Regulations for INCOMING [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships

General Regulations

The general regulations and the regulations for the bench fee of FWO fellows are applicable.

Detailed information, full regulations and forms are available online.
Any additional information can be obtained from the secretariat of the Research Foundation – Flanders, Egmontstraat 5, 1000 BRUSSELS, tel +32 (0)2 512 91 10.

Scope

Art. 1.

§1 These regulations apply to INCOMING [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships of the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) with co-funding from the EU Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND programme (GA 665501).

§2 INCOMING [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships are regular postdoctoral fellowships of three years, intended for:

  • foreign postdoctoral researchers who wish to carry out their research in the Flemish Community, and for which the fellow receives a grant;
  • postdoctoral researchers of Belgian nationality who are currently conducting research abroad and wish to continue their research in the Flemish Community, involving the conclusion of an employment contract between the FWO and the fellow.

Applications and seniority

Art. 2.

§1 Candidates must hold a PhD or a degree recognised as equivalent by law in accordance with the provisions of the Flemish Higher Education Code of 11 October 2013 (Art. II 255 – 258). The PhD or equivalent degree may have been obtained in any scientific area.

§2 For call with deadline 1 February 2016, the PhD must have been obtained no later than 1 June 2016. For call with deadline 1 May 2016, the PhD must have been obtained no later than 1 November 2016.

§3 Researchers can apply for a postdoctoral fellowship in the first 3 years after obtaining their PhD (date of PhD degree), calculated from June 1 (for call with deadline 1 February 2016) or November 1 (for call with deadline 1 May 2016) of the year of applying. This time limit is extended by one year per period of at least 3 months of maternity leave or per continuous period of at least 3 months full-time parental leave or military and/or civilian service between the date of the PhD degree and the application.

If the candidate has more than one PhD degree, this rule applies only to the degree obtained in the same area of study as the proposal for postdoctoral research. Regardless the field of study or discipline, the first PhD may in no case have been obtained more than 10 years ago as of the effective date of June 1 for call with deadline 1 February 2016 and November 1 for call with deadline 1 May 2016.

§4 The FWO Executive Committee may exceptionally deviate from the limit specified in §3 in cases where, for social and medical reasons, there has been either an interruption in the preliminary stage, or a reduced capacity to work.

Art. 3.

§1 Candidates must submit their applications in English through the FWO e-portal and must, throughout the three-year fellowship period, be affiliated to a university in the Flemish Community (including the academic programmes of the corresponding association or at the Evangelical Theological Faculty in Leuven or the Faculty for Protestant Theology in Brussels), possibly in collaboration with a Flemish or federal scientific institution where they conduct their research. If the research is conducted in collaboration with a Flemish or federal scientific institution, it shall be carried out under the supervision and responsibility of a Flemish university.

§2 The research may be conducted in collaboration with the non-academic sector in the Flemish Community, provided the following requirements are met:

  • The project, including the portion conducted in the non-academic sector, covers fundamental research.
  • The head supervisor is an Independent Academic Staff member of the Flemish host institution.
  • The intellectual property of the results is governed by an agreement concluded between the non-academic and Flemish host institution prior to the start of the research.

Art. 4.

§1 INCOMING [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships are open to all nationalities.

§2 Candidates can only apply for an INCOMING [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship if they stayed in Belgium or performed their principal activity (work or studies) there for no longer than 12 months during the last three years preceding the start of the fellowship. National service and/or short stays such as holidays will not be taken into consideration. Appointments at international European (interest) organisations such as the European Commission, WHO, UN, etc. will not be taken into consideration either. In such a case, candidates shall have stayed at the Flemish host institution for no longer than 12 months during the last three years preceding the start of the fellowship.

Art. 5.

§1 Persons cannot apply for a [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship of which they have previously, even if only partially, been the beneficiary. It is also not possible to apply for a [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship and a regular FWO postdoctoral fellowship in the same calendar year. Moreover, only one application for a [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship can be submitted per calendar year.  

§2 [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships are considered initial regular postdoctoral fellowships for this purpose. Beneficiaries of a [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship can no longer apply for an initial regular postdoctoral fellowship with the FWO. Conversely, beneficiaries of an initial regular postdoctoral fellowship can no longer apply for a [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship. [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellows are, however, eligible to apply for renewal of a postdoctoral fellowship.

