Federal policy oriented research 

At the federal level the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) initiates specific (long term) programmes of research with the aim of providing reliable data to the federal government to support its decisions scientifically in several primary areas of research such as e.g. sustainable development, climate change, ecosystems, biodiversity, earth observation, drug related policy, the society and the future, social-cultural heritage,…. At a regular basis BELSPO launches open calls for project proposals. Recent examples of such calls are:

  • the Federal Research Programme Drugs
  • the Research Programme for Earth Observation "STEREO III" 2014-2020
  • the recurrent Research Framework Programme BRAIN-be (Belgian Research Action through Interdisciplinary Networks) Furthermore, a call is launched annually for:
  • Return Grants (Action to foster the return to Belgium of talented researchers doing R&D in a foreign research centre)
  • Postdoc fellowships to non-EU researchers intending to stimulate international mobility and to attract foreign researchers

National Bank of Belgium (NBB)

Through its Special Fund the NBB offers annually relatively limited financial support to Belgian universities for scientific research with respect to economic or financial topics. By delegation to the bureau of the Research Council the university submits project proposals. Since, for some years, the budget has been reduced, the annual submission by the university comprises in general only one project. De NBB requires a partial cofinancing of the project drawn from other means at the disposal of the proposal’s applicants.

Francqui Foundation

The purpose of the Francqui Foundation is to encourage the prestige of disinterested fundamental research. It also provides Belgian scholars and scientists with indisputable moral support. The statutes clearly state that its objective is "to further the development of higher education and scientific research in Belgium".  This implicitly means that interuniversity collaboration is also encouraged.