Bilateral Scientific Research Cooperation Projects between the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO) and the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)

Guidelines call 2018

The São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), Brazil, and the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) announce an initiative to fund joint collaborative proposals in basic research in all fields of knowledge.

Closing date for submission of proposals:

June 1st, 2018

FAPESP scheme:

Regular Research Awards

Maximum duration of the project:

Up to 36 months


Researchers affiliated with Higher Education or Research Institutions in the State of São Paulo. SP researchers must submit their consultation up to May, 1st (according to Item 3.1.1)

Submission of proposals:

Through SAGe System for State of Sao Paulo investigators and through FWO system for Flemish investigators

Contact FAPESP: Bruna Musa, e-mail:
Contact FWO: Isabelle Verbaeys, e-mail: and Gregory Absillis, e-mail:
FWO Announcement of Opportunity:

1. Introduction

Science is increasingly global. Many research questions and “grand challenges” cannot be resolved without cross-border collaboration between scientists. Flanders and the State of São Paulo (Brazil) wish to invest in joint research projects, creating a leverage for scientific excellence.

This intention will be realized through the implementation of a call for proposals, to be launched jointly in Flanders and the State of São Paulo. FWO has an available budget of around 1 million euro for this call and FAPESP will match in terms of research efforts. It is envisaged that applications will be for a balanced partnership, not specifically in monetary terms but with equivalent research commitment and efforts from both sides. Each proposal should be an integrated Flemish-Brazilian research project with both partners from Flanders and the State of São Paulo who join their strengths to execute a joint research project. Applicants are expected to propose a coherent research project, in which the added value of both the Flemish and Brazilian partner (State of São Paulo), and the complementariness of both teams, is clearly shown. The research should be carried out both in the State of São Paulo and Flanders.

2. Scope of funding and duration

Proposals for bilateral research projects between researchers from Flanders and Brazil (State of São Paulo) can be submitted in any scientific domain, as long as it covers basic scientific research. The projects, all starting on January 1st 2019, have a duration of three years. Please note that the project duration must be the same on both sides.

3. Eligible Researchers

In order to be eligible, a proposal must involve both a Flemish principal investigator (PI) and a Brazilian PI (State of São Paulo). If needed co-investigators can be included both in Flanders and the State of São Paulo. In the framework of this call with FAPESP, each researcher can only act once as a principle investigator (supervisor) or co-investigator (co-supervisor).

3.1 Eligible researchers for FAPESP:

Researchers eligible for FAPESP funding under the scope of this Call must be employees of public or private Higher Education or Research Institutions in the State of São Paulo and must meet the FAPESP eligibility requirements for the Regular Research Awards, described at (item 3.3);

3.1.1 Eligibility Consultation

a. Researchers from the State of São Paulo must consult FAPESP about their eligibility to this Call before starting the preparation of their proposals. FAPESP will issue and send to applicants a declaration concerning their eligibility within this Call. If positive, this Declaration of Eligibility must be included in the proposal as a PDF file by the time of the submission;

b. Applicants will have their eligibility evaluated within 20 days of the receiving of this request. The consultation for eligibility must be sent up to May, 1st. Consultations sent after this date will not be considered;

c. The eligibility consultation must be sent exclusively to the e-mail with the following information:

c.1. Summarized CV in English of the Researcher from the State of São Paulo (as described at;

c.2. Listing of any ongoing research grants from FAPESP;

c.3. Name and affiliation of the foreigner partner researchers;

c.4. Title and tentative summary of the proposal to be submitted;

c.5. Estimated budget to be requested to FAPESP;

c.6. Estimated time to be devoted to the project (hours/week), considering the total time of the proponent´s ongoing research grants at FAPESP (max = 40hs/wk).

3.2 Eligible researchers for FWO:

Your research will be carried out under the supervision of an applicable Flemish host institution (see

Your research project will be carried out under the direction of a supervisor, possibly in collaboration with one or more co-supervisors (see

In the framework of this call with FAPESP, you can only act once as a principle investigator (supervisor) or co-investigator (co-supervisor).

4. Application procedure

4.1 Proposals must be submitted by the Flemish PI at FWO and by the Brazilian PI (State of São Paulo) at FAPESP. In Flanders it can only be submitted according to the regulations of FWO; in the State of São Paulo it can only be submitted according to the regulations of FAPESP;

4.2 The closing date for the submission of proposals is the 1st of June 2018 (5pm local time for FWO and 11h59 pm local time for FAPESP). No proposals will be accepted after the closing date for submission, nor will any addendum or explanation be accepted, unless those explicitly and formally requested by FAPESP or FWO. Proposals not received before the deadline or not in conformity to the specifications herein will be declared ineligible.

4.3 Proposals must be submitted in English to both agencies through their online systems:

FAPESP: The proposal submitted by the State of São Paulo PI to FAPESP (including the documents of his/her FWO collaborator) shall be sent to FAPESP via SAGe platform (SAGe instructions will soon be available).

FWO: The proposal must be submitted by the Flemish PI using the appropriate application form through the FWO E-portal.

4.4 All PIs and co-investigators of both the Flemish and Brazilian (State of São Paulo) research team must have an online profile including an updated list of publications on the before the submission deadline. Please note that the registration of your login/password takes 24 hours. It is therefore strongly advised to start well in advance.

4.5 The proposal should be clearly integrated and contain one central issue to be investigated, as well as a methodology and an implementation plan. The project description in the proposal submitted by the Flemish and the Brazilian research team (State of São Paulo) should be identical. The work packages and budget should be specified clearly and separately for respectively the Flemish and Brazilian part (State of São Paulo) of the project. At FWO the Brazilian budget (in BRL) must be added in the online application tool by adding the foreign host institution and subsequently allocating budget to it. At FAPESP it is necessary to add the Flemish budget in a separate spreadsheet as a mandatory document;

4.6 After the deadline, FWO and FAPESP will check whether the proposals have been submitted simultaneously in Flanders and Brazil (State of São Paulo). They will inform each other of the results. If a proposal is submitted only in one country and/or received after the deadline, it will be declared ineligible.

