Interuniversity BOF projects (iBOF)

General information

All Flemish universities jointly launch a brand new iBOF-programme, which cofunds interuniversity projects. Within the iBOF programme,  excellent, frontier or blue sky research will be funded, in a collaboration (consortium) of at least 3 promoters at at least 2 Flemish universities.  An iBOF call will be launched  every 2 year.

An iBOF project brings together top researchers (whether or not in combination with promising researchers with great potential) who, through such an interuniversity project, will (further) promote Flanders at an international level by deepening or broadening scientific knowledge and increasing capacity building in a sustainable partnership. The applying consortium must submit a concerted research proposal with a duration of 4 years, in which each promoter provides essential expertise for the realization of the proposal. At the same time, the promoters must be complementary to each other and/or mutually reinforcing as they need each other to be able to carry out the project in synergy. They may have worked together in the past, but this is not a requirement.

Proposals from all domains are possible, whether interdisciplinary or not.


The total amount that can be requested per promoter varies between 400.000 and 800.000 euro, with a maximum of 3.000.000 euro per consortium.

The requested budget has to be realistic and in accordance with the intended work packages.

Who can apply for an iBOF project?

In general: minimum 3 promoters of at least 2 Flemish universities.

  • One of the promoters acts as coordinator-spokesperson of the consortium. The coordinator-spokesperson is primarily responsible for the good collaboration of the consortium and is the single point of contact.  
  • Applications should be submitted by the coordinator-spokesperson at the Research Coordination Office of his/her University.
  • All promoters are top researchers (or promising researchers with great potential), who have an excellent track record (international excellence), who have expertise that is essential for the project, who are complementary and there needs to be synergy between promoters and copromoters. 
  • Per promoter, one or more co-promoters who are affiliated within the same university as the promoter with whom they join, can participate.
  • An applicant can only be involved in one iBOF application.
  • Additional restrictions on who can act as promoter or co-promoter of the application can be found in the iBOF call (see below).
NOTE: For the first iBOF call, there are no incompatibilities with current BOF and/or IOF projects. Neither for the applying promoters nor for the applying co-promoters. Promoters and co-promoters who are awarded an iBOF project in the context of the iBOF call 2019 will not be able to participate in the next iBOF call 2021. 

How to apply?

  • The template for the Declaration of Intent is available from 17 September 2019 on (see call documents below)
  • Send the Declaration of Intent to   (if a Ghent University promoter is the coordinator-spokesperson of the application)
  • Consortia who are, after the preselection,  selected to hand in a full proposal, will be invited in due time and will have to submit their elaborated application at the latest on 15 June 2020 (template will be available later).

Submission data - deadlines?

The selection procedure consists of 2 phases:

1.   Interuniversity preselection of the Declarations of Intent:

  • Deadline to hand in the Declaration of Intent: 5 December 2019 (at the latest on 23.59)
  • The coordinator-spokesperson submits the Declaration of Intent (in English) to his/her own university. 
NOTE: Declarations of Intent are binding with regard to the composition of the consortium. After the intention phase, promoters or co-promoters can no longer be added.

2.   Selection of the elaborated proposals by an international expert panel:

  • Deadline to hand in the full proposal: 15 June 2020 (at the latest on 23.59)
  • The coordinator-spokesperson submits the full application (in English) to his/her own university. 

Timing iBOF call

  • 17 September 2019: launch call
  • 5 December 2019: deadline for submission of Declarations of Intent
  • 16 December 2019: communication to the promoters on the administrative eligibility of their Declaration of Intent
  • January/February 2020: evaluation of the  Declarations of Intent by the Ghent University Research Council
  • 31 March 2020: announcement of admission to the second selection phase
  • 15 June 2020: deadline for submitting elaborated applications
  • June-August 2020: remote peer review
  • 11 September 2020: deadline rebuttals coordinator-spokespersons
  • September/October 2020: presentation and evaluation by an international expert panel
  • October/December 2020: interuniversity and university decision on the awarded iBOF projects
  • 18 December 2020: communication of the results to the consortia
  • 1 January 2021: start of iBOF projects

Call documents

Additional questions