Newsletter May 2018

Edito

Edito

On Tuesday 17 April, the FWO, in the presence of Minister Muyters, launched the campaign on the Flemish Science Agenda. With as central theme "Question for Science", the FWO, together with practically all knowledge institutions in Flanders, will embark on a search to find out what questions are currently on the mind of Flemish citizens and which they would like to see answered by science.

Why did we, as the FWO, set up this campaign? Because we strongly believe in the need for and power of dialogue and communication. Science cannot be pigeonholed into a specific discipline or institution, but needs cooperation. The FWO brings organisations together and encourages cooperation across the boundaries of disciplines and fields of study. While communication within science is important, so is the dialogue with the general public. Science is still all too often seen as an ivory tower. But science can be productive only when it is in contact with society. The FWO has for several years been organising and supporting initiatives aimed at reinforcing this link with society, recent examples being the Grey Cells conferences and the partnership with the Flemish PhD Cup. With Question for Science, we want to bring science and citizens closer together and allow them to inspire each other.    Our motto ‘Opening new horizons’ applies also to this campaign: never before has such a large scale effort been undertaken to listen to the concerns of the Flemish population. With Questions for Science we hope we will be able to open up new horizons that can bring science and society closer to each other.

Of course ..., this kind of action is susceptible to the critical remark that in this way the government could possibly direct the research in Flanders more strongly. However, this is by no means the intention, neither from the minister nor from the EWI department and certainly not from the FWO, which has always put the bottom-up approach at the center. This initiative wants to enter into a positive dialogue between the general public and the researchers!

Anyone who has a question for science can submit it via a specially designed website.

In a next phase, 5 panels of scientists, composed in collaboration with the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts and the Young Academy, will address the clustering of the numerous questions that we expect.  This clustering will enhance the accessibility of the questions and result in a number of overarching questions that could serve as inspiration for scientists, and also stimulate further dialogue between colleague scientists and the general public.

The campaign will culminate with the feast for science/the scientist, which the FWO will organise at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in Antwerp on 14 December on the occasion of its 90th anniversary. At the opening session of Kennismakers (Knowledge Makers), the Flemish Science Agenda will officially be handed over to Minister Muyters.

In this newsletter you will read all about the feast of and for scientists. We kindly invite you to come and join the FWO at this event in Antwerp on December 14th!

In the spotlight

Flemish Science Agenda

In December 2017, the Flemish government commissioned the EWI, the FWO, the KVAB and the Young Academy to compile a Flemish Science Agenda in 2018 through the active involvement of Flemish citizens.

This initiative seeks to enhance social engagement and trust in science by arousing the curiosity and imagination of Flemish citizens. Inviting citizens, organisations and scientists to ask questions to science also allows insights to be gained into the scientific questions that we, as the Flemish community, would like to be answered. This could in turn stimulate partnerships between relevant actors in the knowledge chain, such as universities, research institutions, companies, civil society organisations, etc.

Which questions would Flemish citizens like to see answered by science? This is the starting point of the campaign "Question for Science". During the ‘six weeks of science’ (17 April to 27 May 2018), we will engage in a dialogue with society at large to examine which scientific issues Flemish citizens want to put to the science of the future. Science matters to all of us and everyone should be given the opportunity to raise important questions for science.    The aim is to collect as many questions as possible among citizens and organisations.

What is your question for science? Post it on: www.vraagvoordewetenschap.be

FWO, for 90 years the perfect habitat for Knowledge Makers

For 90 years, the FWO has been creating a favourable climate for research. To celebrate this, we will be organising a one-day event as the perfect habitat for Knowledge Makes on Friday 14 December 2018 at the Flanders Meeting & Convention Center Antwerp. Inspiring speakers alternating with interactive sessions will provide a great opportunity for new contacts and fresh ideas. Already over 60 (inter)national speakers for 30 thematic sessions have confirmed their participation. Many others will be added in the coming weeks and months. Leave your e-mail address on www.kennismakers.be and be the first to learn about the latest news.

New vacancies for FWO Expert Panels

The FWO is always looking for (inter)national experts to reinforce its Expert Panels. There are numerous vacancies on our website for fellowships starting on 1/1/2019. We are pleased to invite applications from suitable candidates in Belgium and abroad.

