Junior postdoctoral fellowship

For the ongoing evaluation and selection round of calls for postdoctoral fellowships, 1 June 2022 will, in principle, continue to apply as the date on which the PhD serving as the basis for the application, must have been obtained. However, applications from candidates whose PhD defence and award, due to the continuing COVID-19 crisis,  needs to be deferred until after June 1, will remain eligible. In these cases the PhD must be obtained before 1 October 2022.


The junior postdoctoral fellowships are intended to support researchers who have only recently completed their PhD, in developing an independent, international research career.

For the funding of an additional postdoctoral fellowship, the FWO collaborates with Meise Botanical Garden.

For the postdoctoral fellowships call 2022, the Fund Suzanne Duchesne, managed by the King Baudouin Foundation offers an amount of € 80,000 in the form of special bench fees for selected postdoc researchers in oncology (Med4 panel).


  • Period: 3 years
  • Salary scale: minimum €4,565.20 - maximum €7,116.70
  • Call 2022 closed (new call will open on 19 September 2022)
  • Deadline next call: 1 December 2022 17:00h CET
  • Announcement of selection results: End May / beginning of June 2023
  • Start fellowship: 1 October 2023 (1 November 2023 is also possible)

Profile and conditions

  • See the programme regulations for more details on eligibility conditions
  • You hold a PhD by thesis or a degree or a diploma or certificate recognized as equivalent in accordance with European Union directives or a bilateral agreement
  • You can apply for a junior postdoctoral fellowship if your PhD was obtained not longer than 3 years before October, 1 of the year in which the fellowship would start, or will be obtained at Jun 1 of that year at the latest.
  • You have not previously received a similar fellowship (not even in part).
  • You can apply maximum two times for the same fellowship. You can apply for a senior postdoctoral fellowship immediately after your junior postdoctoral fellowship.
  • You agree with the Research Integrity Clause

 Application, evaluation and selection procedure

  • You contact a supervisor affiliated to a Flemish host organization (eligible list: see regulations postdoctoral fellowships)
  • You complete your application online, which is submitted to an FWO Expert panel
  • The supervisor is asked by the FWO to write a letter of recommendation.
  • After the preselection by the expert panel, you will be notified and depending on your result, invited to the second round with interview.
  • If you are selected for the second round, you'll be interviewed by the panel between April 25 and May 20, 2022. The dates on which the preselection results will be communicated as well as the very dates of the interview (per panel) can be found here. The interviews take place online.
  • The Expert panels report to the Board of Trustees, who  decides on the appointment. The results will be announced via email and via our results page on May 31, 2022.
  • You will receive feedback on the evaluation after the decision.
  • The evaluation and selection procedures will be explained during infosessions (see below)


Additional information for applicants


General information:

  • Evaluation and selection procedures are commented during the information sessions and in this presentation. The presentation allows to better understand the evaluation and selection process, and to preprare an application that meets the selection criteria
  • The info sessions are organized online (registration via the host institution – Research Coordination)
    • 5 October 2021 KU Leuven
    • 6 October 2021 VUB
    • 7 October 2021 Universiteit Antwerpen
    • 8 October 2021 Universiteit Gent
    • 12 October 2021 Universiteit Hasselt
  • Example application form: offers a number of screenshots of the online application forms and the project template outline
  • COVID-19 and your application

    As a candidate postdoctoral fellow you may be worried about the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on your research career so far, the strength of your application file and the ambitions of your research project.

    Therefore we advise you to mention specific factors that influence your application in the entry field ‘career breaks’ and, where appropriate, ‘personal statement’, ‘research stays’ and/or in the project description file. The FWO will explicitly instruct the panel members to take this into account when assessing your application.

Support with your application

  • NEW
    • The application form has been amended to give more attention to various researcher profiles and research results. The purpose of these amendments is to give researchers the opportunity to demonstrate the building up of their research career through a range of scientifically relevant activities, skills, experiences and achievements. The FWO is thus following an international trend away from a one-sided focus on ‘classical’ output criteria (such as publications, bibliometrics, patents and the like) towards a broader view of what science can be and accomplish, with respect for the specificity of each discipline. The new application forms are aimed to help the researcher demonstrate that versatility The evaluation procedure has also been amended accordingly: in the score grids, the score descriptors have been supplemented with the new elements in the application form.
    • Please note, when entering publications (e-portal ‘personal details’) , the previous sections A.1.1. and A.1.2. in the publication lists have been merged into a single section: peer reviewed articles in journals’ (i.e. without distinguishing between Web of Science, VABB-SHW and the like). A2 deals with ‘non-peer reviewed articles in journals’. With the transition from the old to the new system, publications previously entered in A.1.1. and A.1.2. have already been combined in chronological order in the new section A1. However, applicants remain themselves responsible for the accuracy of the information included in the personal details, application forms and the like. Applicants are therefore advised to carefully check their combined publications in A1.
    • The application form now also features two questions relating to ‘responsible research and innovation’: one about the extent to which ‘gender and diversity’ has been taken into account in the research approach and another about the involvement of social stakeholders in the research. Applicants can justify their answers to both questions or, where appropriate, indicate why these aspects are not relevant to their application. The questions are intended to raise awareness about these aspects in terms of what is understood as responsible research and innovation.
  • Expert panels: make the right choice!
    • You can choose the expert panel that best fits your application. Carefully check the panel scopes in order to make the most adequate choice. For the interdisciplinary panel you should use the acceptance criteria decision tree to figure out whether this panel does really fit your proposal.
    • If during the evaluation of your proposal there is a panel consensus that the application is out of scope it can be rejected for that reason. It is important to stress that the responsibility for the match between application and panel is the applicant’s!
  • Scoring grids (reference framework with scoring descriptors).

    The expert panel (as well as the external reviewers) will evaluate your application based on score descriptors in a score grid.

Working as a FWO postdoctoral researcher?

What happens when the FWO has approved your fellowship? Here we take you step by step through the different stages of your fellowship.