Newsletter January 2016


Following a few difficult weeks at the end of last year where FWO made the news in a mainly negative light, we are making a fresh start in 2016. 2016 promises to be another busy and exciting year.


Thus, the SBO and TBM programmes as well as the IWT Doctoral (PhD) Grants for Strategic Basic Research have been transferred to FWO since January 1st. In addition to the pillar for strategic basic research, another pillar is being created within the FWO for the funding of major research infrastructure, which now also accommodates the programmes of the Hercules Foundation. 


To steer these new programmes in the right direction, the FWO team was expanded with a number of new colleagues who in recent years have gained extensive experience in managing these programmes at their respective institutions.


Only three weeks after this integration, we are proud to announce that the first calls for projects for Strategic Basic Research (SBO) and Applied Biomedical research with a primary Social finality (TBM) have been opened.


Another important newcomer this year is the revamped [PEGASUS]² mobility programme for postdoctoral researchers. The FWO's INCOMING [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships are aimed at attracting excellent postdoctoral researchers to the Flemish Community, whilst its OUTGOING [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships give postdoctoral researchers the opportunity to gain international research experience.


Of course, also the calls for the regular FWO fellowships and research projects are still open on our website, with the familiar deadlines of February 1 for the fellowships and April 1 for the research projects and research grants. 


Danny Huysmans en Hans Willems (Acting Secretariat General)

In the spotlight

Modifications of regulations

The new calls for PhD- and Postdoctoral fellowships are currently open on our website. For this round there are no important modifications in the regulations. On a postdoctoral level there is a new measure that researchers can apply up to maximum 3 years after obtaining your PhD. For the periods of maternity- or parental leave there are exceptions.

» More info

Grijze Cellen

Another two Grey Cells sessions are scheduled for the first half of 2016. On Wednesday 17 February, an edition around Drones (as part of the Artefact Festival Up in the air) will take place in STUK, Leuven. On Monday 7 March there is a special with interviews with the 5 laureates of the FWO Excellence Prizes. This edition will be held at the Handelsbeurs in Ghent with Lieven Scheire as moderator. Both editions start at 7:30 p.m.

Elisabeth Monard honorary Secretary-General

On 18 November the Board of Trustees of the FWO awarded Elisabeth Monard the title of honorary Secretary-General as a sign of appreciation for her dedication for years and years for the fundamental scientific research at FWO.


International news

Flanders lands six ERC Starting Grants

The European Research Council recently announced the laureates for the 2015 call for ERC Starting Grants. The 291 laureates include 6 researchers from Flemish research institutes.

The following Flemish researchers were awarded a Starting Grant:

  • Luc Baeyens (VUB)
  • Wim De Malsche (VUB)
  • Frederik Buylaert (VUB)
  • Sofie Cambré (UAntwerpen)
  • Simon Kuhn (KULeuven)
  • Silvana Mandolessi (KULeuven)

Change to the regulations: submission dates for International Coordination Actions

With the International Coordination Action (ICA) funding channel, the FWO supports coordination activities of international collaborative associations. The funds are used for general scientific coordination and administrative management of the collaborative association.

At present there are two submission dates per year for ICA applications: 30 April and 30 September These applications were evaluated by the Panel for International Collaboration (CIS) in June and November respectively. To optimise the selection procedure and allow all submitted files to be compared on an annual basis, only one submission date, 30 April, and an additional evaluation round in June will be introduced from 1 January 2016. Awarded ICAs, however, will continue to take effect from January 1 following the year of application.

» More information can be found here

1 February 2016: first deadline [PEGASUS]², giving wings to your career

As already announced in the previous newsletter, the FWO launched the renewed [PEGASUS]² mobility programme for postdoctoral researchers on September 25. More information: see web page.


Applications within the first call can still be submitted up to and including 1 February 2016, 5 p.m. Belgian time  (flexible start of the fellowships: October 2016-February 2017). Candidates should use the online application form in the FWO e-portal. Details about the [PEGASUS]² fellowship types, conditions, requirements, regulations, etc. can be found here.


The second call will open in February 2016 with as deadline 1 May 2016, 5 p.m. Belgian time (flexible start of the fellowships: January-May 2017).

Science Europe

Science Europe, an association of 50 research financing and/or research performing organisations in 27 European countries, has also the FWO as one of its members. Recently a new board was elected, with Michael Matlosz of French agency ANR as the new President (

For those not yet familiar with the SE website, it features many interesting documents on science and science policy compiled by the organisation's working groups and scientific committees. They can be found on .

