Regulations EOS research programme

General Regulations

For TYPE I-FL, TYPE II-FL and other institutions contracted with FWO in the frame of an EOS consortium, the General Regulations of FWO apply. For TYPE I-FR, TYPE II-FR and other institutions, contracted with F.R.S-FNRS in the frame of an EOS consortium, the General Regulations of F.R.S.-FNRS apply.

Detailed information, guide for applicants, guide for evaluators and forms are available online.

Any additional information can be obtained from:

  • The secretariat of the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO), Egmontstraat 5, 1000 BRUSSELS, tel +32 2 512 91 10.
  • The secretariat of the F.R.S.-FNRS, Rue d’Egmont 5, 1000 BRUSSELS, tel +32 2 505 93 28.

Aim

Art. 1.

The aim of the EOS programme is to promote joint research projects in basic research in any discipline between the Flemish and French-speaking community, based on scientific excellence.

Eligibility

Art. 2.

The FWO and F.R.S.-FNRS board can allocate EOS project funding to four TYPES of host institutions defined below.

Art. 3.

Host institutions that are fully eligible are defined as TYPE I institutions.

§1 TYPE I-FL: for the Flemish community, the eligible host institutions are the following:

  • Universities in the Flemish community;
  • The Evangelical Theological Faculty in Leuven and the Faculty of Protestant Theology in Brussels as far as the proposed research is in the domain of religious studies or theology;
  • The Antwerp Maritime Academy as far as scientific research in nautical sciences;
  • The Vlerick Management School and the Antwerp Management School as far as the proposed research is in the domain of management sciences;
  • The Institute of Tropical Medicine as far as the proposed research is in the domain of tropical medicine and veterinary medicine and/or in health care in developing countries.

TYPE I-FL principal investigators and the spokesperson-coordinator of the consortium should have one of the underneath listed permanent remunerated appointments of minimum 10% to one of the above listed institutions in the Flemish community.

  • Independent academic staff member at a university in the Flemish community;
  • Research director of FWO;
  • Designated beneficiary of an ERC Grant;
  • Designated beneficiary of an Odysseus II grant with a university in the Flemish community as host institution;
  • (Associated) professor or (full) professor affiliated to the Antwerp Maritime Academy and holder of a PhD, if the application is related to research in nautical sciences;
  • (Associated) professor or (full) professor (or appointed in a position with an equivalent English title) at the Vlerick Management School and holder of a PhD, if the application is related to research in management sciences;
  • (Associated) professor or (full) professor affiliated to the Antwerp Management School and holder of a PhD, if the application is related to research in management sciences;
  • (Associated) professor or (full) professor at the Institute of Tropical Medicine and holder of a PhD;

Or:

  • Independent academic staff member with a remunerated appointment of 5% at a university in the Flemish community and with an appointment as (assistant) clinical head or an equal function in a university hospital.

In addition, TYPE I-FL principal investigators and the spokesperson-coordinator of the consortium should have a minimal total appointment of 80% at a research institution in the Flemish Community.

TYPE I-FL co-supervisors have to be researchers of at least postdoctoral level, with a remunerated appointment at a TYPE I-FL host institution.

If the requirements set out here are not met at the time of the application, the applicant needs to prove that this will be the case at the start of the EOS project. Moreover, the appointment of the principal investigator and co-supervisor must fully cover the duration of the EOS research project applied for.

§2 TYPE I-FR: for the French-speaking community, the eligible host institutions are the following:

  • The six French-speaking universities from the French-speaking community.

TYPE I-FR principal investigators and the spokesperson-coordinator of the consortium should be a permanent researcher of F.R.S.-FNRS (chercheur qualifié, maître de recherches or directeur de recherches), or hold a tenure track position (or an assimilated position including pending tenure track) within one of the research institutions from the French-speaking community.

The applicant should not have reached retirement at the starting date of the project. If the applicant reaches the age of retirement in the course of the project, he/she should precisely describe in the proposal how the handover will be managed.

