Skip to content
Login E-loket

I have an SBO project

This webpage is designed to present all essential practical and administrative information for the benefit of the beneficiaries of an SBO project grant.


Upon award of the contract, the supervisor-spokesperson and the administrative managers of the host institutions involved receive an email with a link to the contract. Via this link the document can be digitally signed by all the contracting parties. The contract is therefore no longer primarily sent to the Research Coordination office of the main host institution. The regulations of the SBO programme and the FWO general regulations form an integral part of the contract.

The awarded grant will be available as from October 1 of the year of the grant. The approved funding can be used throughout the approved project period (typically 4 years). The FWO provides for an additional phase-out period of 2 years. The grant is guaranteed provided that the funding authorities continue to earmark the necessary resources and the FWO regulations are complied with at all times.

Cooperation agreement

For any project involving cooperation between several beneficiaries, you must provide the FWO ( with a cooperation agreement signed by all parties involved within a period of 4 months from the project start date (i.e., before February 1st of the calendar year following the award). The receipt of this cooperation agreement by the FWO is a prerequisite for the further payment of the grant.

The cooperation agreement template used by universities and the majority of research organisations is available on the website. Contact your Tech Transfer Office for support with the IP arrangements between the SBO consortium partners.

Advisory committee

If an advisory committee was established, a meeting of its members shall be organised at least once a year. During this meeting, the feasibility of the innovation objective will be discussed as well as the need for adjustments to the approach and the actions already taken or planned to ensure the future utilisation of the results.

The FWO shall be invited in advance and in a timely manner to the meeting (via and may attend the annual meeting. The supervisor shall in any case forward the minutes of the meeting to the FWO (via These minutes are an integral part of the mandatory reporting. If no advisory committee was installed (for SBO-E projects with a spin-off finality), a utilisation report shall be submitted each year.


Information concerning FWO’s reporting policy can be found on a dedicated webpage.

Progress and utilisation reports

After the second year both a progress report and a utilisation report must be submitted. The progress report must include a report on the progress of the research and the research activities still to be carried out, and, where appropriate, a list of scientific publications. The utilisation report describes the utilisation-oriented efforts made or still to be made, the utilisation already achieved and/or the expected utilisation of the project results in the short term.

A scientific final report and an utilisation report are required for each project at the end of the project. The reports must be prepared using an online template and submitted to the FWO via the FWO eLoket of the SBO project’s promoter. This template provides detailed guidance on reporting, modalities and reporting deadlines.

Financial reporting

The acceptable costs are determined upon approval of the project. Detailed information about the costs is provided in the SBO cost model.

In each project year, you should, by February 15, provide the FWO with a forecast of the expenditure and before March 15 with a financial report of the expenditure of the grant year in question. The financial report includes a breakdown by expenditure category, posting number, posting date or invoice date and an overall total for the year. Upon completion of the project (including the phase-out period where applicable), the final financial account is calculated based on all the declarable acceptable costs.

The financial reports must be submitted by the Finance department of your research institution. This financial report is signed by the head of the Finance department and a second manager (e.g., head of the research administration) to confirm that the necessary audits have been carried out. They certify the financial report to be “true and accurate”.

Completed projects for which no more expenses can be justified are definitively settled on the basis of the submitted financial reports and, if applicable, the project audit by the auditor of the Research Foundation - Flanders.

Utilisation follow-up

Approval of the scientific, utilisation and financial final report marks the completion of the project implementation. However, the FWO expects that reasonable efforts will continue to be made towards the maximum utilisation of the project results. The FWO may ask for an additional utilisation report to be submitted for up to 5 years after completion of the SBO project.

Notification duty

The actual project implementation may to some extent differ from the original plan. This is acceptable so long as the grant is used towards the achievement of the contractually specified innovation goal. However, should circumstances arise that differ substantially from the starting points that were known at the time of approval of the support (e.g. major changes in the budget or the work, budget shifts between parties or any events that have a great impact on the implementation of the project or the subsequent utilisation of the results), the FWO must be notified immediately.

Deviations from the initial contract

Changes to the research project or to the planned expenditure are subject to prior approval by the FWO. Proposals for fundamental changes will first be examined as if they were a new research proposal. If the FWO agrees to the fundamental change, it will be incorporated into the contract. Contracts will not be extended.

Budget changes

Shifts within the budget of a contracting party

In practice, the course of a project may vary from the initially planned course. To achieve the project objectives, each contracting party is free to optimally deploy their resources and, where necessary, shift them between cost items (personnel costs, consumables, equipment). However, the maximum project budget per contracting party may not be exceeded.

