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.

Pursuant to Article 18 of the Decree of 30 April 2009 on the organisation and financing of science and innovation policy and the decision of the Flemish Government of 10 November 2011 on subsidisation by the Research Foundation - Flanders, the Flemish Government grants the Research Foundation - Flanders a subsidy for the purpose of supporting individual researchers.

Art. 2.

1. These regulations govern the eligibility of applications, appointment, implementation, suspension and termination of clinical doctoral grants (*) of the Research Foundation - Flanders, calculation and payment of the grant, rights and obligations, occupational accidents, liability, child allowance and annual holidays of the grant holders.

§2. The internal and external peer review with regard to the evaluation of the submitted grant applications is governed by the FWO regulations "Internal and external peer review".

§3. These regulations are without prejudice to the general regulations of the Research Foundation - Flanders.

§4. Detailed information, full regulations, and forms are available online.

* 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. 3.

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.

A special temporary fellowship, without any obligation to repay, can be granted to enable them to complete their research with a view to obtaining a PhD by thesis.

Art. 4.

At the start of the fellowship 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.

When submitting their application, candidates must present a certificate from their supervisor in which the latter:

a) assumes the scientific responsibility for the research and undertakes to act as supervisor of the applicant within the faculty where he/she wishes to present his/her PhD project;
b) certifies that the work has progressed far enough to allow a PhD by thesis to be completed within the term of the fellowship.

The supervisor must hold at least one of the following appointments:

  • a minimal ZAP appointment or equivalent appointment with PhD of minimum 50 percent at a principal host institution referred to in Article 4 of these regulations;
  • an appointment as research director of the Research Foundation - Flanders;
  • an ERC Grant with a principal host institution referred to in Article 4 of these regulations;
  • an Odysseus II grant with a Flemish university as principal host institution.

A supervisor who does not hold any of the above appointments but a ZAP appointment with an appointment percentage less than 50 percent but at least 10 percent, may act as supervisor provided he/she:

  • is a beneficiary of a research fellowship of the FWO;

or is additionally appointed at:

  • a principal host institution as referred to in Article 4 of these regulations;
  • a Flemish academic hospital;
  • a Flemish hospital with an academic character;
  • a recognised Flemish or federal research institution;
  • a Strategic Research Centre (SOC);
  • an academic programme of a Flemish School of Arts.

Furthermore, the total employment percentage at the institutions referred to in this paragraph must amount at least to 70% of a full-time equivalent.

Candidates with both a ZAP appointment of 5% and an appointment as clinical head or assistant clinical head or an equivalent function at a Flemish Academic Hospital can also act as supervisor.

All co-supervisors are ZAP or researchers at least at postdoctoral level.

Art. 5.

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

Art. 6.

§1. Holders of a clinical doctoral grant must submit a final report on their scientific research to FWO.

§2. All publications and reprints by grant holders must mention their title of holder of a clinical doctoral grant of the Research Foundation - Flanders and the FWO file number of their fellowship.

§3. All research-related communication must mention the FWO affiliation of the grant holder.

Art. 7.

§1. The fellowship begins on October 1 and lasts 2 years. It cannot be renewed.

§2. The fellowship may be suspended in cases of prolonged sickness leave, pregnancy and breastfeeding leave, parental leave, palliative leave and leave for medical assistance. In these cases the fellowship will be extended by the period during which the fellowship was suspended. Extensions of less than two weeks will not be taken into consideration.

Art. 8.

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 at a university hospital.

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 relevant general medical practice.

Art. 9.

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. 10.

§1. Applications must be submitted in English, using the online form "Clinical PhD fellowship". The form must be submitted by the deadline indicated in the call.

§2. The applications will be submitted to a scientific commission, which will judge the candidates. The commission reports to the Board of Trustees of the Research Foundation - Flanders. They are appointed by the Board of Trustees of the FWO.

§3. Grant holders undertake to comply with the regulations of the Research Foundation - Flanders and those of the academic authorities of the universities.

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