Bilateral research cooperation South Africa


The FWO is keen on promoting international collaboration as a driving force for excellence. That is why the FWO signs bilateral agreements with a number of countries for the funding of joint research projects. These projects go further than the traditional exchange projects, because personnel can also be financed.

One of the selected countries is South Africa. The FWO has reached an agreement with the "National Research Foundation" (NRF) on the funding joint research projects.

The current call is open for fundamental research in all disciplines.


  • Joint research project with South African partner(s) with one central research question, methodology and implementation.
  • Period: 3 years
  • Personnel and consumables: € 45.000 to € 130.000 with a reference amount of € 75.000 per year.
  • Additional equipment/matching funding: maximum € 150.000.
  • Call closed

  • Announcement of results: December 2016.
  • Start of project: 1 January 2017.

Profile and conditions

  • As a team of researchers you need funding for consumables, equipment, and/or personnel to conduct a joint research project.
  • Your research will be carried out at universities in the Flemish Community, at officially registered higher education institutions that can award a PhD degree, or at one of the following institutions:
    • Vlerick Business School (VLERICK)
    • Antwerp Management School (UAMS)
    • Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITG)
    • Institute of Development Policy and Management (IOB)
    • Institute for European Studies (IES)
    • Institute of Jewish Studies (IJS)
    • Antwerp Maritime Academy (Nautical Sciences)

Where appropriate, the research project can be done in collaboration with Flemish or federal scientific institutions.

  • Your research project will be carried out under the direction of a supervisor, possibly in collaboration with one or more co-supervisors and in close cooperation with a South African research team. The supervisor who also acts as the responsible spokesperson vis-à-vis the FWO, must comply with Article 9 of the regulations for research projects, or has to hold an equal position at one of the institutes mentioned above.
  • All material acquired under a consumable or equipment grant of the FWO shall become the property of the research institution.
  • The host institution is the employer of staff remunerated under research projects.
  • Supervisors and co-supervisors are not allowed any remuneration or accumulation with a remuneration under a research project.
  • Applications in the framework of this bilateral research cooperation with South Africa do not count for the calculation of the maximum number of projects per application round for which you may act as (co-)supervisor. In addition, supervisor-spokesmen, who were awarded a project, don’t need to skip an application round before being able to submit an application.
  • Take a look at the different research projects you can apply for in 2016.
  • You agree with the Research Integrity Clause.


  • Your joint proposal is submitted simultaneously to FWO and NRF.
  • Each supervisor and co-supervisor of both the Flemish and South African research team must have online profile including an updated list of publications on the FWO E-portal.
  • You propose a list of 10 external referees (refer to the regulations to see who is eligible). Please be aware that the proposed international referees cannot be appointed to a Belgian university, research institute or other organization. Moreover, the proposed international referees cannot be appointed to similar institutions and organizations in South Africa. Please note that there also cannot be a Conflict of Interest (CoI) with the South African partner(s).
  • Your application is presented to a number of these referees for evaluation.
  • A joint Expertpanel consisting of Flemish and South African experts evaluates your application.
  • The Expertpanel reports to the Board of Trustees.
  • The Board of Trustees takes the final decision.

Regulations and downloads