Junior postdoctoral fellowship


The junior postdoctoral fellowships are intended to support researchers who have only recently completed their PhD, in developing an independent, international research career.

For the funding of a limited number of an additional postdoctoral fellowship, the FWO collaborates with Meise Botanical Garden.

Within the 2020 call an additional postdoctoral fellowship ‘ALS’(junior or senior) can be funded. The legacy of Mr. Van Eyck allows the one-off spending of 322,000 euros in favour of research on the neurological disease Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Applying for this ‘ALS’ fellowship is possible within the regular postdoc call. More info and modalities can be consulted here.


  • Period: 3 years
  • Salary scale: minimum € 4.134,97 - maximum € 6.446,01
  • New Call opens 23 September 2019 (Submission Deadline: 2 December 2019 at 5pm CET)
  • Announcement of results: June 2020
  • Start of fellowship: October 1, 2020 or November 1, 2020 (at the choice of the candidate)

Profile and conditions

  • You hold a PhD by thesis or a degree or a diploma or certificate recognized as equivalent in accordance with European Union directives or a bilateral agreement
  • You can apply for a junior postdoctoral fellowship if your PhD was obtained not longer than 3 years before October, 1 of the year in which the fellowship would start, or will be obtained at Jun 1 of that year at the latest.
  • You have not previously received a similar fellowship (not even in part).
  • You can apply maximum two times for the same fellowship. You can apply for a senior postdoctoral fellowship immediately after your junior postdoctoral fellowship
  • You agree with the Research Integrity Clause

 Evaluation and selection procedure

  • You contact a supervisor affiliated to a Flemish university or research institute (eligible list: see regulations Art. 3)
  • You complete your application online, which is submitted to an FWO Expert panel
  • The supervisor is asked by the FWO to write a letter of recommendation.
  • Emergency scenario ongoing call postdoctoral applications
    Confronted with the impact of the Corona crisis, the FWO has developed an emergency scenario for the current postdoc evaluations.

    The fallback scenario consists of reducing the 2-step procedure to a single and online expert panel meeting for the evaluation and ranking of the applications, based on the available evaluation and synthesis reports for the pre-selection step.

    In a nutshell:

    1/ the online preselection meetings, scheduled between March 23 and April 4, are cancelled;

    2/ the interview meetings at the FWO, scheduled between April 27 and May 20, are cancelled, but replaced by an online meeting between the panel members only.

    Consequently, there will be no interviews for the ongoing call postdoctoral fellowship.

    Dependent on the evolution of the situation, the evaluation procedure might be further adapted. Of course FWO will inform on these measures well in time.
  • The Expert panels report to the Board of Trustees, who  decides on the appointment (June 2020)
  • You will receive feedback on the evaluation after the decision.
  • The evaluation and selection procedures will be explained during infosessions and through a Powerpoint presentation


Documents and additional information for applicants


General information:

Info sessions call 2020

  • 27 September 2019 Universiteit Hasselt
  • 3 October 2019 Vrije Universiteit Brussel & Universiteit Antwerpen
  • 10 October 2019 Universiteit Gent
  • 11 October 2019 KU Leuven

Supporting documents for your application

  • Expert panels: make the right choice

You can choose the expert panel that best fits your application. Check carefully the panel scopes in order to make the most adequate choice. For the interdisciplinary panel you should use the acceptance criteria decision tree to figure out whether this panel does really fit your proposal.

If during the evaluation of your proposal there is a panel consensus that the application is out of scope it can be rejected for that reason. It is important to stress that the responsibility for the match between application and panel is the applicant’s!

  • List research discipline codes
    Since 2019 the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) has been using the new list of research discipline codes as compiled by ECOOM in collaboration with relevant stakeholders and which has been approved for use within Flanders. This list of discipline codes is a hierarchical and structured compilation of research topics by discipline in all scientific fields.

Evaluation supporting documents

  • Scoring grid (scoring descriptors) used by the expert panels incl external reviewers

Former programme postdoctoral fellowships

From the call of 2019 for postdoctoral fellowships on two types of fellowship can be applied for: junior postdoctoral fellowship and senior postdoctoral fellowship.

The former scheme for first postdoctoral fellowships will be considered as being equivalent with the new junior type, whereas the former postdoctoral fellowship renewal will be considered as being equivalent with the new senior type.

You can find the regulations of this programme here:

Working as a FWO postdoctoral researcher?