Special PhD fellowship


The special PhD fellowship enables persons not employed within scientific research to complete a PhD within one year. Applicants must be in possession of a "temporary leave" certificate issued by their current employer.


  • Period: 1 year
  • Net monthly scholarship amount: identical to the last net salary of the main activity, limited to the net salary which the beneficiary would receive as assistant at a university in the Flemish Community
  • Call closed
  • Announcement of selection results 30 June 2023
  • Start of fellowship: 1 November 2023

Profile and conditions

  • You have a diploma at least equivalent to a master's degree following a bachelor's degree and awarded by the competent institutions in one of the countries of the European Economic Area or Switzerland.
  • You are permanently employed.
  • You are not professionally involved in scientific research.
  • Your employer is willing to give you temporary leave or unpaid leave for 1 year. You are entitled to return to your job after the leave ends.
  • You relinquish any secondary activity and associated remuneration. 
  • You have not previously received an FWO fellowship (not even in part).
  • You agree with the Research Integrity Clause


  • You contact a a promotor affiliated to a Flemish university (or to the Evangelic Protestant Faculty in Leuven or the Faculty for Protestant Theology in Brussels), who is ready to guide you as a doctorandus. The promotor undertakes to properly coach and guide you as doctorandus.
  • The promotor is invited by the FWO to write a letter of recommendation.
  • You submit your application online (FWO e-portal).
  • Your application is submitted to the Cross-Domain Panel.
  • The Cross-Domain Panel reports to the board of trustees.
  • The board of trustees decides on the appointment (end June 2023).
  • You receive feedback on the decision and the findings of the expert panel.

Regulations and downloads

  • General regulations
    These general regulations are applicable for every funding of FWO
  • Regulations for Special PhD Fellowship
    These regulations contain all conditions to apply for an FWO-Special PhD Fellowship
  • Internal and external peer review
    These regulations lay down the conditions of the evaluation and award procedure for the research support programmes managed by the FWO. The composition of the panels for the FWO fellowships will be published early 2019.

Documents and additional information for applicants

Specific supporting documents