The latest publication deals with the ways in which the Lead Agency Procedure (LAP) is applied. The basic principle of LAP is for two or more research financiers to sponsor research, with one of the financiers organising the evaluation process and the others taking over the results.

To find out more:

Across the boarders

MSCA ITN/RISE Info session – 16 November 2015

On November 16, the NCPs of the FWO, BELSPO and F.R.S.-FNRS organised an info session on the Marie Curie ITN/RISE programmes at the Royal Library in Brussels. On behalf of the European Commission, Barbara Mester of the Research Executive Agency provided an explanation on the modalities of Innovative Training Networks (ITN). Margaux Genachte of the Research Executive Agency discussed in detail the modalities of Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE). Testimonials of Dr. Angelica Valente of VUB, Prof. Gijs Du Laing of UGent and Dr. Raul Rodrigo-Gomez and  Dr. Johan Smets of Protector & Gamble rounded off the info session.

The call for MSCA ITN-2016 will close on 12 January 2016 and the call for MSCA-2016-ITN on 28 April 2016.


As part of ERA-NET, the European programme that stimulates cooperation between funding organisations and researchers on research calls with specific themes, the following calls were launched during the past months with FWO participation:

In October 2015

  • CHIST-ERA JTC 2015 (‘ICST’ research)

In November 2015

  • EuroNanoMed-II JTC 2016 (Nanotechnology in medicine)

In December 2015

  • ERA-MBT JTC 2015 (Marine biotechnology)
  • TRANSCAN-2 JTC 2015 (Translational cancer research)
  • E-rare-3 JTC 2016 (Rare diseases)
  • Cofund Smart Urban Futures (Urban trends and challenges - not yet opened)

In addition, for various ERA-NETS a final decision has been made regarding the allocation and funding of projects with Flemish participation.


  • MRSA_BACTERIOPHAGES – Sarne De Vliegher, UGent – 200.000 EUR

C-IPM 2015

  • IPM4Meligethes – Guy Smagghe, UGent – 200.000 EUR


  • OPTIMIZE-NB – Frank Speleman, UGent – 200.000 EUR
  • OxyUC – Massimiliano Mazzone, KU Leuven –200.000 EUR


  • PERescue – Paul Van Veldhoven, KU Leuven – 123.480 EUR
  • EURO-CDG-2 – Gert Matthijs, KU Leuven – 200.000 EUR
  • CoHeart – Bart Loeys, UAntwerpen – 200.000 EUR


  • NanoReHeart – Stefan Janssens, KU Leuven – 200.000 EUR
  • NanotBiT – Milos Nesladek, Uhasselt – 33.500 EUR


  • VitiSmart – Monica Höfte, UGent – 200.000 EUR

Infect-ERA 2015

  • CryptoVIEW – Uwe Himmelreich, KU Leuven – 186.000 EUR


  • INSTALZ – Bart De Strooper, KU Leuven – 200.000 EUR
  • SYNACTION – Veerle Baekelandt, KU Leuven – 200.000 EUR
  • aSynProtec – Jeroen Raes, KU Leuven –200.000 EUR


  • AUTISYN – Frank Kooy, UAntwerpen – 200.000 EUR
  • SynPathy – Joris de Wit, KU Leuven – 200.000 EUR


  • ONTHETRRAC – Frank Speleman, UGent – 200.000 EUR
  • INTRACOLOR – Sabine Tejpar, KU Leuven –200.000 EUR
» More information on each call

31 January 2016: deadline PhD grants European University Institute in Florence

The European University Institute (EUI) in Florence is a renowned institute that offers young research a unique opportunity to complete their PhD research in an international and scientifically high-level context with a European focus in social and human sciences: history, law, economics, political and social sciences. For the academic year 2016-2017, the FWO will finance two EUI PhD grants for Flemish PhD students. The FWO will also organise the first evaluation round. The EUI is responsible for the final selection of the candidates.


Applications can be submitted only to the EUI until 31 January 2016 (24:00 – CET) via . Details on conditions, requirements, selection criteria etc. for Flemish candidates can be found here.


