Bilateral research cooperation Russia
Discontinuation partnership Russian Science Foundation
The Board of Trustees of the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) strongly condemns any forms of aggression against independent states, such as Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, and deplores the inhuman suffering caused, including its impact on the affected academic communities. It is a direct attack on fundamental European values that are also important to the FWO. It is a severe violation not only of an independent state’s sovereign integrity and of the right to self-determination of its democratic society, but also of basic human rights. Against this backdrop, the FWO has decided to discontinue its partnership with the Russian Science Foundation (RSF) and to no longer launch calls for joint Russian-Flemish research projects for as long as it deems necessary. In the current context, the FWO will also stop funding Russian and Belarussian research. In practice this means that it is no longer possible to apply for research funding for Russian or Belarussian partner institutions through the various FWO funding channels, and that ongoing partnerships with institutions that support the Russian aggression against Ukraine are discontinued.
Science knows no colour, no nationality, no creed, no gender, and serves only to acquire knowledge that contributes to a better, healthier, more sustainable, freer and more peaceful society. However, scientific cooperation can only take place with respect for generally accepted core values. The FWO will therefore continue to support all international research partnerships on the strict condition that they respect the freedoms and rights that are necessary to create a favourable climate for scientific excellence.
The FWO is keen on promoting international collaboration as a driving force for excellence. That is why the FWO signs bilateral agreements with a number of countries for the funding of joint research projects. These projects go further than the traditional exchange projects, because personnel and consumables can also be financed.
One of the selected countries is Russia. In May 2018 the FWO has signed an agreement with the Russian Science Foundation (RSF) on the funding of new research projects in fundamental research in all scientific domains.
In contrast to the regular research projects fundamental research no distinction is made between junior and senior research projects. In addition, it is not possible to use 10% of the budget requested at FWO for non-Flemish universities.
- Joint research project with Russian partner(s). It must be an integrated research proposal with one central problem, methodology and elaboration.
- Fundamental research in all scientific domains
- Duration of the project: 3 years
- Personnel costs and consumables applied for at FWO: minimally € 45,000 and maximally € 75,000 per year per project
- Additional equipment/matching funding applied for at FWO: maximally € 150,000 per project
Profile and conditions
- The collaboration with partners from Russia will have an added value for the project.
- As a team of researchers you need funding for consumables, equipment and staff.
- Your research will be carried out at an eligible Flemish main host institution, possibly in collaboration with other Flemish and/or federal research institutions (Article 7).
- Your research will be carried out under the supervision of a supervisor-spokesperson, possible in collaboration with other (co-)supervisors (Article 10 - 12).
- In the framework of this call with RSF, you can only act once as a principal investigator (supervisor) or co-investigator (co-supervisor).
- All material acquired thanks to an operation or equipment grant from the FWO, shall become property of the host institution.
- The host institution is employer of the staff remunerated in research projects.
- No remuneration or accumulation of a remuneration is allowed for (co-)supervisors in connection with a research project.
- Applications in the framework of this cooperation are not part of the regular project competition and:
- do not count for the maximum of two projects per application round for which you may act as (co-)supervisor;
- are not taken into account for the maximum of two projects applied for and ongoing on the start date of the newly allocated project;
- You agree with the Research Integrity Clause.
- Read the guidelines for applicant carefully (see underneath ‘Downloads).
- Your joint application is submitted simultaneously at FWO (by using the online application form in the FWO E-portal) and at RSF, according to their respective modalities. Be aware that besides the application, a signed Letter of Acknowledgement also needs to be submitted at RSF (see ‘Downloads’).
- Each supervisor and co-supervisor of both the Flemish and Russian research team must have an online profile including an updated list of publications on the FWO E-portal.
- The applications are assessed for eligibility: the FWO and RSF check whether the application meets the formal requirements of the respective agency.
- Each project will be evaluated separately by FWO and RSF. At FWO the evaluation procedures is as follows:
- You propose 10 external referees in your application (for more info see FWO-RSF guide for applicants or online application form). Please be aware that the proposed international referees cannot be appointed to a Belgian university, research institute or other organization. Moreover, the proposed international referees cannot be appointed to similar institutions and organizations in Russia. Please note that there also cannot be a Conflict of Interest (CoI) with the Russian partner(s).
- Your application is presented to a number of these referees for evaluation.
- An ad hoc FWO interdisciplinary panel evaluates all applications.
- FWO and RSF compare the outcome of their respective evaluation procedures. Only applications that are evaluated as excellent on both sides, qualify for funding.
- The FWO and RSF board of trustees ratify the funding decision.
- Afterwards you will receive feedback on this decision.
Regulations and downloads
- General regulations
These general regulations are applicable for every funding of FWO
- Regulations for Research projects
These regulations contain all conditions to apply for an FWO Research Project
- Letter of Acknowledgement
- Example application form offers a number of screenshots of the online application forms and the project template outline
- Be aware: For any travel towards a higher-risk destination, the FWO (travel) grant can only be used in case of a positive advice of the concerned host institution. Please make sure to request this advice at the responsible advisory body of your host institution.