CALL - SB project proposal preparation

Call launch

The call for doctoral (PhD) grants strategic basic research (SB) is launched once a year, around June 15th. The deadline for submission is 15 September, 17:00. If this date falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the closing date is moved to the following Monday at 17:00.

After launching the call, the Flemish universities, together with the FWO, will organize information sessions on the modalities of the call. The most recent presentation is available here.

Project proposal preparation

Before you can submit an application, you will need to find a supervisor at a Flemish university who is prepared to supervise your doctoral research. You should also check whether your degree and experience enable you to be admitted to the selection procedure: the admission criteria are set out in the Regulations for doctoral (PhD) grants strategic basic research, Art. 2 through Art. 7.

A project (application) is always submitted in digital form, via the online application module (in English) for SB grants, available on the FWO e-portal. You must also use the e-portal to enter or update your personal information. Some of these data and documents (degree, experience, etc.) are important for assessing the eligibility of your grant application. Your application file to be evaluated will therefore consist of the personal information and the actual grant application.

New to the e-portal? Be sure to register on time (at least two days before the submission deadline)!

Candidates with a non-Belgian master's degree: have a certificate filled out in time by the faculty where you want to do your PhD. The certificate can be downloaded from the e-portal, and pertains to the diploma and the degrees obtained.

NEW: the application form offers a pick list of 32 research themes. Each research theme covers a number of specific topics within a given sciientific domain. (<LINK> /en/fellowships-funding/phd-fellowships/doctoral-(phd)-grant-strategic-basic-research-(sb)/sb-2017-list-of-research-themes-of-which-candidates-should-choose-one/ ). Don’t forget also to motivate your choice! Your choice for a specific research theme is a determining factor for assigning your application to an SB expert panel. For each of the 32 research themes, one or more expert panels will be formed in function of the number of candidates who chose a specific theme.

These panels are composed along the 32 research themes. Depending on the number of candidates choosing a specific research theme, more rhan one panel mey be formed along that theme. In case of only a few applications, a research theme may be merged with another one to form a panel.

Need help?

  • Practical tips and step-by-step guidance on the submission of your application can be found in Guide for applicants.
  • An example of the application form (screen shots) and the project outline template can be found here.
  • For further information and specific questions you can contact
  • In case of technical problems with the e-portal and the application module, you can contact the IT helpdesk at, and from August 16 also by phone at 0800 23326 (on working days from 09:00 to 17:00)