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Research projects or individual researchers supported by the FWO receive funding, which for the most part comes from the Flemish government. In order to foster support for scientific research, the FWO encourages broad communication about the research it funds. In addition, the FWO tries to map the impact of the supported research as accurately as possible on the basis of efficient reporting by researchers to the FWO.

FRIS database

For all its funding channels, the FWO requires feedback after, and in some cases also during, the research. In doing so, it can be established which output and impact researchers have achieved with the funding. The objective of this reporting is to verify whether the resources have been used carefully. To this end experts are requested to evaluate the obtained results. Additionally, the reporting also serves to demonstrate the importance of independent scientific research by mapping the results of FWO support. To this end, the FWO also obliges to register all relevant output in the FRIS database.

reporting procedure and policy

During the 2019-2023 policy period, the FWO streamlined its reporting procedure and policy. On the one hand, efforts were made to better structure reporting templates with the aim of simplifying reporting. On the other hand, the regulations concerning the non-submission of reports became more strict. For example, researchers who do not report on the funded research will no longer be able to submit new funding applications until a report has been submitted and, where applicable, assessed (i.e. administrative insufficient). A negative assessment of a report (i.e. substantive insufficient), for example in the event of non-compliance with the best efforts commitment that researchers sign with the FWO, can also be taken into account when evaluating a new funding application. Submitting a report is an elementary obligation for everyone who benefits or has benefitted support from the FWO. The consequences for those who do not submit the report, i.e. the nominative beneficiaries of a fellowship and all beneficiaries involved in a project, are therefore serious: new support from the FWO is no longer possible until this obligation has been complied with.

The FWO emphasizes that negative results are an inherent risk in the groundbreaking research it supports and that as such they cannot be grounds for a negative ex post evaluation.

The obligations with regard to reporting to the FWO are included in the general regulations. For most funding instruments of the FWO, the website also contains information for supported research, in which, among other things, the reporting modalities are explained. The FWO communicates in a timely manner when reports are expected, but also requests from researchers they proactively inform the FWO if, due to force majeure, the reporting obligations for funding that they have received themselves or those of FWO fellows that they are supervising cannot be met.