Bilateral Scientific Research Cooperation Projects Between the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) and the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) Versão em português

Guidelines call 2021

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.

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 1,3 million euros 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 complementarity 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 2022, have a duration of 3 (three) years.

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-supervisors can be included in Flanders. In Flanders, each researcher can only act once as a principle investigator (supervisor) or co-supervisor. In Brazil, each researcher can only act once as principle investigator (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. Curricular Summary 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)

3.2 Eligible researchers for FWO:

Eligible host institutions: Your research will be carried out under the supervision of an applicable Flemish principal (main) host institution defined in article 7§2 of the regulations research projects fundamental research. Where appropriate, the principal (main) host institutions from article 7§2 can carry out their research in collaboration with a Flemish or Federal scientific institution, but not in collaboration with a non-Flemish research institution other than those in the State of São Paulo, eligible for funding at FAPESP.

Eligible (co-)supervisor(s): Your research project will be carried out under the direction of a supervisor per host institution, possibly in collaboration with one or more co-supervisors in line with Article 10 (except §4 till §6 - there is no division into junior and senior projects in this call) and Article 11 (except §3) of the regulations research projects fundamental research.

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

Applications submitted in the frame of this FAPESP-FWO project call are not taken into account in for the maximum of two projects per application round for which you may act as (co-)supervisor, nor are they taken into account for the maximum of two projects applied for and ongoing on the start date of the newly allocated project.

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 2021 (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 available on the guidelines for researchers from the state of São Paulo: Nova Proposta Inicial > + Outras Linhas de Fomento > + Acordos de Cooperação > + FWO > + FWO - Projeto de Pesquisa - Regular > + Chamada de Propostas (2021).

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 FWO E-loket 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. Besides the scientific part, also the title and included (co)-PI’s must be identical in the submission at FWO and the one at FAPESP. At FWO the Brazilian budget (in EUR) 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 these 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 and 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.

On the Flemish side the following budget regulations apply in the frame of this bilateral collaboration with FAPESP:

• The total project budget for staff and consumables may not exceed 75.000 EUR/year;

• The budget for staff and consumables of the Flemish main host institution must be minimally 45.000 EUR/year;

• Per project a maximum amount of 150.000 EUR for equipment can be applied for. This can take the form of matching funding;

• No overhead costs must be charged on the Flemish budgets.

During their travel and stay abroad, all researchers (from the Flemish as well as from the Brazilian research teams) involved in FWO-FAPESP projects and independent of nationality, can rely on a travel and assistance insurance (‘reis-en bijstandsverzekering’) and repatriation covered by FWO. This insurance is not a health insurance. Regardless of the aforementioned insurance, all researchers should have a valid health insurance entitling the holder to free emergency medical treatment in the host country. The responsibility for the provision of adequate insurance against accidents that may occur during the stay in the host country (‘arbeidsongevallenverzekering’) rests with the research institution to which the researcher stays affiliated during the joint exchange project. The research institution to which the researcher is travelling, shall provide the visitor with all indispensable organisational assistance in situations requiring such steps.


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

I. The length of the projects will be of 36 months;

II. Proponents may apply for a Post-Doctoral fellowship, with a maximum duration of 24 months. Exceptionally, Post-Doctoral fellowships awarded in this call will not be entitled to the grant of Research Internship Abroad (RIA). This exception applies to this call, and requests for exceptionality under this rule will not be considered.

The maximum budget, per project, is R$ 450 thousand, and the eligible costs are:

a. Consumables

b. Services

c. Small equipment (below R$100.000,00)

d. Travel costs of Brazilian researchers going to the Belgium

e. Technical Training Fellowships (

f. The total budget must include Research Overheads (Direct Research Infrastructure Costs, Fringe Benefits, Institutional Research Infrastructure, Import Provision and Fellowships)

The total budget must include Research Overheads: “Direct Research Infrastructure Costs” (15% of the total amount requested), “Fringe Benefits” (R$ 8,000.00 per year for the PI), “Institutional Research Infrastructure” (10% of the total amount requested), “Import Provision” (, if any, and Fellowships, if any.

The total amount of the proposal will appear as “Custo Total da Proposta (in R$)”, as in the box below:

The amount indicated in the line 'Total Cost of Proposal', subtracted from the value of the requested PD fellowship (if any) cannot exceed R$ 450 thousand. Proposals whose budget amounts exceed this limit will be returned, and may be resubmitted until the submission deadline indicated in the call.

6. Application timeline

The call for 2021 will be published in March 2021. The timeline is as follows:

10 March 2021

Opening of the call

01 May 2021

FAPESP deadline for eligibility pre consultation

01 June 2021 (5 pm local time)

FWO deadline for proposals

01 June 2021 (11h59 pm local time)

FAPESP deadline for proposals

June-September 2021

Eligibility check and peer review

November 2021

Joint Evaluation Panel appointed by FWO/FAPESP

December 2021

Ratification panel decision/communication results

01 January 2022

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 according to the Regulations FWO - Internal and External Peer Review making use of the evaluation criteria listed in section 7.2.: two external evaluation reports will be requested by FWO for each FWO-FAPESP application and added to the application file to be provided to the joint evaluation panel.

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 made 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

The following criteria will be used by the joint selection committee described in section 7.1.

• Project

• Scientific added value, rationale, and originality

• Quality of the research approach (methodology), feasibility and focus

• Work plan

• Researchers

• Competence of the individual researchers

• Collaboration

• Added value of the proposed collaboration

• Balance in terms of work contribution amongst the diverse research groups

The evaluation score grid that will be used by the joint selection committee members can be consulted here.

8. Contact information

For the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)

Dr. Alexandre Roccatto and Fernanda Biondi
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