Regulations for Pegasus Marie Curie fellowships

General Regulations

The General Regulations apply.

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 02 512 91 10.

Scope

Art. 1.

§1 These regulations apply to the Pegasus Marie Curie fellowships of the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO).

§2 Two types of fellowships can be distinguished within the Pegasus programme:

- “Pegasus-long”: regular postdoctoral fellowships of three years, involving the conclusion of an employment contract between the FWO and the fellow;

- “Pegasus-short”: visiting fellowships of one year, in principle involving the conclusion of an employment contract between the FWO and the fellow, but also available in the form of a grant at the request of the candidate.

Applications and seniority

Art. 2.

§1 Candidates must hold a PhD or a degree recognised as equivalent by law or in accordance with European Union directives or a bilateral agreement with the European Union, in compliance with the provisions of the Decree on Universities in the Flemish Community of 12 June 1991, Art. 60 (Belgian Official Gazette, 4 July 1991). The PhD or equivalent degree may have been obtained in any scientific area.

§2 If the fellowship starts on 1 October, the PhD must have been obtained no later than 1 June of the same year. If the fellowship starts on 1 January, the PhD must have been obtained no later than 1 November of the previous year.

Art. 3.

Candidates must submit their applications in English and be affiliated to a university in the Flemish Community or to the Evangelic 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 university college, it shall be carried out under the supervision and responsibility of a Flemish university.

Art. 4.

§1 Candidates who will have reached the age of 36 at the start of the fellowship may apply for a Pegasus-long fellowship within six years of obtaining their PhD, calculated on the start date of the fellowship. This time limit is postponed by one year in the case of pregnancy or parental leave, calculated from the time of the application.

§2 The maximum postdoctoral seniority for candidates for a Pegasus-short fellowship is ten years, subject to the same conditions as set out in §1 above.

§3 The condition set out in §1 above not apply to candidates who have not reached the age of 36 at the start of the fellowship.

§4 The FWO Board may exceptionally approve an exception to the limit in §1 above 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. 5.

§1 The programme is open to all nationalities.

§2 Candidates can only apply if they performed their principal activity (work or studies) in Belgium no longer than 12 months during the last three years preceding the start of the fellowship.

Art. 6.

§1 Persons cannot apply for a fellowship of which they have previously, even if only partially, been the beneficiary. It is also not possible to apply simultaneously for a Pegasus fellowship and a regular postdoctoral fellowship with the FWO.

§2 Pegasus-long fellowships are considered regular postdoctoral fellowships for this purpose. Beneficiaries of a Pegasus-long fellowship can no longer apply for an initial postdoctoral fellowship from the FWO. Conversely, beneficiaries of an initial postdoctoral fellowship can no longer apply for a Pegasus fellowship. This provision does not apply for the first renewal of a postdoctoral fellowship.

§3 Pegasus-short fellowships are considered equivalent to the existing "visiting postdoctoral fellowships" for this purpose. Candidates who were previously awarded a visiting postdoctoral fellowship are no longer eligible for a Pegasus-short fellowship. They may, however, be eligible for a Pegasus-long fellowship, subject to the other provisions in these regulations.

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

Art. 7.

§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 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 are submitted to the relevant Expertpanel. The choice of panel is made by the candidate and must be justified, taking into account the specific scope of the relevant panel. The Expertpanel evaluates the Pegasus applications in accordance with the procedure for regular postdoctoral fellowships, but taking into account the specific selection criteria of the Pegasus programme, and then establishes a ranking of the applications.

§4 In the third and final step the Expertpanels report to the Panel for International Collaboration (CIS), which establishes two overall rankings of all candidates from all Expertpanels: one for the Pegasus-long fellowships and one for the Pegasus-short fellowships. This ranking should, however, not contradict the individual rankings established by the Expertpanels. The Panel for International Collaboration (CIS) subsequently reports to the Board of Trustees, which will decide on the appointment of the Pegasus fellows.

Appointment

Art. 8.

§1 Holders of a Pegasus-long fellowship are offered an employment contract with a duration of three years.

§2 Holders of a Pegasus-short fellowship are in principle offered an employment contract with a duration of one year, but may, if they meet the relevant legal requirements, opt for a grant of the same duration, in the amount of € 1,650 per month net, subject to social security by virtue of Art. 15, paragraph 2 of the Royal Decree of 28 November 1969 and exempt from income tax under the Income Tax Code 1992.

Art. 9.

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 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. 10.

