Postdoctoral Fellowships


There are two types of FWO Postdoctoral Fellowships:

  1. The Junior Postdoctoral Fellowships are intended to support researchers who have only recently completed their PhD, in developing an independent, international research career.
  2. The Senior Postdoctoral Fellowships are intended to support researchers who have completed their PhD a few years ago, in developing an independent, international research career. You can apply for a junior postdoctoral fellowship if your PhD was obtained between 1 October 2020 and 15 September 2023. You need to inform the FWO of the date of your public defense by 1 July 2023, if this takes place after the submission and evaluation of the application.

FWO postdoc eligibility window.JPG

FWO Postdoctoral Fellowships are personal fellowships for a period of three years. Mandate holders work for FWO at one (or multiple) of the eligible host institutions.

Submission and selection procedure

Applying in COVID-19 times

The Covid-19 crisis is affecting and delaying many research activities since March 2020: restricted access to research facilities, taking care of children during the lockdown, increased commitment to teaching or healthcare, … International mobility had virtually come to a standstill. 

As a candidate postdoctoral fellow, you may be worried about the impact of all this on the strength of your application file and the ambitions of your research project.

Therefore we advise you to mention specific factors that influence your application in the entry field ‘career breaks’ and, where appropriate, ‘personal statement’, ‘research stays’ and/or in the project description file. The FWO will explicitly instruct the panel members to take this into account when assessing your application.

Procedure declaration postdoctoral seniority

If you did not have an FWO postdoctoral fellowship before, and you apply for an FWO Senior Postdoctoral Fellowship, you must prove that you have a postdoctoral research experience of minimum 2 years on the first of October of the year in which the fellowship commences.

Your supervisor has to verify this seniority before he/she fills in and signs the declaration of seniority. You can download the declaration template in the application form in the FWO e-portal. Afterwards, send the declaration to (at least 5 working days before the submission deadline) to let it sign on behalf of the rector.

Please note that this document is mandatory and forms an essential part of your application.

Training and support

Writing your application

  • The Research Co-ordination Office organized an information session in collaboration with the FWO on 13 October 2022. You can find the recording and presentation slides below.  
  • See FWO website (Junior and Senior) for support on choosing an expert panel and to consult the scoring grid. Please note: FWO reformed the expert panels in 2022. Check if the scope of the panel of your choice still fits your research. More information can be found on the FWO website.  
  • Your (co-) supervisor gives feedback on the content of your proposal.
  • Deadline for submission via the FWO e-portal: 1 December 2022 (17:00 CET)
  • Announcement of selection results: 24 May 2023
  • Start fellowship: 1 October 2023 (1 November 2023 is also possible)

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. The Research Co-ordination Office, Ghent University Language Center and the faculties organize 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.
  4. The FWO interviews take place between 20 April and 15 May 2023. In case you have been selected for the second round, you will receive an invitation for the interview at the beginning of April.

Documents and video’s

For applicants

Consult the presentation slides and recording of the yearly information session to understand the evaluation and selection process and to help you prepare your application:

- Presentation and recording Information session FWO Postdoctoral Fellowship 

- Presentation “FWO proposal writing: impact & scicomm” 

- Presentation and recording “Data Management Plan”  

- Presentation “Research Ethics”

For mandate holders

You will be invited to a welcome session once you start your fellowship. Afterwards, you can consult the presentation slides and the recording of the introduction session to learn more about the financial, job- and HR-related aspects of your fellowship.

More information

See FWO website (Junior and Senior) 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 postdoctoral 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 have a question regarding your fellowship, contact the FWO account manager of your scientific field.
  • 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