§3 Candidates can apply no more than twice for the same type of fellowship. Here, too, the equivalences set out in §2 of this article shall apply.

Art. 6.

§1 Applications are evaluated and selected in three steps.

§2 In a first step at least 2 external referees active in the same discipline as the candidate, are asked for advice. For the specific regulations and admissibility requirements relating to these external referees, reference will be made to the ‘Regulations for internal and external peer review’.

§3 In a second step the applications and the advice of the external referees are submitted to the relevant expert panel. The choice of panel is made by the candidate and must be justified, taking into account the specific scope of the relevant panel. The expert panel evaluates the INCOMING [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie applications in accordance with the procedure for regular postdoctoral fellowships, but taking into account the specific selection criteria of the INCOMING [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie programme, and then establishes a ranking of the applications.

§4 In the third and final step the domain-specific expert panels report to the Panel for International Collaboration (CIS), which establishes the overall ranking of all candidates from all expert panels, for the INCOMING [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships. This ranking should, however, not contradict the individual rankings established by the domain-specific expert panels. The Panel for International Collaboration then reports to the Board of Trustees, which endorses the appointment of the INCOMING [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellows.

Appointment

Art. 7.

Holders of an INCOMING [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship are offered either a grant for a period of 3 years, if they meet the relevant legal requirements, are subject to social security taxes by virtue of Art. 15, paragraph 2 of the Royal Decree of 28 November 1969 and exempt from personal income tax under the Income Tax Code 1992, or an employment contract with the FWO for a period of 3 years in those cases where the fellow is of Belgian nationality. The grant is equivalent to the net monthly salary of a PhD Assistant at a Flemish university.

Art. 8.

Whether or not fellows are required to undergo a medical examination at the occupational health service of the institution where they carry out their research, depends on the specific regulations of their host institution. If a medical examination is required according to the regulations of their host institution, their appointment will not be effective unless a favourable medical report is obtained.

Art. 9.

§1 With the exception of the provisions of Article 12, holders of this fellowship must not belong to the Academic Assistant Staff or Independent Academic Staff of Flemish universities or assimilated institutions, or to equivalent staff categories at foreign universities and scientific institutions.

§2 In case of disagreement about the equivalence of foreign appointments, as set out in the preceding paragraph, the Executive Committee shall make the decision, which may be appealed to the Board of Trustees.

Rights and obligations of holders of a Postdoctoral PhD fellowship

Art. 10.

§1 [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellows are administratively and legally dependent on the FWO Board of Trustees, represented by its Chair and its Secretary General. In disciplinary matters, they are subject to the academic authority of the university. In addition, they undertake to comply with the FWO regulations and those of the academic authorities of the relevant Flemish university (host institution).

§2 All INCOMING [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellows are entitled to personalised career counselling and guidance by the personnel department and/or other department of their Flemish host institution.

§3 All INCOMING [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellows are entitled to take part in training activities aimed at optimising non-research related skills, organised by the personnel department and/or other department of their Flemish host institution, provided they meet the proposed requirements for such training activities.

Art. 11.

Holders of a [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship may modify their research project for duly justified reasons, subject to advice of the head of their research department and after approval by FWO. They cannot change host institutions. Host institutions may mutually agree on collaboration and place of employment.

Art. 12.

The Flemish host institution may entrust the holders of a [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship with duties whose total workload shall not exceed 8 hours per week. This provision shall not apply in cases of prolonged sickness, pregnancy and breastfeeding leave, stays abroad, full-time paternal leave, and palliative leave. Such duties may include:

  • administrative or clinical tasks;
  • supervision of exercises, practica, or seminars, the workload of which counts double (1 hour exercises, practica or seminars equals a 2 hour workload);
  • non-remunerated teaching duties at a university or a university college (academic programmes) that do not exceed the limit of two year-hours during the first fellowship and the limit of three year-hours during the second and third fellowships. Activities at a university college or another university are subject to prior permission of the rector of the university acting as host institution.
  • limited activities within the non-academic host institution where the fellow conducts research under the approved project.

