Senior clinical investigator fellowship

Objective

The senior clinical investigator fellowship supports postdoctoral physicians and specialist pharmacists who want to pursue a career in translational research. Translational research bridges the gap between fundamental biomedical research, which is vital to any progress, and clinical research, which is focussed on the patient. The beneficiaries are released from clinical duties in order to focus on their research.

Important dates

  • 7 December 2023: call opens
  • 1 March 2024 at 5pm: call closes (last application date)
  • 27 June 2024: announcement of results
  • 1 October 2024: start of fellowship

Features

  • Period: 5-year part-time research, twice renewable
  • The fellowship grant is intended to exempt the fellow half-time from clinical duties and provide replacement, allowing them to conduct research. The amount linked to the fellowship, with a maximum of EUR 60,000 per year, is intended to finance the replacement for these clinical tasks.
    • Exceptionally, when the half-time replacement of the clinical tasks is impossible (based on motivation), the amount can be used for a replacement of only 20%, supplemented by the remuneration of a scientific or technical employee. In this case too, the maximum amount is a total of EUR 60,000 per year.
  • For general practitioners, the amount of the fellowship corresponds to the wage costs of a part-time appointment as a lecturer at the university (taking into account seniority), with a maximum of EUR 60,000 per year.
  • In addition, during the first term of the senior clinical investigator fellowship, an amount of maximum EUR 100,000 (covering the full 5-year period) or EUR 20,000 per year will be provided as compensation for other costs (operation, equipment, etc.) associated with the fellowship.
  • PLEASE NOTE when applying for a renewal of the fellowship:
    • Since the revision of the programme (call 2020), renewals are granted more selectively and must meet minimum quality requirements.
    • A progress report of the past 4.5 years must be attached to the application and will be assessed by the panel.
    • A renewal must follow the previous fellowship without interruption and must therefore be requested during the final year of the ongoing fellowship. If rejected, there will be no second attempt.
  • Number of fellowships awarded per year: 8 (new fellowships) – 6 (first renewals) – 4 (second renewals)
  • Success rate 2023: 40% (first fellowships)

Profile and conditions

  • See the programme regulations for more details on eligibility conditions.
  • By the start date of the fellowship (October 1st) you are recognized by the government to practice your profession in Belgium as a medical specialist, general practitioner or pharmacist specialist in clinical biology.
  • You hold a PhD by thesis, achieved no later than June 1st in the year of appointment and max. 20 years ago (counted backwards from the start of the fellowship using calendar years).
  • You are employed with a contract of indefinite duration as medical specialist or pharmacist specialist in clinical biology at an academic hospital affiliated to a university in the Flemish Community. As general practitioner, you are employed at a Flemish university department of family medicine throughout the duration of the fellowship.
  • You spend at least 80% of your time on purely clinical activities.
  • You can apply maximum two times for the same fellowship. PLEASE NOTE: This counter was reset to zero when the program was reformed. As of the 2020 call, one can again apply for the FKM mandate twice, regardless of any previous applications.
  • You agree with the research integrity clause.

Procedure

  • The director of the clinic, the supervisor and the dean of the faculty of medicine commit themselves in writing for the effective replacement of the fellow and guarantee that the fellow will be reinstated full-time in the original position at the end of the fellowship. This does not apply to general practitioners.
  • You complete your application (written in English) online via the e-portal (FWO-E-loket)
  • The jury clinical fellowships evaluates your application, assessing its quality based on the evaluation criteria in the score grid.
  • Based on the ranking proposed by the jury, the board of trustees confirms the final decision on the selection. The results will be announced by email and on the website via our results page.
  • You receive feedback after the final decision.

Regulations

Documents and additional information for applicants

Example application form: offers a number of screenshots of the online application forms and the project template outline - first fellowship

Example application form: offers a number of screenshots of the online application forms and the project template outline - renewal

Contact

Information session

The procedure of the call was explained by the FWO during an online information session.

Download the presentation.

Impact COVID-19

You may be worried about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic 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, ‘research stays’ and in the project description file. The FWO will explicitly instruct the panel members to take this into account when assessing your application.

Specific supporting documents

  • Score grids. In the score grids below, you can find descriptions of the possible scores for each evaluation criterion. The jury will use these score grids in the evaluation of your application.
  • Manual ethics checklist. The application form contains a questionnaire about the ethical aspects of the project proposal. An affirmative answer to some of the questions triggers a legal obligation to obtain ethical approval from the appropriate ethics committee before initiating any of the research activities concerned. This approval is not yet required upon submission of the project proposal (except for experimentation on non-human primates). Consult the manual for help and background information about the ethics checklist.
  • Transparent clinical trials. If the research project includes a clinical trial, European regulations The FWO obliges researchers to register and report the trial and the research results in a timely and correct manner. See the section on clinical trials on the research ethics page for more information.
  • List research discipline codes
    Since 2019 the FWO has been using the new list of research discipline codes as compiled by ECOOM in collaboration with relevant stakeholders and which has been approved for use within Flanders. This list of discipline codes is a hierarchical and structured compilation of research topics by discipline in all scientific fields.

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