Senior clinical investigator


The senior clinical investigator fellowship supports well educated doctors and specialist pharmacists who want to pursue a full-fledged career in translational research. Translational research bridges the gap between fundamental biomedical research, which is vital to any progress, and clinical research, which is focussed on the patient. The beneficiaries are released from clinical duties in order to focus on their research.


  • Period: 5-year part-time research, twice renewable
  • The fellowship grant is intended to exempt the fellow half-time from clinical duties and provide replacement, allowing them to conduct research. The amount linked to the fellowship, with a maximum of EUR 60,000 (*) per year, is intended to finance the replacement for these clinical tasks.
    • Exceptionally, when the half-time replacement of the clinical tasks is impossible (based on motivation), the amount can be used for a replacement of only 20%, supplemented by the remuneration of a scientific or technical employee. In this case too, the maximum amount is a total of EUR 60,000 per year.
  • For general practitioners, the amount of the fellowship corresponds to the wage costs of a part-time appointment as a lecturer at the university (taking into account seniority), with a maximum of EUR 60,000 (*) per year.

(*) from 2020 for the new first fellowships and from 2021 for the new renewals

  • In addition to the EUR 60,000 per year, during the first term of the senior clinical investigator fellowship, an amount of maximum EUR 100,000 (covering the full 5-year period) or EUR 20,000 per year will be paid for as compensation for other costs (operation, equipment, etc.) associated with the fellowship.
  • PLEASE NOTE when applying for a renewal of the fellowship:
    • Since the revision of the programme (call 2020), renewals are granted more selectively and must meet minimum quality requirements.
    • A report of the past 4.5 years must be attached to the application and will be assessed by the panel.
    • A renewal must follow the previous fellowship without interruption and must therefore be requested during the final year of the ongoing fellowship. If rejected, there will be no second attempt.
  • Call 2022 open since December 8th, 2021
  • Submission deadline via e-portal: March 1st, 2022 at 17:00 CET
  • Announcement of results: June 30th, 2022
  • Start of fellowship: October 1st, 2022
  • Number of fellowships awarded per year: 8 (new fellowships) – 6 (first renewals) – 4 (second renewals)
  • Success rate 2021: 44.4% (first fellowships)

Profile and conditions

  • See the programme regulations for more details on eligibility conditions.
  • On the start date of the fellowship (October 1st) you are recognized by the government to practice your profession in Belgium as a medical specialist, general practitioner or pharmacist specialist in clinical biology.
  • You hold a PhD by thesis, achieved no later than June 1st in the year of appointment and max. 20 years ago (counted backwards from the start of the fellowship using calendar years).
  • You are employed with a contract of indefinite duration as medical specialist or pharmacist specialist in clinical biology at an academic hospital affiliated to a university in the Flemish Community. As general practitioner, you are employed at a Flemish university department of family medicine throughout the duration of the fellowship.
  • You spend at least 80% of your time on purely clinical activities.
  • You can apply maximum two times for the same fellowship. PLEASE NOTE: This counter was reset to zero when the program was reformed. As of the 2020 call, one can again apply for the FKM mandate twice, regardless of any previous applications.
  • You agree with the Research integrity clause. 


  • The director of the clinic, the chief physician and the dean of the faculty of medicine commit themselves in writing for the effective replacement of the fellow and guarantee that that the fellow will be reinstated full-time in the original position at the end of the fellowship. This does not apply to general practitioners.
  • You complete your application (written in English) online via the e-portal (FWO-E-loket)
  • The jury clinical fellowships evaluates your application, assessing its quality based on the evaluation criteria in the score grid.
  • Based on the ranking proposed by the jury, the board of trustees confirms the final decision on the selection. The results will be announced by email and on the website via our results page.
  • You receive feedback after the final decision.
  • The procedure was explained by the FWO during an online information session


Documents and additional information for applicants


Information session


  • The application form has been amended to give more attention to various researcher profiles and research results. The purpose of these amendments is to give researchers the opportunity to demonstrate the building up of their research career through a range of scientifically relevant activities, skills, experiences and achievements. The FWO is thus following an international trend away from a one-sided focus on ‘classical’ output criteria (such as publications, bibliometrics, patents and the like) towards a broader view of what science can be and accomplish, with respect for the specificity of each discipline. The new application forms are aimed to help the researcher demonstrate that versatility The evaluation procedure has also been amended accordingly: in the score grids, the score descriptors have been supplemented with the new elements in the application form.
  • Please note, when entering publications (e-portal ‘personal details’) , the previous sections A.1.1. and A.1.2. in the publication lists have been merged into a single section: ‘peer reviewed articles in journals’ (i.e. without distinguishing between Web of Science, VABB-SHW and the like). A2 deals with ‘non-peer reviewed articles in journals’. With the transition from the old to the new system, publications previously entered in A.1.1. and A.1.2. have already been combined in chronological order in the new section A1. However, applicants remain themselves responsible for the accuracy of the information included in the personal details, application forms and the like. Applicants are therefore advised to carefully check their combined publications in A1.
  • The application form now also features two questions relating to ‘responsible research and innovation’: one about the extent to which ‘gender and diversity’ has been taken into account in the research approach and another about the involvement of social stakeholders in the research. Applicants can justify their answers to both questions or, where appropriate, indicate why these aspects are not relevant to their application. The questions are intended to raise awareness about these aspects in terms of what is understood as responsible research and innovation.

Impact COVID-19

You may be worried about the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on your research career so far, the strength of your application file and the ambitions of your research project.

Therefore we advise you to mention specific factors that influence your application in the entry field ‘career breaks’ and, where appropriate, ‘research stays’ and/or in the project description file. The FWO will explicitly instruct the panel members to take this into account when assessing your application.

Specific supporting documents

Working as a Senior Clinical Investigator?