As an expert you have the following profile:

  • You belong to the top 30% of your discipline
  • You are a generalist in one of the following fields of expertise:
    • Biological sciences
    • Cultural sciences
    • Behavioural and social sciences
    • Medical sciences
    • Science and Technology
    • You have an appointment at a university or a scientific institution.

The expert panels bring together a group of highly qualified international experts for one or two meetings per year in Brussels. Their basic task is to evaluate the submitted research proposals. Experts are appointed for 3 years and the appointment can be renewed once.

» Click here for more information

New web pages with application channels for fellowships and fundamental research projects

As already announced, the application channels for pre- and postdoctoral fellowships and for fundamental research projects underwent a thorough overhaul.  Those who want to prepare for a PhD will be offered a PhD fellowship fundamental or strategic basic research.   For the next step in a researcher career, there are the junior and senior postdoctoral fellowships. Fundamental research projects are also split up into a junior and senior type.

The web pages with a description of the characteristics of these application channels and with links to the associated regulations and other relevant documents, can now be consulted on our website. They apply only to new calls, and are summarised below.

PhD fellowship fundamental research:

  • The current round of applications (submission deadline: 1 February 2018; evaluation: April-May 2018; award decision: 27 June 2018) is still organised under the old regulations and the related web page can still be found on our website.
  • From the 2019 round of applications (submission deadline: 1 March 2019; evaluation: April-June/September-October 2019; award decision: October 2019), the new regulations, on which the new web page is based, will apply. This call will open in December 2018.

PhD fellowship strategic basic research

  • The 2018 round of applications (submission deadline: 17 September 2018; evaluation: November-December 2018; award decision: 13 December 2018) is still organised under the old regulations and the related web page  can still be found on our website.
  • From the 2019 round of applications (submission deadline: 1 March 2019; evaluation: April-June/September-October 2019; award decision: October 2019), the new regulations, on which the new web page is based, will apply. This call will open in December 2018.

Postdoctoral fellowship junior & senior:

  • The current round of applications for a first postdoctoral fellowship (equivalent with the new postdoctoral fellowship junior) and a postdoctoral fellowship renewal (equivalent with the new postdoctoral fellowship senior) (submission deadline: 1 February 2018; evaluation: April-May 2018; award decision: 27 June 2018) is still organised under the old regulations and the related web page can still be found on our website.
  • From the 2019 round of applications (submission deadline: 1 December 2018; evaluation: January-June 2019; award decision: July 2019), the new regulations, on which the new web page junior postdoc and the new web page senior postdoc are based, will apply. This call will open in September 2018.

Project fundamental research junior & senior

  • The current round of applications (submission deadline: 1 April 2018; evaluation: September-October 2018; award decision: 28 November 2018) is still organised under the old regulations and the related web page can still be found on our website.
  • From the 2019 round of applications (submission deadline: 1 April 2019; evaluation: April-December 2019; award decision: October 2019), the new regulations, on which the new web page is based, will apply. This call will open in December 2018.

Across the boarders

State visit to Canada

The state visit of our King and Queen to Canada took place from 11 to 17 March 2018. The FWO seized this opportunity to highlight our fruitful cooperation with the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ). The FWO, together with the Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS) and the FRQ, organised an Academic seminar at which the Quebec-Belgian research cooperation was illustrated and explored. During this event, various Flemish, Walloon and Quebec researchers were given the opportunity to expound on their research cooperation and its added value. One of them, Prof. Veerle FIEVEZ, together with her Quebec partner Prof. Yvan CHOUINARD, presented the research project 'Cross-species combination of cohort and intervention studies to assess common metabolic factors related to infertility and the use of functional lipids for its treatment'. Prof. Ronald BUYL and Prof. Ellen GORUS, together with their colleague in Quebec, Prof. Marie-Pierre GAGNON, presented their recently funded project ‘Promoting informed and shared decisions about eHealth solutions for older adults and their informal caregivers’.

In addition to a discussion of a couple of concrete bilateral research projects, a strategic round-table discussion was devoted to the added value of such international partnerships which makes it possible to bring together researchers from Quebec and Flanders work on an interdisciplinary research project.  Both the objectives of such joint calls and the obstacles and possible solutions were discussed.  Judging by the positive input and feedback, there can be no doubt that many more successful calls for Flemish-Quebec research projects will follow. 

Calender

New calls