Art. 4

Research institutions of the Flemish and French-speaking community that are not comprised under Art 3. and are not considered as a federal research institution, are eligible for EOS funding and are defined as TYPE II institutions.

§1 TYPE II-FL: The following research institutions of the Flemish community are eligible:

  • Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO);
  • Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO);
  • Interuniversity Microelectronics Center (IMEC);
  • Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA);
  • Royal Conservatory of Antwerp;
  • Royal Conservatory of Brussels;
  • Royal Zoological Society – Antwerp (KMDA);
  • Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp (MuHKA);
  • Botanic Garden Meise;
  • Flemish Institute for Biotechnology (VIB);
  • Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO);
  • Flemish School of Arts;
  • Flanders Make;
  • Flanders Marine Institute.

 TYPE II-FL principal investigators should have obtained a PhD and have a permanent remunerated appointment of at least 10% to one of the above listed TYPE II-FL institutions.

TYPE II-FL co-supervisors have to be researchers of at least postdoctoral level, with a remunerated appointment at one of the above listed TYPE II-FL institutions.

If the requirements set out here are not met at the time of the application, the applicant needs to prove that this will be the case at the start of the EOS project. Moreover, the appointment of the principal investigator and co-supervisor must fully cover the duration of the EOS research project applied for.

§2 TYPE II-FR: The following research institutions of the French-speaking community are eligible:

  • Centre Wallon de Recherches Agronomiques (CRA-W);
  • Institut de Recherches Microbiologiques Jean-Marie Wiame (I.R.M.W.);
  • Musée Royal de Mariemont.

TYPE II-FR principal investigators should have obtained a PhD and have a permanent remunerated appointment to one of the above listed TYPE II-FR institutions.

TYPE II-FR co-supervisors should have obtained a PhD and have a permanent remunerated appointment to one of the above listed TYPE II-FR institutions.

Art 5

The federal research institutions listed below are eligible for EOS funding and are defined as TYPE III institutions:

Official Federal Research Institutions:

  • State Archives of Belgium
  • Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy
  • Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
  • Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage
  • Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium
  • Royal Museum for Central Africa
  • Royal Library of Belgium
  • Royal Museums of Art and History
  • Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium
  • Royal Observatory of Belgium
  • Center for Historical Research and Documentation on War and Contemporary Society

Assimilated Federal Research Institutions:

  • Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Center
  • National Institute of Criminalistics and Criminology
  • Scientific Institute of Public Health
  • Royal Military School
  • Belgian Nuclear Research Center
  • Von Karman Institute
  • Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History

TYPE III principal investigators should have obtained a PhD and have a permanent remunerated appointment of minimum 10% to one of the above listed federal institutions.

TYPE III co-supervisors have to be researchers of at least postdoctoral level, with a remunerated appointment at one of the above listed federal institutions.

If the requirements set out here are not met at the time of the application, the applicant needs to prove that this will be the case at the start of the EOS project. Moreover, the appointment of the principal investigator and co-supervisor must fully cover the duration of the EOS research project applied for.

Art 6.

Any foreign research institution is also eligible for EOS funding and is defined as a TYPE IV institution.

TYPE IV principal investigators should have obtained a PhD and have a permanent remunerated appointment of minimum 10%.

TYPE IV co-supervisors have to be researchers of at least postdoctoral level, with a remunerated appointment.

If the requirements set out here are not met at the time of the application, the applicant needs to prove that this will be the case at the start of the EOS project. Moreover, the appointment of the principal investigator and co-supervisor must fully cover the duration of the EOS research project applied for.

EOS Consortium

Art. 7.

§1 Each EOS consortium must include minimum three and maximum six research groups from TYPE I institutions. A research group is defined as a principal investigator together with his/her team involved in the project.

§2 Each consortium must include at least one research group from a TYPE I-FL institution and one from a TYPE I-FR institution.

§3 Each consortium must have a balanced composition:

  • In case the consortium consists of a total of four or less research groups from TYPE I institutions, the difference between the number of Flemish research groups (amount of TYPE I-FL) and the number of French-speaking research groups (amount of TYPE I-FR) can be only one.
  • If the consortium consists of more than 4 research groups from TYPE I institutions, the difference can be up to two.

