PhD Fellowships


There are two types of FWO PhD Fellowships:

  1. Fundamental Research (FO): This type allows young researchers to prepare a PhD, and to develop into independent scientists with a critical mindset. In this context, fundamental research stands for challenging and innovative research. This type of fellowship is curiosity-driven.
  2. Strategic Basic Research (SB): This type allows young researchers to prepare a PhD, and to develop into strategically thinking and innovation-oriented scientists. In this context, strategic basic research stands for challenging and innovative research, which, if successful, may in the longer term lead to innovative applications with economic added value (for specific companies, for a collective of companies, or a sector, or in line with the Flanders 2025 transition areas). This type of fellowship is goal-driven.

FWO PhD Fellowships are personal fellowships for a period of two years and are renewable once for two years. Mandate holders work for FWO at one (or multiple) of the eligible host institutions.

Training and support

Writing your application

  • Every year, the Research Co-Ordination Office organizes an information session in collaboration with the FWO. This event is announced via the newsletter BOZI. Registration is mandatory.
  • See FWO website (FO and SB) for support on choosing an expert panel, how to find your percentiles/study results, to consult the scoring grid and a list of research disciplinary codes
  • Your (co-) supervisor gives feedback on the content of your proposal.

Interview and pitch

If you are successful during the preselection, you can rely upon support at Ghent University to prepare you for the second round:

  1. You will be invited to attend a plenary on how to pitch your cv and research proposal and how to approach the Q&A round with the FWO panel members.
  2. Ask your supervisor to give you feedback on your pitch and presentation slides.
  3. Faculties can decide to organise mock interviews. During these interviews, you deliver your pitch before a test jury, which afterwards will ask you questions similar to those you can receive during the FWO interview. After this, you receive detailed feedback on your pitch, presentation slide(s) and interview. Invitations for the mock interviews will be sent by your faculty after the plenary.

Documents and video’s

For applicants

We organized an information session about the FWO PhD Fellowship on Friday 9 December. You can consult the recording and presentation slides below:

  • Presentation and recording information session FWO PhD Fellowship
  • Presentation prof. Stef Slembrouck (Humanities/Social Sciences) “Tips & Tricks FWO application”
  • Presentation prof. Veronique Van Speybroeck (Science and Technology) “Tips & Tricks FWO application”
  • Presentation prof. Elfride De Baere (Medical Sciences) “Tips & Tricks FWO application”

For mandate holders

Consult the presentation slides and the recording of the introduction session (November 2022) to learn more about the financial, job-and HR-related aspects of your fellowship.

More information

See FWO website (FO and SB)  for detailed information on the call, (bench fee) regulations, eligibility criteria, submission and selection procedure, and relevant documents and downloads.

As the holder of an FWO PhD fellowship you become a staff member of the FWO. If you previously had a contract at UGent, there is no possibility to transfer holidays to the FWO contract.


  • If you are a Fundamental Research Fellow and you have questions regarding your fellowship, contact the FWO account manager of your scientific field. Strategic Basic Fellows can contact their FWO account manager via
  • If you have HR-related questions, contact the FWO via
  • For technical (IT) problems regarding the e-portal and application modules, send an email to
  • Do you have any other questions? Contact the Ghent University Research Co-Ordination Office via