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The appeal procedure

Legal basis

Pursuant to Article 18 § 3 of the Decree on the organisation and financing of science and innovation policy of 30 April 2009 (Belgian Official Gazette of 6 July 2009), the Flemish Government determines, upon proposal from the FWO, the way in which an applicant for financial support whose application has been rejected, can file a request for review of the decision.

The appeal procedure is laid down in Article 32 of the Decree of the Flemish Government on the granting of subsidies by the Fund for Research – Flanders of 10 November 2011 (Belgian Official Gazette of 20 December 2011).

The appeal procedure provides for a 30-day deadline for the filing of an appeal. Failure to file on time makes an appeal inadmissible. The 30-day period starts on the day after the decision of the board of directors or, where applicable, after the receipt of feedback. Weekends and public holidays do not count as part of the 30-day period.

The procedure

1.In case of a negative decision the applicant for a fellowship or grant can file a request for review with the Board of Trustees of the FWO.  

2.This request for review must be filed within a period of thirty working days after the decision of the Board of Trustees or, if applicable, within a period of thirty days, with exception of weekends and official holiday’s, after receiving the feedback, and must be based on clear and verifiable elements.

3. The Board of Trustees makes an assessment as to whether the request for review is well-founded on the advice of the Appeals Committee. In order to verify the merits of the review request, an assessment should be made as to whether there are clear and verifiable elements that support the request. The words "clear" and "verifiable" mean that the elements the request for review is based on, must be comprehensible to a third party or layperson. They cannot concern the content of the original application. The question must be examined on how true and well-founded it is. Only then will the alleged defects be "objectifiable".

4.If the request is accepted, it will again be assessed on the first subsequent occasion by an Expert Panel other than the one that handled the first request.

5.The applicant can appeal only once.

6. The same procedure, items 1 to 4, must be followed by beneficiaries of fellowships and grants whose progress or final report has received a negative assessment.

7. In case of dissatisfaction with the handling by the FWO, a written or electronic complaint can be filed at all times (see complaint procedure). These complaints are handled within 45 calendar days of receipt.

How to file an appeal?

The request for review must be sent to the secretary-general of the FWO.

By letter: FWO, Leuvenseweg 38, 1000 Brussel.

By email:


If you have any questions about the appeal process, please contact the FWO.

  • By letter: FWO, Leuvenseweg 38, 1000 Brussels
  • By email: or via the relevant scientific field
  • By telephone: +32-2-512 91 10

Please note: contacting the FWO does not entitle you to an extension of the deadline and does not mean that the 30-day deadline is suspended. Consequently, the relevant request for review must always be submitted on time regardless of whether or not the dossier is amended after contacting the FWO.

Appeals committee

Pursuant to the decision of the FWO Board of Trustees of 25 May 2022, the appeals committee of the FWO was composed as follows:

Name Institution
dr. Walter Daelemans Universiteit Antwerpen
dr. Iris De Graeve Vrije Universiteit Brussel
dr. Nicky Dries KU Leuven
dr. Niels Hellings Universiteit Hasselt
dr. Anne Willems Universiteit Gent