BOF (Special Research Fund) – Support for postdoctoral researchers. The postdoctoral fellowships are intended to support researchers who have only recently completed their PhD, in developing an independent, international research career.

Every year, with support from its “Special Research Fund” (BOF) Ghent University assists excellent individual researchers through Postdoctoral Fellowships.

Duration: maximum 3 years

Eligibility: The candidates for a BOF-postdoctoral fellowship are recruited from the pool of applicants for FWO (Research Foundation Flanders) Postdoctoral Fellowships, and therefore cannot apply directly to  the Special Research Fund (BOF). Candidates that are not successful with the FWO, enter the competition for a Postdoctoral Scholarship from the Special Research Fund (BOF) under the express condition that they can submit a new application for a Postdoctoral Fellowship with the FWO Flanders in a next application round.

The following types of postdoctoral FWO candidates are eligible for a BOF postdoctoral fellowship

  1. Regular FWO postdoctoral fellowship (first term)
  2. Candidates for an outgoing [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship
  3. Candidates for an incoming [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship

[PEGASUS]² Marie Curie

Contrary to the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) the Special Research Fund (BOF) does not offer a mobility allowance.

Because of this candidates are not obligated to carry out (a part of) the research abroad. At the same time the candidate and Ghent University supervisor will be asked to proof that the proposed research can be carried out within the limits set by the BOF.

The [PEGASUS]² call has 2 deadlines: 1 February 2016 and 1 May 2016. Applicants for both deadlines can participate in the 2016 call of the Special Research Fund (BOF).

New application at FWO

Holders of a BOF fellowship are obliged to submit a new application at the FWO Flanders in the second last year of their BOF fellowship at the latest. They must see to it that if they wait until the second year of their BOF fellowship, that they are still eligible to apply at the FWO:

Rule: Researchers can apply for a postdoctoral fellowship in the first 3 years after obtaining their PhD (date of PhD degree), calculated from June 1 of the year of applying. This time limit is postponed by one year per period of at least 3 months of maternity leave or per continuous period of at least 3 months full-time parental leave which was taken between the date of the PhD and the application.

Exceptions: see Regulations FWO for Postdoctoral Fellows

The application at the FWO will be used for the BOF selection. This means there is no separate application form or deadline.
Candidates who want to apply for a Postdoctoral Scholarship with the FWO (Research Foundation Flanders) or a [PEGASUS]² mandate , first need to find a professor from Ghent University who is willing to act as the supervisor (promoter) of the postdoctoral research. The best way to do this is to browse the faculties of Ghent University .

Fundings: The fellowships are monthly allowances, the value of which depends on a.o. the researcher’s academic experience and his/her family situation. The promoter receives a bench fee of €3.500/year.

Deadline:  1 February 2016 via the FWO website.

More information

  • More information on eligibility criteria and application procedure for the FWO postdoctoral scholarship can be found on theFWO website.
  • contact FWO: Mrs. Lieve Huys,, tel: 09 264 30 28.
  • contact BOF:

Form scientific report (Word-document)

Further link: click here

Source: Postdoctoral grants – BOF (Special Research Fund), Belgium (2015)

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