Special PhD Fellowship

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

The special PhD fellowship enables persons not employed within scientific research to complete a PhD within one year. Applicants must be in possession of a "temporary leave" certificate issued by their current employer.

Who can apply

  • You are of Belgian nationality or belong to one of the member states of the EU, the EEA or Switzerland.
  • You hold a Master's degree.
  • You are permanently employed.
  • You are not professionally involved in scientific research.
  • Your employer is willing to give you temporary leave or unpaid leave for 1 year. You are entitled to return to your job after the leave ends.
  • You relinquish any secondary activity and associated remuneration.
  • You have not previously received an FWO fellowship (not even in part).
  • Clinicians cannot apply for a special PhD fellowship. They can apply for a clinical PhD fellowship.


Period: 1 year, not renewable.

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 invited by the FWO to write a letter of recommendation.
  • You complete your application online, deadline: 1st of March.
  • Your application is submitted to the FWO Expert Panels.
  • The Expertpanels report to the Board of Trustees.
  • The Board of Trustees decides on your appointment.
  • Start of fellowship: 1 September or 1 October.


Net scholarship amount: identical to the last net salary of the main activity.

More information

  • www.fwo.be
  • Official & binding documents: regulations in Dutch on the FWO website


Research Department