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Senior postdoctoral fellowship




Fixed operating allowance

Announcement of results


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

The FWO collaborates with the Plantentuin Meise, VITO and Flanders Hydraulics for the funding of additional postdoctoral fellowships.

The Suzanne Duchesne Fund is administered by the King Baudouin Foundation and provides €93,000 for the 2024 call in the form of special bench fees for selected postdoctoral researchers in oncology (Med4 panel).

L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science is also offering the three best female candidates from biomedical and STEM disciplines (for applications submitted in the S&T, Bio and Med panels) an additional bench fee of €20,000 to support their research careers.

Important dates

  • 18 September 2023: call opens
  • 1 December 2023 at 5pm: call closes (last application date)
  • 21-28 March 2024: online preselection meetings
  • 29 March 2024: invitation to interviews
  • 17 April - 8 May 2024: (physical) interviews
  • 16 May 2024: announcement of results
  • 1 October or 1 November 2024: start of fellowship


  • Duration of the fellowship: Three years
  • Gross monthly salary (7 years seniority): €5,731.26 (index 2,O399 from 1/12/2023)
  • Bench fee which can range from €4,000 to €10,000 per year

Profile and conditions

  • See the programme regulations for more details on eligibility 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 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 must have a postdoctoral research experience of minimum 2 years on the first of October of the year in which the fellowship commences. In case you have not had a (junior) postdoctoral fellowship from the FWO before, you must prove this experience by means of a declaration by the Flemish host institute. 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 have not yet benefited from this fellowship, not even partially.
  • You can apply maximum two times for the same fellowship.
  • You agree with the Research Integrity Clause.

Application, evaluation and selection procedure

  • You have to find a supervisor at a Flemish host institution (article 3 of the regulations on postdoctoral researchers).
  • You need to submit your application via the online application (addressed to a FWO expert panel).
  • The supervisor receives a request from the FWO to write a letter of recommendation.
  • Once the expert panel has completed the preselection, you will be notified and depending on your result, you will or will not be invited to the second round.
  • If you are invited to the second round, you will be interviewed by the panel between 17 April and 8 May 2024. You will receive an invitation for this on 29 March 2024. Have a look at the dates for the interviews
  • On the basis of the proposals from the expert panels, the board will make the final decision on the selection. The results will be announced via email and via our results page on 16 May 2024.
  • You will get feedback on your evaluation once the decisions have been published.
  • The evaluation and selection procedures are explained in a number of information sessions (see below).

Additional information for applicants


General information:

  • Evaluation and selection procedures are commented during the information sessions and in this presentation. The presentation allows to better understand the evaluation and selection process, and to prepare an application that meets the selection criteria.
  • Example application form: offers a number of screenshots of the online application forms and the project template outline

Support with your application

    • The application form has been designed to allow for many various researcher profiles and research outputs. This is because the FWO aims to give researchers the opportunity to demonstrate the construction of their research careers through a range of scientifically relevant activities, skills, experiences and achievements. This is in line with the international trend away from a single-sided focus on classical output criteria (such as publications, bibliometrics, patents, and the like) towards a broader view of what science can be and achieve, with respect for the specificity of each discipline. The application forms are aimed to help the researcher demonstrate that versatility. The evaluation procedure has also been designed with this in mind: the scoring descriptors have in the scoring grids been supplemented with these broader elements from the application form.
    • Expert panels: make the right choice!
      • You choose the expert panel that best suits your application. Make sure you thoroughly check the overview of panels and scopes for each panel so that you can make the right choice. Select the panel you feel is best suited to assess your project in terms of what it will add to the scientific knowledge base.
      • If the panel judges during the review by consensus that the application falls outside the scope of the panel, they may reject it for that reason. It is important to stress that it is the applicant who is responsible for matching the application with the correct panel.