Cooperation with China


The FWO is keen on promoting international collaboration as a driving force for excellence. That is why the FWO signs agreements with a number of countries for the funding of joint collaboration projects.

On the 30th of June, 2015 the official signing of the new cooperation agreement between the FWO and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) took place in Brussels. After two successful calls a third call for collaborative projects is launched in order to further promote scientific cooperation between Flanders and China. For the 2019 call the cooperation is limited to all fields of natural sciences and medical sciences in the following themes:

  • Mathematical & physical sciences
  • Chemical sciences
  • Life sciences
  • Earth sciences
  • Engineering & material sciences
  • Information sciences
  • Management sciences
  • Health sciences


  • Duration of projects: 2 years
  • The funding covers travel and living expenses:
    • FWO pays researcher(s) from China a daily living allowance of € 50 per day (or max. € 1300 per month) and reimburses in addition the accommodation costs. The international travel costs of the Flemish researcher(s) are also paid by FWO.
  • NSFC provides per project a fixed total amount of 100,000 RMB for the total duration of two years. This funding should be used for the international travel costs of the Chinese researcher(s) and the accommodation and living expenses of the Flemish researcher(s).
  • Only researchers from postdoctoral level onwards can travel from China to Flanders. In Flanders PhD students may be included in the project and travel from Flanders to China.
  • Call closed
  • Communication of the results: Mid December 2019
  • Start of project: January 1st 2020

Profile and conditions

  • As the applicant, you hold a PhD.
  • You hold, throughout the entire period of your project, an appointment of at least 50% at:
    • a university in the Flemish Community (including the academic programmes within the corresponding association), or to
    • a federal or Flemish scientific institute as scientific staff of the Dutch-speaking community, or to
    • a university hospital in the Flemish Community as scientific staff, or to
    • a hospital with an academic character recognized as research center in the Flemish Community as scientific staff.
  • Please note: All the members of the Chinese research team (including the Chinese PI) have to be already involved in an ongoing NSFC project and there should be an overlap of at least one year. In addition, all the members of the Chinese research team should be affiliated to the same university or institute.


  • Read the guidelines for applicant carefully (see ‘Downloads).
  • You must submit your project proposal simultaneously to FWO and NSFC according to the respective modalities of each agency. Please note that at NSFC the project proposal should be accompanied by the form ‘exchange programme agreement’, signed by the Flemish and Chinese PI’s (see ‘downloads).
  • You propose a list of 3 external referees (For more information on the eligibility criteria see Chapter III of the FWO regulations internal and external peer review). 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 China. Please note that there also cannot be a Conflict of Interest (CoI) with the Chinese partner(s).
  • One referee will be asked for advice.
  • The Panel of International Scientific Contacts (CIWC) evaluates your application.
  • The final decision is made in consultation with NSFC.

Regulations and downloads