§4 In addition to the number of research groups from TYPE I institutions, each consortium may also contain up to two research groups belonging to TYPE II, III, and IV institutions.

§5 Each research group, regardless of the TYPE of research institution the research group belongs to, may participate in only one EOS application.

§6 At least one PhD student should be recruited by each community.

§7 Each research group, regardless of the TYPE of institution the research group belongs to, has to appoint a principal investigator who meets the requirements as defined in the ELIGIBILITY section of this regulation.

§8 Each consortium appoints one spokesperson-coordinator who must be affiliated to a TYPE I institution and must meet the requirements for a principal investigator as defined in the ELIGIBILITY section of these regulations.

Agreement and contracting parties

Art. 8.

§1. Each host institution involved in the approved EOS consortium, regardless of the TYPE of institution, and each principal investigator, must be included in the agreement: the contract shall stipulate all relevant provisions concerning the recruitment of staff, the administration of the EOS funding, and the ownership of the granted equipment.

§2. All contracting parties must meet the requirements set out in the section eligibility of these regulations. 

Applications

Art. 9.

EOS applications are to be submitted in English before the deadline by the spokesperson-coordinator through the online platform as indicated in the guide for applicants. The forms must be submitted no later than 4 April at 2pm of the year which precedes the first budgetary financial year for which the application is submitted. If this date falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the closing date is moved to the following Monday at 2pm.

Evaluation

Art. 10.

In a first phase of the ex-ante evaluation, the eligible applications will be assessed by specialized international reviewers who will write evaluation reports that will be sent to the spokesperson-coordinator for commenting during the rebuttal phase. The rebuttal letter containing the feedback of the spokesperson-coordinator on the assessment of the international reviewers should be submitted before the announced deadline through the online platform.

In a second phase of the ex-ante evaluation, the EOS research proposal, together with the review reports and rebuttal letter are assessed by a scientific evaluation panel consisting of 18 high level international (non-Belgian) experts. The scientific evaluation panel establishes a ranking of the EOS projects based on the excellence of the predefined evaluation criteria as mentioned in the guide for applicants.

In a third step, the FWO and F.R.S.-FNRS boards ratify the ranking of the scientific evaluation panel.

Intellectual property rights

Art. 11.

Upon approval of the EOS project, the EOS consortium has to engage in a partnership agreement including all research institutions involved in the consortium and stipulating the correct distribution of the intellectual property rights resulting from the EOS project.

Reporting

Art. 12.

The spokesperson-coordinator must submit the following scientific reports through the online platform that was used for the submission of the initial project:

  • An intermediate report, indicating the progress status of the research and including the relevant list of scientific publications resulting from the EOS project during the third year of the agreement.
  • A final report, indicating the outcome of the research and including the relevant list of scientific publications resulting from the EOS project within 6 months after completion of the project.

Duration and modalities

Art. 13.

The EOS research contract will have a duration of four years.

Art. 14.

The EOS research shall include unilateral termination clauses, which shall in any case be accompanied by prior notice provisions.

Art. 15.

By submitting an EOS research proposal, each included host institution, regardless of the TYPE of host institution, gives its consent for the following actions, in case the EOS proposal gets granted;

  • The consent for the execution of the EOS research at their premises as described in the initial EOS proposal;
  • The consent to all other researchers involved in the consortium to access their premises and perform the necessary EOS research as described in the initial EOS proposal.
  • The consent to all other researchers involved in the consortium to use the equipment provided by the FWO/ F.R.S.-FNRS in the frame of the approved EOS proposal.

The spokesperson-coordinator must upload a standard consent form in the online submission platform, signed by all investigators and the heads of each institution involved in the EOS project, providing the above described consent for the execution of the EOS project.

Art. 16.

The EOS funding is awarded exclusively for the execution of the approved EOS research projects, hence the principal investigators and co-supervisors shall use the EOS funding exclusively for this purpose. As soon as their use no longer meets this requirement, the funding - or its balances - shall return to the concerned funding agency which provided the initial budget.

