abroad of more than 1 month, with a maximum of 12 months, without interruption.

Who?
Candidates have an appointment of at least 50% at one of the following institutions:

  • a Flemish university
  • a Flemish university hospital
  • a federal or Flemish scientific institute
  • a hospital with an academic character recognized as research center in the Flemish Community.

As a PhD student, you have obtained a master degree in one of the member states of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
To be eligible, you also have at least 1 peer-reviewed publication, included in Web of Science or VABB-SHW.

Application
Applications are written in English and must be accompanied of the invitation of the host institution abroad.
If you're not a member of the independent scientific staff (Zelfstandig Academisch Personeel, ZAP), your application must contain the advice of the head of department/supervisor.

Deadline?
Applications need to be submitted at least three months prior to departure.

More information?
Hasselt University contact person: Ilse Das
FWO Website

Grant for Participation in an International Conference

With its Grants for participation in an international conference, the FWO stimulates researchers’ mobility and international contacts between research groups.

What?
The grant can be used for attending conferences with a scientific character and only covers travel expenses.

Who?
Candidates are affiliated to one of the following institutes and have an appointment of at least 50% for a period of at least one year preceding the start of the grant.

  • a university in Flanders
  • a university hospital in Flanders
  • a federal or Flemish scientific institute
  • a hospital with an academic character recognized as research center in the Flemish Community.

As a PhD student, you have obtained a master degree in one of the member states of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
To be eligible for a grant for participation in a conference in one of the member states of the EEA or Switzerland, you must have at least one peer-reviewed publication (included in Web of Science or the VABB-SHW). For a grant for participation in a conference outside Europe, you should have three or more peer-reviewed publications.
Candidates with a FWO fellowship cannot apply for a grant for a short stay within Europe (they have a bench fee to cover this).

Application
Applications are written in English and you attach the official proof of acceptance of your presentation (poster or oral communication). If this official acceptance is not yet available 3 months before the departure date, you can provide FWO with the documents afterwards.
If you're not a member of the Independent Scientific Staff (Zelfstandig Academisch Personeel, ZAP), your application must contain the advice of the head of department/supervisor.

Deadline?
Applications need to be submitted at least three months prior to departure date.

More information?
Hasselt University contact person: Ilse Das
FWO Website.

Grant for Participation in an International Workshop or Course

In order to provide young researchers with a chance to specialise and to offer senior researchers the opportunity to deepen or pass on their scientific experience, the FWO provides Grants for attendance of a workshop or course abroad.

What?
These grants are meant for young researchers and senior researchers and covers travel expenses. For participation in a workshop or course abroad lasting more than seven days, the grant includes a fixed stipend of 66 euros a day.

Who?

Candidates are affiliated to one of the following institutes and have an appointment of at least 50% for a period of at least one year preceding the start of the grant.

  • a university in Flanders
  • a university hospital in Flanders
  • a federal or Flemish scientific institute
  • a hospital with an academic character recognized as research center in the Flemish Community.

As a PhD student, you have obtained a master degree in one of the member states of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
To be eligible, you also have at least 1 peer-reviewed publication, included in Web of Science or VABB-SHW.
Candidates with a FWO fellowship cannot apply for a grant for a workshop or course within Europe (they have a bench fee to cover this).

Application
Applications are written in English and must be accompanied of the acceptance letter for the workshop/course.
If you're not a member of the Independent Scientific Staff (Zelfstandig Academisch Personeel, ZAP), your application must contain the advice of the head of department/supervisor.

Deadline?
Applications need to be submitted at least three months prior to departure.

More information?
Hasselt University contact person: Ilse Das
FWO Website.

Grant for a scientific stay in Flanders

With this new channel, FWO extends her portfolio with a grant for individual incoming mobility, where foreign researchers, connected to a non-Belgian institution, can apply for a grant for a scientific stay in Flanders.

More information?
Contactperson UHasselt: Ilse Das
Website FWO

Sabbatical Leave

More information?
Contact Hasselt University: Ilse Das
Website FWO

Medium-Scale Research Infrastructure

More information?
Contact Hasselt University: Ilse Das
FWO Website

Large-scale research infrastructure

More information?
Contact Hasselt University: Ilse Das
FWO Website