Methusalem funding

The Methusalem initiative is long-term programme funding from the Flemish government. Its purpose is to provide stable and substantial core funding to excellent, renowned researchers at Flemish universities. They can use this budget in a flexible way to consolidate their international top level and to strengthen their international benchmark position with complete independence.

Methusalem funding is initially allocated for 7 years and is continued each time after a positive evaluation until retirement.

Duration and starting date

  • Period: 7 years (renewable until retirement)
  • Funding:
    • Minimum budget of € 300.000/year.
    • Maximum budget € 500.000/year for alpha disciplines and € 900.000/year for bèta and gamma disciplines
    • Funding can be acquired for personnel, operational costs, equipment, and/or sub-contracting.
  • Results online: preselection March-April 2020 - end selection October-November 2020
  • Start project: 1 January 2021
  • Deadline: 2 March 2020


  • This call is not intended for the renewal of currecnt Methusalem funding but concerns the selection of new Methusalem beneficiaries;
  • Ghent University wishes to push forward cutting edge research through the Methusalem programme;
  • The funding increases gradually during during the first years to reach 100% from the 4th year on;
  • In case of selection, the research group of of the Methusalem professor needs to establish a management board and an advisory board;
  • Methusalem professors cannot apply for the following calls of the Special Research Fund: Concerted Research Actions (GOA), 2 to 4 year BOF projects, interdisciplinary research projects (IOP).

Who can apply?

Full professors and (part-time) senior full professors with an appointment of at least 80%, who preferably do not retire between 1/1/2021 and 31/12/2027 (= first term of the Methusalem funding).

To be eligible for Methusalem funding, each candidate must meet the following requirements:

  1. you belong to the second category of professorial staff: full professor or (part-time) senior full professor;
  2. you have a (temporary) appointment of at least 80% at Ghent University. Combined appointments (together at least 80%) at on the one side Ghent University and on the other side Ghent University Hospital, VIB Gent, IMEC Gent, and/or Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School, are also eligible. In case of a collaborative partnership between several Flemish universities, also combined appointments of at least 80% at Ghent University on the one side and one or more Flemish universities on the other side, are also eligible;
  3. you meet the criteria of excellence which show that you substantially contribute to the development of your scientific field and that you are internationally recognized for this contribution;
  4. prove that more than other researchers you have obtained research funding such as GOA, EU, EOS, FWO and/or VLAIO funding;
  5. you have a research group of sufficient critical mass, which can be shown, amongst others, by the number of postdoctoral researchers that has been part of it long-term;
  6. preferably you do not retire between 1 January 2021 (the earliest possible start date of the Methusalem funding) and 31 December 2027. This period of 7 years corresponds with the duration of the Methusalem funding.


The selection of the Methusalem applications is a 2-step process.

  1. Preselection

    • The evaluation is based on the written application and carried out by the Research Council
    • Depending on the number of applications the preselection takes place in March or April 2020
  2. Final selection

  • The evaluation is carried out by a panel of external, internationally renowned researchers. Their advice is presented to the Research Council; 
  • External peer reviewers will be invited to write evaluation reports. The candidates will have the opportunity to write a rebuttal;
  • The candidates and (part of) their research groups will be invited for an interview with the evaluation panel, during which they will present the project proposal;
  • the final selection takes place in October/November 2020.

Criteria for evaluation

The criteria that are used for the evaluation are:

  • the scientific excellence and international recognition of the candidate
  • the scientific value, the approach, innovativity and feasibility of the project
  • does the requested budget allow the research group to grow and reach an international bench-mark position

How to apply?

The proposals have to be electronically submitted via


  • Preselection: results online 29 April 2020 at the latest
  • Final selection: results online December 2020 at the latest


Methusalem funding is granted for a period of 7 years. After a period of 7 years and if there is a positive interim evaluation, the Methusalem funding can be renewed for a period of 7 years (or shorter in case of retirement of the Methusalem researcher).  

Candidates who are eligible for renewal of their Methusalem funding, will be contacted by DOZA in time.


Research Department
Research Co-ordination Office - Special Research Fund

T 09 264 30 27

More information?

The entire call and application form can also be downloaded