Art. 17.

Any fundamental change to an ongoing EOS research project, content-wise or in the composition of the consortium, must be made the subject of an investigation, equal to that for a new application, and shall be included in an amendment to the agreement, that does not extend the original agreement. Any partial modification of the research project, as well as any change in the planned expenditure, is subject to prior approval by both the FWO and F.R.S.-FNRS.

Cost categories

Art. 18.

§1. Each EOS consortium may apply for a yearly total consortium budget of minimally €450.000 to maximally €1.000.000.

§2. Each research group from a TYPE I institution must apply for a yearly budget of minimal €120.000

§3. Each TYPE I institution may apply for a yearly budget of maximally €700.000.

§4. The difference between the total requested budget of the Flemish research groups of TYPE I-FL and TYPE II-FL institutions and the total requested budget of the French-speaking research groups of TYPE I-FR and TYPE II-FR institutions cannot exceed 20%.

§5. The board of FWO and F.R.S.-FNRS can allocate up to 10% of the total budget of an EOS project to all included TYPE II, TYPE III and TYPE IV host institutions, respecting the limits laid out in Art. 18§1.

Art. 19

§ 1. For the execution of EOS research projects, the FWO and F.R.S.-FNRS may grant funds for three categories:

  • Category 1: staff
  • Category 2: operating costs and consumables
  • Category 3: equipment

Upon request, these funds can be transferred from the 1st category to the 2nd category and vice versa but not to the third category.

§ 2. The scientific evaluation panel can, if necessary and whenever scientifically motivated, reduce the requested budget with a maximum reduction of 20%. However, they cannot increase it and they must respect the upper and lower limits specified.

§ 3. Remunerated spokesperson-coordinators, principal investigators and co-supervisors are not allowed additional remuneration from the approved EOS project.

Staff and consumables

Art. 20.

§ 1. The following costs can be charged, provided they are specified in the original application:

a. Staff costs of scientific or technical employees;

b. Normal consumables required for the execution of the EOS project;

c. Fees for job students, pollsters and expenses resulting from the invitation of a guest researcher in the research department;

d. Small equipment of less than €20.000 per unit, required for the project;

e. Fees for study stays and participation in conferences abroad provided they are in line with the awarded research project;

f. Access to and dissemination of research results will be funded according to the respective rules of F.R.S.-FNRS and FWO;

g. Travel costs in Belgium and travel costs to and from the foreign partners included in the consortium;

h. Use of super computer infrastructure;

I. Only for the coordinator-spokesperson; coordination costs for the consortium are allowed up to 5% of the total EOS consortium budget.

§ 2. Staff costs can only be justified if:

  • The recruitment of staff is included in the original application;
  • The staff were recruited under an employment contract or a grant agreement for the appointment of a PhD or postdoctoral fellow by the host institution;
  • In the case of an appointment based on a grant, the grant is subject to social security tax.

§ 3. Positive balances of the awarded staff and consumables funding can be used for the justification of costs as stipulated in § 1, for up to one year after the end date of the contract for staff costs and up to two years for consumables.

Art. 21.

§1 If, under the terms of contracts supported by the FWO and F.R.S.-FNRS, the principal investigators are allowed to recruit staff, it is recommended that the host institutions apply the provisions of the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Research, as published in 2005 by the European Commission, together with the European Charter for Researchers. Furthermore, all appointments must comply with the applicable legal provisions and in accordance with the compensations and regulations in force at the host institution (and therefore in the large majority of cases in accordance with the system applicable at the universities in the concerned Flemish and French-speaking community) as regards the hierarchy of grades, the requirements for recruitment and promotion, and the remunerations. The host institutions may impose additional requirements if deemed necessary.

§2 For TYPE I-FL and II-FL institutes: Scientific staff must meet the requirements to enroll for a PhD at a university in the Flemish community or hold a PhD by thesis or a degree or certificate recognized as equivalent by law or in accordance with European Union directives or a bilateral agreement, in compliance with the provisions of the Flemish Codex on Higher Education of 11 October 2013, Art. V 20.