For a part-time fellow, the maximum of 8 hours per week is reduced in proportion to the part-time fellowship.

Art. 13.

§1 The fellowship may not be accumulated with any other remunerated activity, save for the exceptions provided for in the following paragraphs of this article.

§2 For Doctors of Law enjoying an INCOMING [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship, the principle of non-accumulation as stipulated in §1 implies that they must not have been registered with the Bar. None of the exceptions mentioned below shall entail a derogation from this provision.

§3 Holders of an INCOMING [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship may be granted full or partial accumulation with grants for study stays abroad. Holders of a travel grant from the FWO, the Flemish Community, the Federal Government or as part of Cultural Agreements, may accumulate such grant with their fellowship. They are requested to notify FWO thereof.

§4 The FWO may grant permission to holders of a [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship to exercise a secondary activity within the restrictions set forth in the Decree on the universities in the Flemish Community and those which the university acting as host institution imposes on its own staff. This implies, among other things, that a secondary activity may be granted that can be accumulated up to 20% of the time. Moreover, the holder must submit a statement that he or she is engaged full time in the research task associated with the [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship.

Art. 14.

§1 Holders of a [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship must submit a report on their scientific activities to the FWO at the end of each fellowship year. A copy of this report must be sent to the head of the institution to which they are affiliated. In addition, each fellowship year the fellow must submit to the FWO a financial report on the use of the mobility allowance.

§2 Holders of a [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship undertake to fill out and timely submit the evaluation questionnaire of the European Commission, as well as the follow-up questionnaire two years after expiry of their fellowship.

Art. 15.

All publications, reprints and contributions in other communication media of holders of a [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship must mention their title of ‘FWO [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow’. Each dissemination of results must include the FWO, the EU logo and the following text:

Protection of results (including patent applications): ‘The project leading to this application has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 665501 with the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO)’.

Results incorporated in a European or international standard: ‘Results incorporated in this standard have received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 665501 with the research Foundation Flanders (FWO)’.

Dissemination of results: ‘This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 665501 with the research Foundation Flanders (FWO)’.

Art. 16.

Holders of a [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship who wish to spend a study stay abroad must ask for permission from FWO. Such permission can only be granted if the holder of a [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship can continue to be subject to the Belgian social security system during his/her stay abroad. Therefore, the [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow must have been registered under the Belgian social security system for at least 30 calendar days prior to his/her departure. In exceptional cases, based on a justified request, the Secretary General may decide to exempt the fellow from the requirement of continuing to be subject to the Belgian social security system.

Art. 17.

Holders of a [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship have to notify FWO as soon as possible of any temporary work interruption, regardless of the cause.

Art. 18.

Holders of a [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship have to register as compulsorily insured persons with the health insurance fund of their choice. In case of illness, the holder has to send a medical certificate stating the period of incapacity to FWO within 48 hours; a copy has to be sent, via his/her departmental head, to the relevant department of the university to which the fellowship holder is attached.

Art. 19.

In case of an occupational accident, the FWO Personnel Department has to be notified by telephone within 24 hours in order to avoid penal consequences. The official statement together with a medical certificate has to be sent to FWO as soon as possible. The occupational medical service of the institution and the departmental head will have to be notified as well.

Art. 20.

Holders of a [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship are required to notify FWO forthwith in writing of any change in their situation (marital status, birth, change of address, etc.).

Suspension

Art. 21.

The fellowship may be suspended in cases of civil service, prolonged sickness leave, pregnancy and breastfeeding leave, parental leave, palliative leave and leave for medical assistance. In these cases the fellowship will be extended by the period during which no payments were received. Extensions of less than two weeks are not taken into consideration.

For an application for a subsequent fellowship to be submitted competitively to the FWO and to allow the fellowship to be continued without interruption, a first fellowship will be extended until the end of the academic year, if during the first fellowship full-time suspensions of consecutive periods of 3 months occurred, during which the fellowship was not paid because of prolonged sickness leave, pregnancy and breastfeeding leave, military and/or civilian service, parental leave, and palliative leave. Such an administrative extension will be granted only once. Any suspensions during such automatic extension of the fellowship will not give rise to any further extension of the fellowship.

