Junior and Senior Research projects
Research projects are initiated by the researchers. There are two types of projects: junior and senior research projects. The objective of FWO's research projects is to advance fundamental scientific research. They are initiated on the initiative of researcher in all scientific disciplines.
- Duration: in principle 4 years, minimum 2 years
- Staff and consumables: at least €50,000 per year for the entire project (including all partners) and at most €145,000 per year per participating institution, with the exception of the non-Flemish partners, who may receive up to 10% of the total budget for the project.
- Equipment: maximum €150,000 per project
- Call closed
- Rebuttal phase (promoter-spokesperson can react on the reviews): 8 – 19 September 2023
- Announcement of results: 13 December 2023
- Start of project: 1 January 2024
Profile and conditions
- As a team of researchers you need funding for consumables, equipment and/or personnel.
- Your research will be carried out at an eligible Flemish main host institution, possibly in collaboration with other Flemish and/or federal research institutions (Article 7); a non-Flemish research institution may participate for at most 10 percent of the budget.
- Your research will be carried out under the supervision of a supervisor-spokesperson, possibly in collaboration with other (co-)supervisors (Article 10 - 12).
- A researcher can act as (co-)supervisor for maximum two projects per application round. This includes applications for the WEAVE projects.
- A researcher can, per call, act as supervisor-spokesperson, supervisor or co-supervisor for maximum two fundamental research projects, regardless of whether budget is requested or not. The total of requested and ongoing fundamental research projects on behalf of a single supervisor-spokesperson, supervisor or co-supervisor may not exceed two. The date on which a newly awarded research project fundamental research would normally start, is used as reference date to calculate this total. This means that there can be only 1 ongoing research project on the date that your new research project will start. When there are already two ongoing research projects, one must end on the 31st of December of year that the application was submitted. This rule also applies to the LAP and Weave projects.This rule does not apply to a supervisor or co-supervisor from a partner-institution that has not requested any budget for the entire duration of the project, provided that the project is a cross-institutional project.
- For junior projects the supervisor-spokesperson and all (co-)supervisor must have obtained their first PhD degree maximum 12 years before the submission deadline of the project application.
- For senior projects the supervisor-spokesperson or the (co-)supervisor has obtained their first PhD degree more than 12 years before the submission deadline of the project application.
- Members of the ZAP staff (full and assistant professors) of a Flemish university who are retiring in the year of the submission of the project application or who will retire during the project period, may submit two applications (this being the maximum as regulated for all applicants). From the moment of retirement on they have to be replaced as promotor(-spokesperson) by a member of the ZAP staff who as a copromotor at the same main host institution co-submitted the project application and they can from that moment participate in the project as an emeritus mandated by the university, also on a non-salaried basis.
- All material acquired with a grant for consumables/equipment of the FWO shall become the property of the university. If you want to use core facilities during the execution of your project, do make sure that the fees for that use are budgeted correctly in the consumables expenditure category.
- The host institution is the employer of staff remunerated on research projects.
- Supervisors and co-supervisors are not allowed any remuneration or accumulation with a remuneration on a research project.
- The real cost is used in the application when the name(s) of the researcher(s) is (are) already known. When the name(s) of the researcher(s) is (are) not yet known, indicative amounts can be used.
- On top of the research funding for the project a overhead of 6 percent is awarded to the host institution(s).
- You agree with the Research Integrity Clause
- You submit your proposal online.
- For the collaboration between institutions, consent is given in one of three ways:
- Partners who can also be main host institution: their consent is sent directly to FWO.
- Flemish Partners who cannot be main host institution: the supervisor-spokesperson collects the signed forms of consent from all these partners. With this declaration those institutions commit themselves to act as host institutions for the project and more specifically with respect to the research work that will be performed by their researchers in the project. The declarations from these institutions have to be uploaded as an attachment to the application form. Download the template for this declaration.
- Non-Flemish partners: a collaboration agreement has to be made at latest 9 months after the start of the project and is stored by the Flemish main host institution.
- Each (co-)supervisor(-spokesperson) has to upload a CV. The templateprovided in the application form must be used.
- Your application is submitted to a number of external referees for evaluation.
- Rebuttal: You will be given the opportunity to react on the comments of the external referees and internal (members FWO expert panels) evaluation reports between September 8 and 19 2023. The supervisor-spokesperson of the application receives at the beginning of the rebuttal phase an invitation on the (primary) e-mail address as filled out in the FWO e-portal – this is the e-mail address by which the application is submitted to the supervisor-spokesperson’s main host institution. An invitation will be sent to this email address. Please also check your spam folder to make sure you do not miss this important message. If you have not received a message from FWO by 8 September 2023, the FWO should be informed as soon as possible.
Team members involved in an application are strongly advised to make arrangements regarding the composition and submission of the rebuttal in case the promoter-spokesperson is not able to complete this task because of force-majeure. In any case, ‘force-majeure’ has to be proven by medical attestation or other relevant official documents.
- The FWO expert panels evaluate your application.
- No more than 50 percent of the panel budget can be awarded to projects with exclusively (co)supervisors affiliated to the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology (VIB). This rule does not apply to applications submitted by (co)supervisors affiliated to VIB in collaboration with one or more (co)supervisor(s) without VIB affiliation.
- The expert panels report to the board of trustees.
- The board of trustees takes the final decision.
- At the end of the evaluation procedure you will receive feedback on your application.
The correct Expertpanel
The FWO has the projects evaluated by 31 discipline-specific expert panels and one specific interdisciplinary panel. The applicant is solely responsible for the choice of the expert panel that will evaluate their application. You should read the scientific scopes of all expert panel carefully to determine to which panel your application is best submitted. You may find the scopes of the panels here. Please note for 2023: the panel scopes have been reformed, a new MED9 panel has been created and there is now a ‘specific interdisciplinary panel’.
Regulations and downloads
- General regulations
These general regulations are applicable for every funding of FWO
- Regulations for Research projects (valid from call 2019)
These regulations contain all conditions to apply for an FWO Research Project
- 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.
Documents and additional information for applicants
- See /en/contact/for-the-researcher/ for requesting additional info and for specific questions
- For technical (IT) problems regarding e-portal and application modules send an email to the IT helpdesk: FWOhelpdesk@fwo.be
- Evaluation and selection procedures are commented during the information sessions.
- Example application form
Specific supporting documents
- List research discipline codes
Since 2019 the Research Foundation Flanders (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.
- Scoring grid (scoring descriptors) used by the expert panels and external reviewers
- Template collaboration agreement
Amendments to the application form for the purpose of broadening the research(er) profile and responsible research and innovation
The application form for this funding programme has been amended in 2022 to pay more attention to various researcher profiles and research results.
In the form the subsections relating to peer reviewed articles have been merged into a single section (i.e. without distinguishing between Web of Science, VABB-SHW and the like), the section ‘other output and impact’ in the CV template has been placed in a broader context, a ‘research statement’ has been introduced in which the ‘short CV’ and the ‘career path’ overlap, enabling the researcher to insert a narrative, and the option has been added to present and clarify the five most relevant publications and/or achievements over the last five years, and to include the research funding obtained over the last five years.
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.
The purpose of these amendments is to give researchers the opportunity to demonstrate 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 intend to help the researcher demonstrate this versatility.
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.
Please note, when entering publications, the former sections A.1.1. and A.1.2. in the publication lists have been merged since 2022 into a single section: ‘peer reviewed articles in journals’. A2 deals with ‘non-peer reviewed articles in journals’.