Doctoral (PhD) grant strategic basic research (SB)


A Doctoral (PhD) Grant Strategic Basic Research allows young researchers to develop into strategically thinking and innovation-oriented scientists.

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 with economic added value (for specific companies, for a collective of companies, or a sector, or in line with the VRWI transition areas.


  • Period: 2 years, renewable once
  • Net scholarship amount:   minimum € 1,897.76
  • Fixed bench fee: €3,720 per year
  • Call closed
    • Announcement of results: December 14, 2017
    • Start of fellowship: January 1, 2018
  • Success rate 2016: 30%

Profile and conditions

  • You have a master degree from one of the countries of the EU, the EER or Switzerland.
  • You have obtained this degree with at least ‘distinction’ (cum laude), and no longer than 5 years ago.
  • You have not previously received an FWO (or an IWT) fellowship (not even in part).
  • At the beginning of the fellowship (January 1st following the call, you have no more than 18 months of scientific experience.
  • You can apply maximum two times for the same fellowship
  • You agree with the Research Integrity Clause

Full details can be found in the Regulations Doctoral (PhD) grants strategic basic research

Transitional measure: in application year 2019, applications can still be made under the old seniority rules if it is not the first application and the candidate has not yet exhausted the number of applications allowed under the old regulations.

The following scheme gives an overview of the rules that apply depending on the year in which you submit(ted) (2017, 2018 or 2019).

Infosessions call 2017

The FWO is presenting the Call 2017 at the 5 Flemish universities. The presentation is also available here.

Agenda (for details: see the respective universities)

  • June 29: UHasselt
  • June 29: UAntwerpen                   
  • July 3: KU Leuven
  • July 5: UGent
  • July 6: VUB

Submission and selection procedure

  • Detailed information on the procedure can be found here.
  • In a nutshell:
    • You submit your application online (e-portal)
    • Your application is screened on eligibility (completeness and admission critria).
    • The supervisor is asked by the FWO to write a recommendation
    • You will be invited to defend your application to an international SB expert panel (between Nov. 6 and Dec. 7).
    • Overview Experts SB panels
    • The selection is based on the marks (3 criteria: ‘candidate’, ‘project’ and ‘application potential’) given by the panels.
    • The Board of Trustees decides on the appointment.
    • You receive feedback on the decision.


Documents and additional information for applicants SB (call 2017)


  • Please contact for requesting additional info and for specific questions
  • For technical (IT) problems regarding e-portal and application modules send an email to the IT helpdesk:, or (from August 16 onwards) call 0800 23326 (on office days from 9am to 5pm)

General information:

Specific supporting documents

Evaluation supporting documents

Documents and additional information for current FWO SB fellows

  • Practical information for SB fellows is available in the FAQ section: .
  • The presentation of the info session (Jan. 2017) for new SB fellows is available here.


The following forms are available via the e-portal and completed forms can also be uploaded there:

  • Application for bicycle allowance
  • Cumulation request
  • Restrictions of assignments
  • Notice of stay abroad
  • Notice of assignments


Additional information for SB fellows, started in 2015 (IWT) and earlier

These apply to the SB fellows who started before January 1, 2016. Since January 1, 2016, these grants have been managed by the Flanders Innovation and Entrepreneurship, into which the former IWT has been merged.

Additional information and documents should be obtained via