The Odysseus programme is currently undergoing a reform. The Board of Trustees has already approved the new framework of this reform. In the light of this, FWO would like to inform you already about a number of key elements for the next Odysseus call. The regulations cannot yet be published at this stage, because the changes to the programme also imply a decree amendment that is still in progress. Nevertheless, underneath you can already find a sneak preview of the renewed programme, in anticipation of the many questions surrounding this reform.

Subject to approval of the decree amendment, the following elements will apply.


The Odysseus programme supports outstanding researchers who have built up a career outside Flanders. The programme provides start-up funding in order to develop a research group within a Flemish university or to set up a research line and become progressively more involved in the Flemish research establishment.

What makes this programme unique is the combination of a permanent position at a Flemish university and sufficient project funding to establish your own research team.  This symbiosis forms the ideal starting point to attract high level, international research to Flanders.


  • The agreement is of the same type as that for research projects.
  • The subsidy is spread over 5 years and includes the salary cost for supporting staff, equipment and bench fees. This breakdown is purely indicative, because the researcher under this programme is entitled to freely dispose of the financial resources.   Salary costs and remunerations of the Odysseus beneficiaries are borne by the host institution. Otherwise the same guidelines as for FWO projects apply.
  • Call closed

Profile and conditions

  • The subsidy is used for two types of start-up funding:
    • Odysseus Group I
      • for researchers who are internationally recognised as pioneers in their field and who already have a position at a foreign university
      • research funding: €400,000 to €1,500,000/year (€2,000,000 to €7,500,000 for the 5-year period)
    • Odysseus Group II
      • Researchers who have at least 3 years’ post-doctoral experience abroad and whose work has convinced leading colleagues in the field that they have potential to develop a leading international position.
      • Research funding: €100,000 and €200,000/year (€500,000 to €1,000,000 for the 5-year period)
  • Only the Flemish universities can, potentially in cooperation, nominate candidates at the FWO.

To be considered an eligible candidate:

  • you have been employed by a foreign institution for at least one year before the date of the application.
  • you have for at least three years been affiliated to a foreign institution in the last five years.
  • you meet the criteria of excellence, as demonstrated in the CV and bibliography.
  • you submit a research plan at the relevant universities. This plan includes a budget with an indicative breakdown of planned expenses over a period of five years. This research plan is approved by the university or universities and is consistent with the research policy. 
  • In case of a nomination by two or more universities, they should formulate a common proposal.
  • You agree with the Research Integrity Clause


  • The FWO publishes a targeted call.
  • Each university establishes a procedure for the selection of the candidates that it wants to nominate to the FWO.
  • The universities nominate the selected candidates to the FWO, providing all information needed to assess the worth of the candidates. The nomination is submitted in English.
  • The universities propose candidates, together with a limited list of reserves.
  • The successful candidates are selected by the FWO Board of Trustees, acting on the advice of the international multidisciplinary jury.
  • Upon the nomination of a candidate the university must:
    • confirm that a ZAP management position (group I) or a postdoctoral fellowship (group II) with a duration of five years (group II) is available, and the necessary infrastructure in place. 
    • approve the research plan and indicate how it fits in with the university's research policy.

Regulations and downloads