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FWO - Research Foundation Flanders: PhD Fellowship

The FWO supports fundamental scientific research, stimulates international cooperation and promotes equal opportunity.

The PhD Fellowship (“mandaat aspirant”) is a funding channel to prepare young and promising researchers to complete their PhD.

For the funding of a limited number of fellowships, the FWO collaborates with: SCK•CEN, L'Oreal-Unesco and VITO. The PhD research must be fundamental in nature.

Who can apply?

  • You are of Belgian nationality or belong to one of the member states of the EU, the EEA or Switzerland. Non-EU candidates must have a basic degree from one of the countries of the EU or the EER  or Switzerland
  • You hold a Master's degree
  • If, on October 1, you are older than 31 years, you must have obtained this degree no longer than 5 years ago (see regulations for details)
  • You have not previously received an FWO fellowship (not even in part)
  • You can apply maximum two times for the same fellowship
  • On 1 October you have three years scientific seniority at most


Period: 2 years, renewable once

How does it work?

  • You contact a supervisor affiliated to a Flemish university
  • The supervisor undertakes to properly coach and guide you as doctorandus
  • The supervisor is asked by the FWO to write a letter of recommendation
  • You complete your application online, deadline: 1st of February
  • The applications are submitted to the FWO Expertpanels
  • The Expertpanels compile a ranking, which will be used as basis by the Flemish universities to formulate a funding proposal
  • The Board of Trustees decides on the appointment (start: 1st of October)
  • You can ask for feedback on the decision

How much funding is involved?

  • Net scholarship amount:  minimum €1.860,55
  • Fixed bench fee:  €3.720/year from FWO

More information:

Department of Research Affairs - Research Co-ordination Office