Every year the universities of Berkeley, California and Pennsylvania, in collaboration with the Flemish Interuniversity Council and the Department for Education in Flanders, grant a chair to a researcher of one of the Flemish universities and active in the domain of Dutch studies. the purpose of the chairs is to present the culture, literature, history and arts of Flanders as an integral part of the curriculum at the American host institution.
The guest lecturer is invited for one trimester (min. 10 weeks). He/she is to give two courses (undergraduate/graduate) in the own discipline and a public lecture on a topic of choice. The chair can only be awarded to members of the Academic staff or post docs on the condition that they are on the payroll of one of the Flemish universities. The institution involved might derive from this rule if preferred.
The costs of the chairs are divided between the Flemish government (flight, health and travel insurance, housing for a maximum of 2500€ each month in case of the Brueghel and Rubens Chair), the host institution (office space; housing for a maximum of 10.000€ in case of the Van Dyck Chair) and the Flemish university that employs the guest professor (expatriation allowance of 1250€, max. 5000€ for 4 months).
There are three different chairs for which researchers in Flanders can apply. The application procedure is carried out by the American university, but there is a VLIR rotation system in place that allows each Flemish university in turn to present a candidate for each chair. This does not mean, however, that applications from other universities are not taken into consideration.