Cooperation with China


The FWO is keen on promoting international collaboration as a driving force for excellence. That is why the FWO signs agreements with a number of countries for the funding of joint mobility projects. Within these projects only travel and living expenses can be financed.

One of the selected countries is China. In 2017 the FWO has signed an agreement with the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) for the funding of scientific collaboration in fundamental research between Flanders and China.

For the 2022 call the cooperation is limited to all fields of natural sciences and medical sciences in the following themes:

  • Mathematical & physical sciences
  • Chemical sciences
  • Life sciences
  • Earth sciences
  • Engineering & material sciences
  • Information sciences
  • Management sciences
  • Health sciences


  • Duration of projects: 2 years
  • The funding covers travel and living expenses:
    • FWO pays researcher(s) from China a daily living allowance of € 50 per day (or max. € 1,300 per month) and reimburses in addition the accommodation costs. The international travel costs of the Flemish researcher(s) towards/from China, to be booked through a travel agency authorized by the FWO, are also paid by FWO.
    • NSFC provides per project a fixed total amount of 100,000 RMB for the total duration of two years. This funding should be used for the international travel costs of the Chinese researcher(s) towards/from Belgium and the accommodation and living expenses of the Flemish researcher(s).
  • Deadline: 30 June 2022 (at FWO: 5 pm Belgian time)
  • Announcement of results: December 2022
  • Start of projects (at Flemish as well as at Chinese side): January 1st 2023

Profile and conditions

  • As Principal Investigator of the Flemish research team, you hold a PhD.
  • You hold, throughout the entire period of your project, an appointment of at least 50% at:
    • a university in the Flemish Community (including the academic programmes within the corresponding association), or to
    • a federal or Flemish scientific institute as scientific staff of the Dutch-speaking community, or to
    • a university hospital in the Flemish Community as scientific staff, or to
    • a hospital with an academic character recognized as research center in the Flemish Community as scientific staff.

Please note: All the members of the Chinese research team (including the Chinese PI) have to be already involved in a joint ongoing NSFC project and there should be an overlap of at least one year. For example: if the NSFC-FWO joint mobility project is allowed to start on the 1st of January 2023, the ongoing NSFC project should at least run until the 31st of December 2023.


  • Read the guidelines for applicant carefully (see ‘Regulations and downloads’).
  • Within the framework of FWO’s policy regarding good practices in international collaboration: before preparing your application, contact the Research Coordination Office (or equivalent) of your host institution to learn more about the specificities of this particular call in 2022.
  • You must submit your project proposal simultaneously to FWO and NSFC according to the respective modalities of each agency. Please note that at NSFC the project proposal should be accompanied by the form ‘exchange programme agreement’, signed by the Flemish and Chinese PI’s (see ‘Regulations and downloads’).
  • For FWO you submit your application to by using the application form below (see ‘Regulations and downloads’). Please be aware that it is essential to update your E-loket profile each time you submit a new FWO application.
  • All eligible applications will be evaluated at Chinese side and at Flemish side.
  • NSFC and FWO take a joint funding decision.

Remark: In case of transfer of personal data within the framework of an international collaboration, FWO will ensure that the partners abroad guarantee an equal level of protection with respect to the involved parties.

Regulations and downloads

Flight- or train tickets in the frame of an FWO grant, can only be booked through a travel agency authorized by the FWO (Uniglobe South West Travel and Omnia Travel). Bookings through another travel agency will not be reimbursed by FWO.

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.