Budget shifts between research partners of different legal persons

Any shifts between budgets of different legal persons must be requested in advance from the FWO and substantiated by current figures (old versus new situation). All parties involved must sign the request. After approval by the FWO, the updated budget is attached as an addendum to the contract. The payment scheme is adapted accordingly. The total accepted project budget may not be exceeded.


Holders of an FWO SBO project are required to deposit their publications, realised in whole or in part with SBO resources, in a public “Open Access” database no later than one year after publication. Further information can be found on the website.

Data Management Plan

You are required to prepare a data management plan (DMP) within 6 months after the official start of your project. The supervisor-spokesperson will submit the DMP to the research coordination department of the main host institution. You do not need to submit it to the FWO.

At the end of the project the final version of the DMP must be attached to the final project report - this can be done via the e-portal - but it must also be submitted by the supervisor-spokesperson to the FWO. This DMP may of course have been updated since its first version. The DMP is an element in the final evaluation of the project by the relevant expert panel.

There is a standard template (see our DMP webpage) for preparing a DMP. It is used by all institutions and should also be used by you. The final version of the DMP can be created online in the DMP online planning tool and exported via this tool as a PDF file to be attached to the final report.

Ethical questionnaire and approval

In the application form for your project you also completed a questionnaire on the ethical aspects. If you answered affirmatively to a question with an asterisk, you are required by law to obtain ethical approval from the competent ethics committee of your main host institution before undertaking the relevant research activities. For other questions, institutional obligations may apply and/or you are expected to consider any ethical aspects that could be related to the subject matter, the research approach and/or the consequences of the results, and, where necessary, take appropriate precautions. Please consult the Guidelines on the FWO’s ethics checklist for help and background information.

The required ethical approval must be obtained before you start working on the associated work package. For project proposals aimed at performing experiments on non-human primates you had to be in possession of an approval by the relevant ethics committee already at the time of evaluation of the proposal by the FWO.

The supervisor shall submit the certificates of the ethics committee to the research coordination department of the main appointment, where they are stored and can be retrieved by the FWO if necessary. For details see our research ethics webpage.

Transparent clinical trials

If your project involves a clinical trial, the trial must be registered in a public clinical trial registry (e.g. prior to the start of the trial (see Article 4 §2 of FWO’s General Regulations). For these purposes, a clinical trial is any research study in which human participants or groups of human participants are prospectively assigned to receive one or more health-related interventions in order to assess the effects on health outcomes.. Clinical trials include interventions such as, but not limited to drugs, cells and other biological products, surgical procedures, radiological procedures, devices, behavioural treatments, changes in care processes, preventive care, etc. This definition includes phase I to phase IV trials.

When the first patient is enrolled, the FWO must be informed (via of the start date of the trial (first patient in) and the registration number of the clinical trial. The data in the registry must be kept up to date for the duration of the trial and, within one year of the end of the clinical trial (six months for paediatric trials), a full descriptive clinical study protocol and a summary of the trial results must be added to the same registry, regardless of whether the trial results were negative, inconclusive or positive. For more background information, see Research Foundation - Flanders - Research Ethics ( points/1. Transparent clinical trials.

Research ethics

Obviously, where legally or institutionally required, ethical approval by the relevant ethics committee must have been obtained before ethically sensitive research activities can be undertaken. Your research, methodology, equipment and technology must at all times comply with ethical legislation as well as with institutional requirements and applicable international, European and national laws. 

Scientific integrity

Beneficiaries of FWO funds undertake to ensure the scientific integrity of the research practice and outcomes.


Vacancies linked to research projects can be posted via the FWO website. You can forward the vacancy notice to the FWO via Additionally, it may be useful to publish such notices via the Euraxess website of the European Commission: .

Acknowledgement of funding source in publications and the like

FWO must be acknowledged as grant giver in publications or other relevant communication about your project (results).


For questions regarding the SBO grant programme you can always contact us at Please make sure to always state the project number.

SBO regulations and useful information

Voorbehoud over geldige regelgeving

Bij eventuele tegenstrijdigheid tussen de verschillende informatiebronnen gelden steeds de Nederlandstalige versies van de reglementen als verbindend.

Reservation concerning applicable regulations

In the event of any discrepancy between the general information or this webpage and the provisions in the contract of your SBO project (including FWO general regulations, SBO regulations and cost model), the latter shall prevail at all times.