Baekeland mandates


Two deadlines per year: one in March, one in September.


Baekeland mandates offer researchers the opportunity to carry out a PhD in close collaboration with a company, with a project that has clear economic objectives. Mobility is encouraged, not only between the academic and industrial world, but also internationally.

The company is responsible for the strategic orientation and cofunding of the project. The university is responsible for the guidance towards a PhD.

VLAIO provides funding of 50-80% of the project costs. The funding percentage depends on the size of the company and whether there is a collaboration between 2 (small) companies. The company is responsible for co-financing the costs that are not funded by VLAIO, both for their own budget and for the budget from Ghent University. This means that the expenses from Ghent University are always 100% reimbursed.


    • At least 1 Flemish company (or a company with operational office in Flanders)
    • 1 Flemish university
    • No requirements on nationality
    • No requirements on graduation degree
    • No requirements on age
    • The candidate cannot already have a PhD
    • Duration: 4 years. It is possible to work parttime (min. 50%). In that case the duration of the project can be prolonged to get 4 full working years.
    • The candidate can be an employee of the company or of the university. In the latter case, salary costs are invoiced to the company.
Attention: Since there is collaboration with a company it is not possible for the candidate to be employed as a doctoral fellow (doctoraatsbursaal). The candidate will always be hired as research staff (= contract staff)!


At Ghent University there is support for the preparation and submission of a Baekeland mandate.

  • There is the possibility for an intake interview with TechTransfer to see if the project fits the scope of Baekeland mandates.
  • Every year in January there is an information session at which the VLAIO programme coordinator explains the modalities of the call. The exact date and link for registration are available at the end of December on the website of the Funding Academy.
  • TechTransfer or one of the IOF-Business developers can give feedback on the valorisation part of the project proposal. 
  • Team National funding gives support on the budget preparation and the administration for a correct submission. See also below under 'Submission'.
  • TechTransfer gives trainings to the candidates in preparation for their oral defence.


Your application can be either in English or in Dutch. The rest of the procedure will be in the language of your application.


  1. Inform Team National funding ( of your Baekeland application as early as possible. Not all project information has to be known already.
  2. In order to submit the application at Ghent University, next items need to be put in place:
    • Budget: Depending on where the candidate will be employed, the salary costs will be calculated by the company or by Ghent University. For the calculation at Ghent University you can contact the front officer of your department or
      Even when the candidate becomes an employee of the company, do not forget to provide budget for consumables (20% overhead incl.) at Ghent University for the tasks performed at the university. Team National funding can check the budget for you or can fill in the VLAIO template.
      Download the template from VLAIO for your budget.
    • Link to the VLAIO portal: For submission of the application the online platform from VLAIO has to be used. One of the partners creates a new application using the pink button on the VLAIO website and adds all partners. After all information is filled in and all attachments are uploaded, each partner and the candidate must finalise and submit their own part. At Ghent University this must be done by the rector or someone with power of attorney. Send the link to the online application to to get it submitted by the right person.
    • Acceptance to do a PhD: When finalising the online application, Ghent University will have to confirm that the candidate meets all the criteria to start a PhD if the Baekeland mandate would be obtained. Contact your Faculty Student Administration and ask them to have this declaration signed by the dean. Send the signed declaration to The declaration can be made conditional if the candidate has not yet obtained their master's degree. 
      Important: the candidate does not need to register as a PhD student yet. We only need confirmation that the candidate meets all the conditions.
  3. As soon as the project is ready to be submitted, we will finalise and submit the application for Ghent University in the VLAIO online portal. This can only be done by the rector or someone with power of attorney. This cannot be done by the supervisor.
  4. The other partners will also have to finalise and submit their parts in the VLAIO portal, as well as the candidate. Only after all partners have done this will the project be fully submitted to VLAIO.
  5. At the latest 4 weeks after submission, a signed (provisional) collaboration agreement between Ghent University and the company has to be submitted to VLAIO. An important aspect here are the agreements concerning intellectual property rights on the results of the research.
    After you have informed Team National funding about your intention to submit a Baekeland mandate, either TechTransfer or one of the IOF-Business developers will contact you for this.


There will be an oral defence during May or November. The candidate will present the project and its economic possibilities to a jury of experts.

TechTransfer organises training sessions for the candidates to prepare for this interview. All candidates will be invited to this.


In case of submission in March, results are known in July. In case of submission in September, results are known in December. The results are published on the VLAIO website the day after the descission has been made. VLAIO will also inform all applicants by mail.

A Baekeland mandate always starts on the first day of the month, at the earliest the month after submission, at the latest 6 months after the decision.

More information


Ghent University - Research Co-ordination Office (Team National funding)

Ghent University - Technology Transfer Office