The FWO seeks to optimally support researchers at every stage in the development of their careers. In this context, it is important for researchers to get a taste of life both within and outside the university, also those who want to pursue an academic career.
It is also good that companies and institutes get the opportunity to gain experience with young high potentials. This will create a strong win-win situation, particularly when considering the supply of PhD students and the demand for skilled employees.
To provide young FWO researchers with the best possible opportunities to exploit their expertise also outside the academia, the FWO has implemented various new schemes to promote intersectoral mobility:
- PhD (fundamental research and strategic basic research) and postdoctoral fellows of the FWO have the opportunity to carry out their research in collaboration with a company or other organisation.
- Every FWO researcher can spend 20 percent of their available time on activities other than the actual PhD or postdoctoral research, so long as they contribute to the researcher’s development. Such development in fact requires participation in activities as part of the doctoral training. A researcher may, however, also choose, in consultation with the supervisor, to devote all or part of this time to academic education or services. To develop specific skills, a junior researcher may also choose to do an internship within an organisation.
- Enterprising predoctoral researchers are given the opportunity to carry out a paid activity alongside their PhD provided such activity takes place outside the university and independently of their PhD research.
- Postdoctoral researchers in particular have the opportunity to suspend their fellowship to enable them to take up a research fellowship or grant at a university, a scientific institute, within a company or organisation.