Regulations for Clinical PhD Fellowship

General Regulations

The General Regulations apply.

Detailed information, full regulations and forms are available online.
Any additional information can be obtained from the secretariat of the Research Foundation - Flanders, Egmontstraat 5, 1000 BRUSSELS, tel 02 512 91 10.

Clinical PhD fellowships (*)

In order to support fundamental clinical research, the FWO may grant part-time fellowships to young clinicians to enable them to complete their PhD.

Art. 1.

This fellowship is aimed at doctors, veterinary surgeons, dentists and pharmacists, who, no later than 1 October preceding the fellowship, are recognised medical specialists, veterinary specialists, dental specialists, general practitioners or pharmacist specialists in Belgium.

* French nomenclature: Bourse de doctorat pour cliniciens du Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique -Flandre (FWO). German nomenclature: Klinisches Doktorstipendium des Fonds für Wissenschaftliche Forschung - Flandern (FWO). Dutch nomenclature: Klinische Doctoraatsbeurs van het Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen (FWO).

Art. 2.

At the start of the fellowship ( October 1) and at least up to the end date of the requested fellowship candidates must be employed at an academic hospital or a university veterinary surgery affiliated to a university in the Flemish Community, where they hold a full-time clinical position. Candidates recognised as general practitioner must, from the start of the contract and until the end of the fellowship, be appointed at a Flemish university department of general practitioner medicine and at the same time perform a clinical role in general practitioner medicine for the remaining percentage.

Candidates for such a fellowship must, at the time of submitting their application, present a testimony from their supervisor, in which the latter declares that the work has advanced sufficiently to allow the completion of a PhD by thesis within the duration of the fellowship.

The supervisor shall be either:

1° an Independent Academic Staff member with a remunerated appointment of more than 10% at a Flemish university;

2° an Independent Academic Staff member with a remunerated appointment of 10% at a Flemish university and whose main task is research;

3° an Independent Academic Staff member with a remunerated appointment of 5% at a Flemish university and head of clinic or assistant head of clinic at a University Hospital;

4° an academic staff member with a remunerated appointment at the Evangelical Protestant Faculty in Leuven and the Faculty for Protestant Theology in Brussels;

5° a research director of the FWO;

6° a designated beneficiary of an ERC Starting Grant, an ERC Advanced Grant or an Odysseus II grant.

All co-supervisors have to be researchers of at least postdoctoral level. Co-supervisors have to be affiliated with a remunerated appointment to a Flemish university, or a Flemish research institution, or a Flemish university hospital, or the Transnational University Limburg, or the Evangelical Protestant Faculty in Leuven, or the Faculty for Protestant Theology in Brussels, or a federal scientific institution where the co-supervisor belongs to the Dutch-speaking community.

Art. 3.

Persons cannot apply for a Clinical PhD fellowship if they have previously, even if only partially, been the beneficiary of a predoctoral fellowship.

Art. 4.

Holders of a clinical PhD fellowship must submit an annual report on their scientific research to the FWO;

Art. 5.

The fellowship begins on October 1 and lasts 2 years. It cannot be renewed. The fellowship will be suspended in cases of civil service, prolonged sickness leave, pregnancy and breastfeeding leave, parental leave, and palliative leave. In these cases the fellowship will be extended by the period during which no payments were received. Extensions of less than two weeks will not be taken into consideration.

Art. 6.

The fellowship grant is half the salary paid by the university hospital or university veterinary surgery, with a maximum of EUR 35,000 per year. For a fellowship awarded to a general practitioner, this amount corresponds with the cost of a 50% appointment in the rank of assistant.

This sum is paid to the university hospital, after the university hospital or university veterinary surgery has submitted a detailed salary calculation. The grant paid to the institution by the FWO must be spent exclusively on a clinical replacement. For a fellowship awarded to a general practitioner, the FWO will make the payment to the university concerned.

Art. 7.

Applications must be accompanied by a certificate from the CEO of the university hospital concerned or from the departmental head of the veterinary surgery concerned or from the dean of the faculty concerned, stating that, if the fellowship is awarded, the candidate will be released part-time from his/her current duties so as to enable him/her to complete his/her PhD by thesis. (This article does not apply if the candidate is a general practitioner)

Art. 8.

Applications must be submitted to the FWO in English, using the online form "Clinical PhD fellowship". The forms must reach the secretariat of  the FWO no later than 1 February at 17:00, which precedes the year to which the expenditure relates. If this date falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the submission deadline is moved to the following Monday at 17:00.


Note: the English version of the regulations are only a translation and have no legal force.