Pursuant to the applicable legal provisions, an application for time credit can be submitted three months in advance. This shall not give rise to an extension of the fellowship.

Holders of a fellowship should notify the FWO as soon as possible of such interruptions in their activities.

The fellowship cannot be suspended or extended for any other reason.

Remuneration

Art. 22.

§1 The salary scale of holders of an INCOMING [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship is the salary scale of PhD Assistant according to the Decree of the Flemish Government of 4 May 2001 (Belgian Official Gazette, 9 January 2002).

(As per 01/07//2017 and at 100% - Current index: 1.6734)

Min. 4,053.81 and max. 6,319.49 euro

  • 3 annual raises of EUR 689.03
  • 11 biennial raises of EUR 1,289.13

§2 Travel cost allowance: holders of an INCOMING [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship are entitled to a commuter travel allowance (when using public transport or a bicycle) to the same extent as established for academic staff of the universities in the Flemish Community.

§3 On top of the salary, the INCOMING [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow receives a mobility allowance of EUR 600 per month. The fellow is required to account for the use of this mobility allowance in an annual financial report to be submitted to FWO. The mobility grant may be used for expenses relating to the stay abroad.

§4 FWO provides a one-time allowance for travel expenses to and from the original home/place of work to Brussels.

By plane: economy class

By train: most advantageous rate

FWO reimburses the travel expenses incurred upon presentation of the official invoice and airline tickets.

Art. 23.

§1 The pay scale seniority of [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellows is calculated taking into account the acquired scientific seniority and the following provisions:

1° - the duration of the appointment under an employment of at least 50% at a university or scientific institution, insofar as the work involves research activities;

2° - the duration of the research activities voluntarily undertaken at a university in the Flemish Community, insofar as these activities account for at least 50% of a regular, full-time employment;

3° - half of the duration of the appointment referred to in 1° and 2° in the case of an employment of less than 50%.

§2 The duration of the appointment is calculated per calendar month: fractions of months are not counted. The total extent of the pay scale seniority can never exceed the nominal duration of the eligible periods.

§3 Each eligible period of prior employment shall be supported by an employment certificate.

Art. 24.

The salary is linked to the health index as applicable to the academic staff of the universities in the Flemish Community.

Art. 25.

The salary or grant and the mobility allowance are paid monthly, at the end of the month, into a Belgian financial account.

Occupational accidents and liability

Art. 26.

§1 Holders of an INCOMING [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship are covered by legally required insurance against risks inherent in regular seminar and/or laboratory work, and against accidents on the way to and from work (occupational accident insurance). This insurance covers also temporary foreign assignments for which prior permission has been granted by FWO. For their travels, fellows may use all the usual means of transportation allowed for carrying passengers over water, in the air or on roads, provided they are not part of the crew.

§2 INCOMING [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellows are covered by travel accident insurance with repatriation throughout their entire stay in Belgium.

§3 The third-party liability of fellows is covered by a collective insurance policy taken out by the FWO.

Child allowance

Art. 27.

FWO must be notified of all births. FWO will provide the required forms to obtain both the child allowance and the birth premium. This can be requested from the 6th month of the pregnancy. To preserve their right to child allowance, fellows with dependent children are advised to notify FWO of any travel abroad. During their stay abroad they must also maintain a domicile in Belgium.

Annual holiday

Art. 28.

§1 The holiday periods are the same as those indicated in the regulations of the Flemish host institution and are established in consultation with the departmental head.

§2 Holders of a [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship must inform the FWO secretariat of the dates of their annual holidays. The holiday pay, calculated on the basis of the salary or grant of the month of May, will be paid into the holder's account during the month of May.

General provision

Art. 29.

The years spent at the FWO are recognised as seniority when determining the salary of holders who are appointed at Community or subsidised institutions for secondary and higher education with full curriculum, as well as at Flemish and federal scientific institutions and ministries.

Final provision

Art. 30.

Holders of this fellowship may at any time resign their fellowship provided they have notified the head of the Flemish host institution, the head of their research department and FWO thereof.

27/06/2017