  • 26 september: Trois chercheuses pour la bourse L'Oréal-Unesco qui promeut le rôle des femmes (La Libre Belgique)
  • 7 oktober: Hand in eigen naftbak (opiniestuk Yoni Van Den Eede – De Morgen en
  • 10 oktober: “L’écrivain apparait souvent à l’écran” (Le Soir)
  • 14 oktober: Onderzoeker UHasselt wint prestigieuze prijs van IBM (Het Belang van Limburg)
  • 27 oktober: Jurgen Tack nieuwe secretaris-generaal Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (Belga)
  • 30 oktober: Wat verandert er op 1 november? (,
  • 1 november: Wat is er nieuw op 1 november? (
  • 1 november: Nieuw vanaf 1 november (
  • 6 november: Steeds minder kans op postdoctoraal onderzoek door meer aanvragen (Belga)
  • 7 november: Steeds minder kans op postdoc door meer aanvragen (De Tijd)
  • 26 november: Excellentieprijs voor Greet Van den Berghe (Kanaal Z)
  • 28 november: “Wacht niet met installatie zonnepanelen” (Het Belang van Limburg)
  • 28 november: Bang voor Abdeslam, oom en opa Abdeslam (opiniestuk Yousra Benfquih – De Morgen)
  • 30 november: Uitreiking Excellentieprijzen (VRT - Het Journaal)
  • 30 november: Excellentieprijzen – portret Greet Van den Berghe (Radio 1 De Wereld Vandaag)
  • 1 december: ‘Best mogelijk dat Viagra niet meer dan een dure placebo is’ (De Standaard)
  • 2 december: Le Roi, pas de N-VA (Le Soir)
  • 2 december : ‘Onze microscoop toont een nanodeeltje in 3D’ – FWO Excellentieprijzen (Eos)
  • 3 december: Musicoloog Marc Leman krijgt de Excellentieprijs van het FWO (Klara Pompidou)
  • 5 december: Baas wetenschapsgeld pronkte met prijs die niet bestaat (De Standaard)
  • 9 december: De zombie van Rutten (opiniestuk Wim van Lancker – De Standaard)
  • 11 december: Rectoren blijven FWO-baas steunen (De Standaard)
  • 15 december: Wetenschappers nemen baas FWO in het vizier (De Standaard)
  • 15 december: Gezocht: integriteit en geloofwaardigheid (opiniestuk 200 wetenschappers – De Standaard
  • 16 december: ‘Positie van baas Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek onhoudbaar’ (De Morgen)
  • 16 december: Rectoren willen proces Tack nog niet maken (De Standaard)
  • 18 december: Positie baas onderzoeksfonds overheid onhoudbaar (De Tijd)
  • 18 december: FWO-baas kocht verzonnen prijs zelf (De Morgen)
  • 18 december: Tack kocht zelf cadeau dat met valse prijs kwam – Fake prijs was ‘pluspunt’ (De Standaard)
  • 19 december: Kleinste foutje wordt je fataal (De Standaard)
  • 22 december: Fictieve prijs, reëel vertrek (De Morgen)
  • 22 december: Nog geen oplossing in zaak Tack (De Standaard)
  • 22 december FWO topman wordt gevraagd om op te stappen (Belga)
  • 23 december: Rectoren willen vertrek topman researchfonds (De Tijd)
  • 28 december: Het Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek in handen van wetenschappers (
  • De Standaard)
  • 2 januari: Le prix qui n’existait pas (La Libre)
  • 6 januari: Jurgen Tack niet langer topman van Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (Belga)
  • 6 januari: Muyters:”Alle begrip voor reden van stopzetting in onderling overleg” (Belga)
  • 6 januari: “Minister mee verantwoordelijk” aldus van Malderen (Belga)
  • 6 januari: Jurgen Tack weg bij FWO na heisa over fictieve award (
  • 6 januari: Fictieve award kost FWO-topman de kop (VTM Nieuws)
  • 7 januari: Exit voor baas wetenschapsgeld (De Standaard)
  • 7 januari: Omstreden FWO-topman Jurgen Tack moet opstappen (Metro)
  • 7 januari: Topman onderzoeksfonds FWO stopt na heisa over fictieve prijs (De Tijd)
  • 7 januari: Verzonnen prijs kost topman FWO zijn job (Het Nieuwsblad)
  • 7 januari: Winnaar van verzonnen prijs stapt zelf op (De Morgen)
  • 13 januari: Jurgen Tack, ex-topman FWO
  • 13 januari: Glazen plafond ook in de wereld van wetenschap (De Morgen)
  • 13 januari: Vrouwelijke onderzoekers hebben minder kans op een doctoraatsbeurs (
  • 14 januari: De structuur volgt de strategie (Trends)