4.7 Applicants must note that the funding agencies retain the right to reject applications where they fail to comply with the procedures set out in this guidelines.

5. Funding modalities and eligible costs

5.1 FWO

The Flemish part of the project budget can only be used for one or more of the following cost categories:

- Scientific staff;

- Consumables;

- Equipment;

- Travel costs of Flemish researchers going to Brazil;

- To cover accommodation, daily allowances and local travel costs of Brazilian researchers staying in Flanders;

- To cover production costs of joint publications.

In the frame of this bilateral collaboration with Brazil (State of São Paulo) the budget for staff and consumables on the Flemish side is minimally 45,000 EUR and maximally 75,000 EUR annually per project. In case one of the project partners requests only funding for consumables, the lower limit for this partner is set at 20,000 EUR. For equipment, a maximum of 150,000 EUR in the first year can be applied for with matching funding also up to 150,000 EUR. No overhead costs may be charged by the host institutions on the Flemish budgets.

During their stay abroad and travel from and to Belgium/Brazil, taking place in the frame of an approved joint FWO-FAPESP project, all researchers involved on an allocated FWO-FAPESP project and independent of nationality, can rely on a travel and assistance insurance and repatriation covered by FWO. This insurance is NOT a health insurance. Social security remains a responsibility of the home country.


The proposals will be processed at FAPESP according to the rules and instructions for Regular Research Awards standards ( – Portuguese only). Please note that there are modifications and exceptionalities applied to this Call as set forth below:

5.2.1 Exceptions to the standards applied by FAPESP for the Regular Research Awards

a. In addition to the standards applied by FAPESP for the Regular Research Awards, exceptionally for this Call for Proposals, the length of the projects will be of 36 months; with a maximum budget of R$ 100 thousand Reals per year;

The budget requested to FAPESP must follow the norms of the Regular Research Grant (, as stated below

- Consumables;

- Services;

- Small equipment (below R$100.000,00);

- Travel costs of Brazilian researchers going to Belgium (To cover accommodation, daily allowances and local travel costs of Flemish researchers staying in Brazil;

- Technical Training Fellowships (;

- Please be aware that personnel costs cannot be covered.

6. Application timeline

The call for 2018 will be published in February 2018. The timeline is as follows:

  • 19 March 2018: Opening of the call

  • 01 May 2018: FAPESP Deadline for eligibility pre consultation

  • 01 June 2018 (5 pm local time): FWO deadline for proposals

  • 01 June 2018 (11h59 pm local time): FAPESP deadline for proposals

  • Jun-September 2018: Eligibility check and peer review

  • October 2018: Joint Evaluation Panel appointed by FWO/FAPESP

  • November 2018: Ratification panel decision/communication results

  • 01 January 2019: Start of the projects

7. Assessment and Selection

7.1 Evaluation Procedure

The applicants shall respect the evaluation procedure outlined by FWO and FAPESP. The projects will be evaluated using a two-step procedure.

1. In a first step the proposals submitted at FAPESP will be subjected to the peer-review procedure of FAPESP. Concomitantly, the proposals submitted at FWO will be peer-reviewed according to the standard procedure at FWO: Each eligible application submitted at FWO will be peer-reviewed by international external referees. The Flemish applicant is requested to provide a list of 10 potential referees that are eligible according to the Regulations FWO - Internal and External Peer Review. Please carefully read and respect these regulations. E.g. the proposed international referees cannot be appointed to a Belgian university, research institute or other organization. Moreover, the proposed international referees cannot be appointed to similar institutions and organizations in Brazil. Please note that there can also not be a conflict of interest between the external referees and both the Flemish and Brazilian partner(s).

2. A Joint Evaluation Panel comprising of experts designated by FWO and FAPESP will evaluate all eligible proposals and allocate the funding.

Respecting the ranking make by the Joint Evaluation Panel, a Joint Steering Committee – with a representative from both FWO and FAPESP – will recommend which proposals will be supported. The boards of FWO and FAPESP will thereafter ratify the selection. The Brazilian (State of São Paulo) part will be funded by FAPESP according to its own rules and procedures; the Flemish part by FWO according to its rules and procedures.

7.2 Evaluation criteria

- International scientific level of the research groups including the composition of the research team

- Complementarity of the included research teams and their expertise

- Methodology

- Originality and innovative nature of the project

- Importance of the project

- Purposefulness of the project

- Feasibility/focus of the project

- Collaboration and coordination between research departments

- Scientific context (appropriateness, expertise, and infrastructure) of the research departments

- Necessity for the budgeted resources

In addition, great importance is attached to the added value of the international collaboration, the complementarity/synergy between the partners, the contribution/coordination of research tasks, and the exchange of researchers.

8. Intellectual properties

Upon final approval of the project proposal, a partnership agreement will be required, signed by both the Flemish and the Brazilian PI (State of São Paulo), lying out topics such as Intellectual Property Rights. (Please note that no specific format for this agreement will be provided by FWO or FAPESP). The involved host institutions are free to elaborate such a document as long as it contains the necessary basic information). 

9. Contact information

For the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)

Dra. Bruna Musa
Scientific Directorate São Paulo Research Foundation - FAPESP

For the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO)

Isabelle Verbaeys
Head of International Affairs
T +32 2 550 15 31

Gregory Absillis
Science Policy Advisor International Affairs
T +32 2 550 15 29