For TYPE I-FL and II-FL institutes: The host institution shall each year before 15 March of the following year, submit to FWO a list containing an overview of the staff working on the various EOS projects. The list is broken down by project/budget and includes the following information: surname, first name, date of birth, nationality, date of start of employment, date of end of employment, employment percentage, type of contract, statute (BAP - PhD fellow, BAP – WM, ATP…) and highest degree obtained, and a certificate of the host institution stating that the scientific staff meet the applicable requirements. Staff expenditure under FWO research projects that does not meet these requirements, shall be rejected.

For TYPE I-FR and II-FR institutes: Scientific staff recruited in the frame of an EOS project must meet the requirements presented in the rules of the regular Projet De Recherches (PDR) calls.

For institutes of TYPE III and IV: Scientific staff must meet the requirements that apply at their granting funding agency.

§3 As far as possible within the project objectives, the research shall be organized so as to enable predoctoral researchers to obtain a PhD.

Equipment

Art. 22.

§1. Only the equipment that is needed for the project and that is specified in the approved application, can be charged to this category.

§2. TYPE IV research groups are not allowed to request equipment.

§ 3. Each research group from TYPE I, II and III institutions can apply for a maximum amount of €150.000 for equipment during the entire EOS project, respecting the budget limits set out in Art 18. The total cost for equipment can amount up to €300.000 per EOS consortium. Applying for matching funding up to €150.000 per research group is possible.

§4. Operating costs, consumables and staff costs cannot be charged to the equipment category.

§5. Expenses are accepted if they are dated during the contracted project duration and can no longer be accepted after the official end date of the EOS project.

Art. 23.

§1. All materials purchased with the EOS budget, shall become the property of the university or the scientific research institute to which the principal investigator spending the concerned EOS budget is affiliated.

§2. The institutions undertake to keep the concerned material at the disposal of the researcher for the time that is needed to complete the EOS research for which the budget was awarded. Moreover, it undertakes to neither sell nor lend out the material without prior permission of the concerned funding agencies.

Overheads

Art. 24.

If allowed by the government, overheads can be paid to the host institutions in accordance with guidelines to be laid down by the respective governments and the funding agencies FWO and F.R.S.-FNRS. Apart from these overheads, the following items shall not be charged to an EOS project budget:

  • costs of renting, heating, lighting and maintaining premises and furniture, as these are costs that are normally to be borne by the host institution;
  • management or administration costs.

Payment - justification - audit

Art. 25.

Financial report (reporting) - payment

For the financial reporting and payment, the respective rules of the funding agency (FWO or F.R.S.-FNRS) which covers the costs and is included as a contracting partner in the consortium contract, apply.

For FWO, article 17 § 2. 5th paragraph and article 23 from the regulations for regular FWO research projects apply.

For F.R.S.-FNRS, the rules of the regular PDR calls apply.

Art. 26.

Justification/audit

For the justification and audit, the respective rules of the funding agency (FWO or F.R.S.-FNRS) which covers the costs and is included as a contracting partner in the consortium contract, apply.

For FWO article 24 from the regulations for regular FWO research projects apply.

For F.R.S.-FNRS, the rules of the regular PDR calls apply.

Art. 27.

Non-submission or late submission of the reports and certificates, as referred to in articles 25 and 26, will result in suspension of the payments.

General financial provisions

Art. 28.

Under no circumstances can expenditure be charged to grants awarded for future financial years. This also implies that invoices dated before the start date of the contract shall not be accepted.

Art. 29.

The financial management of the awarded budget is entrusted to the accounting department of the concerned institution, regardless of the TYPE of institution, to which the different principal investigators are affiliated.

Art. 30.

The financial year begins on the 1st of January and ends on the 31th of December.

Final provision

Art. 31.

For any cases not provided for in these regulations, reference shall be made to the case law of the concerned funding agencies.

 

14/12/2016