Senior postdoctoral fellowship


  • The FWO senior postdoctoral fellowship is a personal fellowship for a period of 3 years.
  • The postdoctoral fellowships are intended to support fundamental researchers who have only recently completed their PhD, in developing an independent, international research career. For the funding of a limited number of fellowships, the FWO collaborates with VITO.
  • FWO postdoctoral fellows receive a flexible bench fee (minimum 4.000 euros - maximum 10.000 euros per year).
  • The FWO acts as employer and Ghent University acts as host institution.

Applying for an FWO postdoctoral fellowship in Corona times

The Covid-19 crisis is affecting and delaying many research activities since March: restricted access to research facilities, taking care of children during the lockdown, increased commitment to teaching or healthcare, … International mobility has 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 external reviewers as well as the panel members to take this into account when assessing your application.


Eligibility criteriaFWO postdoc eligibility window.JPG

  •  You hold a PhD by thesis or a degree or a diploma or certificate recognized as equivalent in accordance with European Union directives or a bilateral agreement.
  • You can apply for a senior postdoctoral fellowship if your PhD was obtained minimum 3 years before and not longer than 6 years before 1 October of the year in which the fellowship would start.
  • You have not previously received a similar fellowship (not even in part).
  • You can apply maximum two times for the same fellowship.
  • You can always apply for a senior postdoctoral fellowship if you have previously enjoyed a junior postdoctoral fellowship. In that case, the senior postdoctoral fellowship must immediately follow the junior postdoctoral fellowship.
  • You can also apply if you have not had a postdoctoral fellowship from the FWO before. In that case, you must prove that you have a postdoctoral research experience of minimum 2 years on 1 October of the year in which the fellowship commences (declaration by the Flemish host institution, see template e-portal).

Submission procedure

  • Launch call: September.
  • Submission deadline: 1 December 2020 (17h, Belgian time).
  • You contact a supervisor affiliated to a Flemish university or research institute, who will be asked by the FWO to write a letter of recommendation.
  • You complete your application via the FWO e-loket .
  • Make sure that your personal information in the tab 'Personalia' is up to date and complete before you submit your application to FWO. Submission automatically generates a cv based on the information in the tab 'Personalia'. Changes made afterwards will not be added to your running application.
  • After the preselection, you can be invited for a second round with interview.
  • If you are selected for the second round, you'll be interviewed by the panel in April or May.

Support: plenary and mock interviews

Candidates who are successful during the preselection can rely upon support from their faculty, the Research Coordination Office and the University Language Centre, to prepare them for the second round:

  1. When you are selected for the interview, you will be invited by the Research Coordination Office 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. Depending on your faculty, you can make use of a mock interview. 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.


Publication of the results: in June via the FWO website.

The fellowship starts 1 October or 1 November of the year of selection (depending on the indicated date in the application form).

More information

See FWO website (official & binding documents: regulations in Dutch).

Information sessions and workshops


Research Coordination Office