Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)

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Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO)
Logo of the Research Foundations – Flanders (FWO).png
Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen
MottoOpening new horizons
PredecessorNational Fund for Scientific Research (NFWO/FNRS)
Formation2006 [1928]
PurposeResearch funding
  • Egmontstraat 5, 1000 Brussel, Belgium
Region served
Official language
Dutch, English
Willy Verstraete
General Secretary
Hans Willems

The Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO; Dutch: Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen) is a Belgian public research council, based in Brussels. It aims to sponsor ground-breaking research and innovation. Much of this work involves supporting researchers and undertakings in association with the universities and institutes of Flanders, including Ghent University, University of Leuven, and Free University of Brussels, among others.[1]


The FWO is a successor to the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research (NFWO/FNRS), which had been founded in 1928, after the call from King Albert I of Belgium for the promotion of research and innovation.

In 2006, the NFWO/FNRS divided into two organisations: the FWO, for the Flemish community, and the Fund for Scientific Research - Wallonia (F.R.S.-FNRS; French: Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique - FNRS) for the French-speaking region.[2] A self-governing organization, the Research Foundation – Flanders is located in Brussels and financed by the Flemish government, the federal government, and the national lottery, with further support coming from partner institutes and companies.

Albert I of Belgium


The FWO supports research in science, engineering, and the humanities through a variety of frameworks.[3] It offers competitive funding for doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships as well as for research grants, specific projects, and infrastructure. Moreover, the FWO funds international mobility and collaboration. Together with a number of partners, it also bestows scientific prizes.[4]


Regular funding[edit]

The FWO organises a total of 31 expert panels, 30 specialist and one interdisciplinary. These panels advise the Senate and the Board of Trustees on matters of funding.

  • Biological sciences
    1. Molecular and cellular biology
    2. Functional biology
    3. Biodiversity and ecology
    4. Applied biological sciences
  • Humanities
    1. Languages
    2. Art, art history, and literature
    3. History and archaeology
    4. Theology and religious studies
    5. Philosophy and ethics
  • Social sciences
    1. Sciences of law and criminology
    2. Economics, business economics and management
    3. Psychology, pedagogy, didactics, and social work
    4. Social, political, and communication sciences
  • Medical sciences
    1. Pharmaceutical sciences and medical biochemistry
    2. Genetics, functional genome research, bio-informatics science, developmental biology
    3. Microbiology and immunology
    4. Cancer research
    5. Neuroscience, clinical neurology, psychiatry, musculoskeletal research, rheumatology, orthopaedics, and dermatology
    6. Gastroenterology, hepatology, endocrinology, metabolism and nutrition, reproduction, and urogenital system
    7. Health sciences
  • Science and technology
    1. Mathematical sciences
    2. Physics
    3. Condensed matter and physical chemistry
    4. Chemistry
    5. Informatics and knowledge technology
    6. Chemical engineering, material sciences
    7. Energy, electrical engineering, electronics, and mechanics
    8. Sciences of the earth and space
    9. Science and technology of construction and the build environment
  • Interdisciplinary

Special committees[edit]

The NWO also organises special committees to advise on support for international collaboration, research infrastructure, and other special mandates.

International profile[edit]

The FWO is a member of Science Europe and collaborates in many European research organisations.[5][6]

In addition, it has created partnerships with numerous counterparts across the globe, such as the French Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Dutch Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Polish Academy of Sciences, and National Natural Science Foundation of China.[7]

Examples of projects supported[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Research Foundation - Flanders". AcademiaNet.
  2. ^ "Organisation profile".
  3. ^ "Funding frameworks". FWO.
  4. ^ "Overview of scientific prizes". FWO.
  5. ^ "Member Organisations". Science Europe.
  6. ^ "Profile at European Commission, Research & Innovation".
  7. ^ "International collaborations". FWO.