The appeal procedure

Legal basis:

Pursuant to Article 18 § 3 of the Decree on the organisation and financing of science and innovation policy of 30 April 2009 (Belgian Official Gazette of 6 July 2009), the Flemish Government determines, upon proposal from the FWO, the way in which an applicant for financial support whose application has been rejected, can file a request for review of the decision.

The appeal procedure is laid down in Article 32 of the Decree of the Flemish Government on the granting of subsidies by the Fund for Research – Flanders of 10 November 2011 (Belgian Official Gazette of 20 December 2011).

The procedure:

1.In case of a negative decision the applicant for a fellowship or grant can file a request for review with the Board of Trustees of the FWO.  

2.This request for review must be filed within a period of thirty working days after the decision of the Board of Trustees or, if applicable, within a period of thirty days, with exception of weekends and official holiday’s, after receiving the feedback, and must be based on clear and verifiable elements.

3. The Board of Trustees decides whether the request for review is well founded. To evaluate the merits of the request, the Board of Trustees must assess whether it contains clear and verifiable elements in support of the request. The terms “clear” and “verifiable” mean that the elements on which the request for review is based must be understandable to a third party or a layperson. They do not pertain to the content of the original request. It must be possible for the Board of Trustees to examine the veracity/merits of the request. Only then will the alleged flaws be “objectifiable”. The Board of Trustees does not assess the original request and cannot act in place of a panel.

4.If the request is accepted, it will again be assessed on the first subsequent occasion by an Expert Panel other than the one that handled the first request.

5.The applicant can appeal only once.

6. The same procedure, items 1 to 4, must be followed by beneficiaries of fellowships and grants whose progress or final report has received a negative assessment.

7. In case of dissatisfaction with the handling by the FWO, a written or electronic complaint can be filed at all times (see complaint procedure). These complaints are handled within 45 calendar days of receipt.

How to file an appeal?

The request for review must be sent to the secretary-general of the FWO.

By letter: FWO,  Egmontstraat 5, 1000 Brussel.

By email: fwo@fwo.be