The granting of a fellowship of limited duration is established in an individual (employment) contract between the Foundation and the holder.

Art. 11.

§1 With the exception of the provisions of Article 14, Pegasus fellows must not belong to the Academic Assistant Staff  or Independent Academic Staff (ZAP) 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 Board shall make the decision, which may be appealed to the Board of Trustees.

Rights and obligations of holders of a Postdoctoral PhD fellowship

Art. 12.

§1 Pegasus 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 university.

§2 All Pegasus Marie Curie fellows are entitled to personalised career counselling and guidance by personnel department of their host institution.

Art. 13.

Pegasus Marie Curie fellows may modify their research project for duly justified reasons, subject to advice of the head of their research department and after approval by the FWO. They cannot change host institutions. Host institutions may mutually agree on collaboration and place of employment.

Art. 14

§1 The host institution may entrust the holders of a Pegasus-long 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.

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

§2 Holders of a Pegasus-long fellowship may additionally be entrusted with a part-time remunerated activity at a higher education institution, provided their appointment as fellow is reduced in proportion to this part-time appointment, including 50% appointments under the tenure track system at the expense of the university operating resources.

§3 The provisions in §1-2 of this article do not apply to the holders of a Pegasus-short fellowship. These fellows are expected to devote their full time to their research activities and are not allowed to accept any other duties.

Art. 15.

§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. No exceptions are allowed for the Pegasus-short fellowship; holders of this fellowship are expected to devote their full time to their research activities and are not allowed to accept any other duties.

§2 For Doctors of Law enjoying a Pegasus 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 a Pegasus-long 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 the FWO thereof.

§4 The FWO may grant permission to holders of a Pegasus-long 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 fellowship.

Art. 16.

§1 Pegasus-long fellows must submit a report on their scientific activities to the FWO at the end of each academic year. A copy of this report must be sent to the head of the institution to which they are affiliated.

§2 Pegasus-short fellows must submit a report on their scientific activities to the FWO within three months of expiry of their fellowship. A copy of this report must be sent to the head of the institution to which they are affiliated.

Art. 17.

All publications, reprints and contributions in other communication media of Pegasus fellows must mention their title of 'FWO Pegasus Marie Curie Fellow'.

Art. 18.

Holders of a Pegasus fellowship who wish to spend a study stay abroad must ask for permission from the FWO. Such permission can only be granted if the Pegasus-long fellow can continue to be subject to the Belgian social security system during his/her stay abroad. Therefore, the Pegasus-long 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.

This provision does not apply to holders of a Pegasus-short fellowship. These fellows are expected to devote their full time to the research activities at their host institution. In exceptional cases, based on a justified request, the Secretary General may grant permission to Pegasus-short fellows to spend a study stay abroad.

Art. 19.

Holders of a Pegasus fellowship have to notify the FWO as soon as possible of any temporary work interruption, regardless of the cause.

Art. 20.

Holders of a Pegasus 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 the 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. 21.

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 the FWO as soon as possible. The occupational medical service of the institution and the departmental head will have to be notified as well.

Art. 22.

Holders of a Pegasus fellowship are required to notify the FWO forthwith in writing of any change in their situation (marital status, birth, change of address, etc.).

Suspension

Art. 23.

§1 The fellowship will be suspended in cases of 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 will not be taken into consideration.

§2 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.

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

§4 The fellowship cannot be suspended or delayed for any other reason.

Remuneration

Art. 24.

§1 The salary scale of Pegasus Fellows 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: FWO fellowship holders 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.

Art. 25.

§1 The pay scale seniority of Pegasus 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.

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

Art. 26.

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

Art. 27.

The provisions of Articles 25 and 26 above do not apply to Pegasus-short fellows who opt for a grant.

Art. 28.

The salary or grant is paid monthly, at the end of the month, into a Belgian financial account.

Occupational accidents and liability

Art. 29.

§1 Pegasus fellows 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. This insurance covers also temporary foreign assignments for which prior permission has been granted by the 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 The third-party liability of fellows is covered by a collective insurance policy taken out by the FWO.

Child allowance

Art. 30.

The FWO must be notified of all births. The Foundation 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 the FWO of any travel abroad. During their stay abroad they must also maintain a domicile in Belgium.

Annual holiday

Art. 31.

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

§2 Pegasus fellows shall 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 June, will be paid into the holder's account during the month of May.

General provision

Art. 32.

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. 33.

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

27/06/2017

Note: the English version of the regulations are only a translation and have no legal force.