Senior postdoctoral fellowship


The senior postdoctoral fellowships are intended to support researchers who have completed their PhD, in developing an independent, international research career.

For the funding of a limited number of an additional postdoctoral fellowship, the FWO collaborates with Meise Botanical Garden.

Within the 2020 call an additional postdoctoral fellowship ‘ALS’(junior or senior) can be funded. The legacy of Mr. Van Eyck allows the one-off spending of 322,000 euros in favour of research on the neurological disease Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Applying for this ‘ALS’ fellowship is possible within the regular postdoc call. More info and modalities can be consulted here.


  • Period: 3 years
  • Salary scale: minimum € 4.134,97 - maximum € 6.446,01
  • New Call opens 23 September 2019 (Submission Deadline: 2 December 2019 at 5pm CET)
  • Announcement of results: June 2020
  • Start of fellowship: October 1, 2020 or November 1, 2020 (at the choice of the candidate)

Profile and conditions

  • You hold a PhD by thesis or a degree or a diploma or certificate recognized as equivalent in accordance with European Union directives or a bilateral agreement
  • You can apply for a senior postdoctoral fellowship if your PhD degree, with as reference point the date mentioned on the PhD degree, was awarded minimum three years and maximum six years before the first of October of the year in which the fellowship commences.
  • You have not previously received a similar fellowship (not even in part).
  • You can apply maximum two times for the same fellowship.
  • You can always apply for a senior postdoctoral fellowship if you have previously enjoyed a junior postdoctoral fellowship. In that case, the senior postdoctoral fellowship must immediately follow the junior postdoctoral fellowship.
  • You can also apply if you have not had a postdoctoral fellowship from the FWO before. In that case, you must prove that you have a postdoctoral research experience of minimum 2 years on the first of October of the year in which the fellowship commences. (declaration by the Flemish host institution). The declaration is to be signed by someone with signature authority, binding the host institute. Contact the host institute’s research co-ordination office for more info.
  • You agree with the Research Integrity Clause

Evaluation and selection procedure

  • You contact a supervisor affiliated to a Flemish university or research institute (eligible list: see regulations Art. 3)
  • You complete your application online, which is  submitted to an FWO Expertpanels.
  • The supervisor is asked by the FWO to write a letter of recommendation.
  • Early April , after the preselection, you can be invited for a second round with interview, else, you will be notified you have not been selected
  • If you are selected for the second round, you'll be interviewed by the panel in the month May or June
  • The Expert panels report to the Board of Trustees, who
  • decides on the appointment
  • You will receive feedback on the evaluation after the decision.
  • The evaluation and selection procedures will be explained during infosessions and through a Powerpoint presentation.


Documents and additional information for applicants


General information:

Info sessions call 2020

  • 27 September 2019 Universiteit Hasselt
  • 3 October 2019 Vrije Universiteit Brussel & Universiteit Antwerpen
  • 10 October 2019 Universiteit Gent
  • 11 October 2019 KU Leuven

Supporting documents for your application

  • Expert panels: make the right choice

You can choose the expert panel that best fits your application. Check carefully the panel scopes in order to make the most adequate choice. For the interdisciplinary panel you should use the acceptance criteria decision tree to figure out whether this panel does really fit your proposal.

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!

  • List research discipline codes
    Starting with the 2019 calls for fellowships, the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) is 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 new list of discipline codes is a hierarchical and structured compilation of research topics by discipline in all scientific fields.

Evaluation supporting documents

  • Scoring grid (scoring descriptors) used by the expert panels incl external reviewers

Former programme postdoctoral fellowships

From the call of 2019 for postdoctoral fellowships on two types of fellowship can be applied for: junior postdoctoral fellowship and senior postdoctoral fellowship.

The former scheme for first postdoctoral fellowships will be considered as being equivalent with the new junior type, whereas the former postdoctoral fellowship renewal will be considered as being equivalent with the new senior type.

You can find the regulations of this programme here:

Working as a FWO postdoctoral researcher?