Junior postdoctoral fellowship

After opening the call, the FWO decided to also admit candidates who plan to defend their PhD later than 1 June. Applications are eligible if the doctorate will be obtained at the latest on 15 September of the year in which the fellowship starts (in the latter case you need to inform the FWO of the date of the public defense at the latest on 1 July of that year).


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 additional postdoctoral fellowships, the FWO collaborates with Meise Botanical Garden and with VITO.

For the postdoctoral fellowships call 2022, the Fund Suzanne Duchesne, managed by the King Baudouin Foundation offers an amount of € 75,000 in the form of special bench fees for selected postdoc researchers in oncology (Med4 panel).


  • Period: 3 years
  • Salary scale: minimum €4,844.76 - maximum €7,552.50
  • Call closed
  • Announcement of selection results: 24 May 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 September 15 of that year at the latest (in the latter case you need to informs the FWO of the date of your public defense by 1 July of that year at the latest).
  • You have not yet benefited from this fellowship, not even partially.
  • 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


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 prepare an application that meets the selection criteria
  • 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

  • The application form gives attention to various researcher profiles and research results. The purpose 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 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.
  • Expert panels: make the right choice!
    • You are responsible to choose the expert panel that best fits your application. Carefully check the overview of the panels and the panel scopes  in order to make the most adequate choice. NEW: the panel structure is slightly adapted, starting from this 2023 call, and the scope of all panels was thoroughly revised. The reform further entails a new panel in the domain of medical sciences (Med9), as well as more attention to multi- and interdisciplinary research. Further information on these reforms can be found here: Research Foundation - Flanders - Panel structure reform (fwo.be).
    • 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.