PhD fellowship strategic basic research
A PhD Fellowship strategic basic research (SB) allows young researchers to prepare a PhD, and to develop into strategically thinking and innovation-oriented scientists.
Strategic basic research in the context of a PhD grant stands for challenging and innovative research (at PhD level), which, if successful, may in the longer term lead to innovative applications with economic added value (for specific companies, for a collective of companies, or a sector, or in line with the Flanders 2025 transition areas
For the funding of a limited number of fellowships, the FWO collaborates with Meise Botanic Garden and INBO (Research Institute for Nature and Forest),and (every two years, next time 2021) L'Oreal-Unesco.
- Period: 2 years, renewable once
- Net monthly scholarship amount: minimum € 2.015,51
- Fixed bench fee: € 3.720 per year
- Call open
- Submission deadline: 2 March 2020 at 17h
- Following information will be updated to version 2020 when new call opens
- Submission deadline: 2 March 2020 at 17h
- Announcement of selection results: Early October 2020
- Start fellowship: 1 November 2020
Profile and conditions
- You are affiliated to a university in the Flemish Community
- At the start of the fellowship, candidates must be holder of a diploma at least equivalent to a master's degree following a bachelor's degree and awarded by the competent institutions in one of the countries of the European Economic Area or Switzerland. No attestation is required for non-Belgian diplomas.
- The master degree or equivalent diploma must have been obtained not earlier than 3 years before the closing date of the call.
- You can apply maximum two times for the same fellowship.
- On 1 March 2020 you have 18 months scientific seniority at most
- You have not previously received an FWO fellowship (not even in part).
- You agree with the Research Integrity Clause
Submission and selection procedure
- In a nutshell:
- You find a promotor affiliated to a Flemish university
- You submit your application online (FWO e-portal).
- The promotor is invited by the FWO to write a letter of recommendation.
- Your application is submitted to the FWO expert panel chosen by you.
- June 8, 2020, after the preselection, you can be invited for a second round with interview
- If you are selected for the second round, you'll be interviewed by the panel between 1 September and 2 October 2020.
- The expert panels report to the Board of Trustees
- The Board of Trustees decides on the appointment (early October 2019).
- You receive feedback on the decision and the findings of the expert panel.
Information sessions call 2019
The FWO presents the new call for PhD fellowships (fundamental research and strategic basic research) to the 5 Flemish universities
KU Leuven: 12 December 2019
UAntwerpen: 10 December 2019
UGent: 11 December 2016
UHasselt: 16 December 2019
VUB: 12 December 2019
- General regulations
These general regulations apply to all funding provided by the FWO.
- Regulations for PhD fellowship strategic basic research
These regulations apply to the application for and awarding of PhD fellowships strategic basic research by the FWO.
- Regulations for the bench fee of FWO fellows
These regulations contain all information about the bench fees for PhD and Postdoctoral Researchers of the FWO. These regulations also apply to new FWO SB fellows.
- Regulations internal and external peer review
These regulations describe how the expert panels should be composed, the conduct code, as well as the scoring and selection approach. The composition of the new panels for the fellowships fundamental research will be announced early 2019.
Documents and additional information for applicants
- See SB@fwo.be 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
- To understand the evaluation and selection process
- To prepare an application that meets the evaluation criteria
Support with preparing the application
- Expert panels: make the proper choice
- You can choose the SB expert panel that best fits your proposal, in terms of research methodology (rather than the application field). Check carefully the SB panel scopes in order to make the most adequate choice.
- In case you have doubts on what panel may fit best, you can contact the FWO (SB@fwo.be) before submitting your application, with a -motivated- first and a secondary panel choice. The FWO will then advise you on the most appropriate choice to submit in your application
- If during the evaluation of your proposal there is a panel consensus that the application is out of scope it can be rejected for that reason. It is important to stress that the responsibility for the match between application and panel is the applicant’s
- Percentiles (study results)
How to position your study results within your study group? This is an element of the evaluation by the expert panel. Learn how to find ‘your’ percentile here.
- 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.
- Flanders 2025 transition areas (to refer to in the application form w.r.t. economic finality positioning)
- Application form (screen shots)
Evaluation Supporting documents
- Scoring grids
The scoring grid (scoring descriptors) will used by the expert panels as a reference framework for the evaluation during the preselection resp. interview sessions.
Working as a FWO PhD fellow?
- Information for starting PhD fellows (v. 2019) as a practical guidance
- Practical FAQ on your running fellowship
- NEW: opportunities within your fellowship, related to your later (research) career
Doctoral (PhD) grant strategic basic research (SB)
There will be no new call for this type of fellowship. It is replaced by PhD fellowship strategic basic research. You can find the information and regulations for this funding channel here:
There will be no new call for the ICM-FWO Fellowship. You can apply in the funding channel 'PhD fellowship fundamental research and PhD fellowship strategic basic research'. You can find the information and regulations for this funding channel here: