Lead Agency process with Belgium (Flanders)

Under the Lead Agency process, a joint application by researchers in Switzerland and the Flemish part of Belgium can be submitted to the Swiss or Flemish research funding organisations. The submission process is governed by the provisions in force at the relevant organisation.

​At the Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen (FWO), the Lead Agency process is limited to the Junior and Senior Research fundamental projects programme.

You can submit projects in collaboration with researchers from the following universities:

  • KU Leuven
  • University of Gent
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)
  • University of Antwerp
  • Hasselt University

As well as the evangelical Protestant Faculty in Leuven, the Faculty for Protestant Theology in Brussels, the Maritime Academy, the Vlerick Business School and the Antwerp Management School, and the Institute of Tropical Medicine, possibly in collaboration with a Flemish or Federal scientific institution and/or Flemish higher education institution.

In both countries the maximum project duration is 4 years.

At approximately 22.5 per cent, the success rate of the FWO is considerably lower than the SNSF rate. The FWO success rate will be applied in the evaluation.

Applications have to be submitted in English.

If you submit an application under the Lead Agency process to a foreign partner organization which serves as Lead Agency or as part of an ERA-NET call, you have to complete the DMP on mySNF once the project is approved, regardless of whether a DMP is requested by the foreign partner organization/by the consortium. The DMP covers all research data which are generated or used during the project and has to comply with the SNSF Open Research Data Policy.

Submission 2020: The SNSF and the FWO have agreed to take turns as the Lead Agency on a yearly basis. In 2020, Lead Agency applications with Flanders can only be submitted to the SNSF.

Deadline for submission at the SNSF: 8 April 2020, 17.00

The deadline for the parallel submission to the FWO has been postponed to 14 April, 2020, 17.00.

For Flemish applicants, the FWO-SNSF applications are considered as regular FWO research projects. This means that:

SNSF-FWO Lead Agency applications submitted in April 2020 will be taken into account in calculating the maximum number of two projects per (co-)supervisor and application round. Granted FWO-SNSF projects starting as from 01/01/2019 are taken into account for the maximum of two projects applied for and ongoing on the start date of the newly allocated Lead Agency project. Projects started before 1 January 2019 do not count. For (co-)supervisors from a partner institution within a cross-institutional project without their own budget the project does not count towards this total.

The FWO stipulates that Belgian researchers whose application was approved in 2020 must start their project in January 2021. Even though the Swiss partners are allowed to choose their own starting date within a year of the funding decision, the SNSF recommends that the different research groups coordinate the starting phase.