From idea to reality

Relevant project idea

matchmaking UgandaIn most cases the first step is the formulation of an idea for research, education or social service, in response to a global or local social challenge.


To be able to execute the idea you must find a partner, within your own institution and/or elsewhere. The elements below must be taken into account:

  • The partnership is between one or more universities or university colleges in Flanders and one or more universities in a partner country.
  • The partners have a shared vision on the main social challenges and the proposed solutions.
  • Every partner will share its expertise in the project.


To be eligible for funding the main activity of the project must be executed by a university or university college. Other actors, such as governments, NGOs or companies can be involved but cannot submit project proposals.


If you are looking for a partner, please contact the institutional coordinators for development cooperation (ICOS) of the Flemish universities and university colleges. They will give you advice on how to find suitable partners.


For some programmes, such as Institutional University Cooperation (IUC), VLIR-UOS sometimes organises a matchmaking. During a matchmaking representatives from a selected institution travel to Belgium to meet potential Flemish partners.

Project proposal

VLIR-UOS regularly launches calls for project proposals, scholarship proposals and academic expertise. These calls may be open to all partner countries or to one specific country. The type of cooperation is determined in the call. Sometimes the call defines the possible themes for cooperation. Take a look at the overview of VLIR-UOS calls for more information.


For most programmes the Flemish promoter or supervisor submits the project proposal to the contact person (ICOS) of his institution. The ICOS checks whether the proposal meets the demands that were included in the call. The ICOS then jointly submits all proposals of his or her institution to VLIR-UOS.


Once VLIR-UOS has received the project proposals, a committee of experts makes a selection based on peer review by experts from Belgium and further afield. Both academic quality and development orientation are evaluated. VLIR-UOS does not use allocation formulas at the level of universities, disciplines or sectors.


After a positive selection VLIR-UOS will send a project agreement to the Flemish promoter. When no Flemish promoter is involved VLIR-UOS will send the agreement to the local promoter to be signed.


After the agreement has been signed the project can officialy start. VLIR-UOS will then pay the first part of the granted budget. The rest of the budget will be payed later, sometimes after receiving mid-term or final reports written by the promoter.


In the guidelines for project execution you will find information about how to apply for a scholarship, the types of expenses you can make and the maximum amounts for per diems and hotel stays abroad. In addition, you will find communication guidelines to communicate your project in your own institution and beyond.

Monitoring and evaluation

The VLIR-UOS Monitoring & Evaluation Policy describes the general policy regarding result-oriented monitoring and evaluation. Some of the monitoring and evaluation activities:


  • The project promoter submits an annual report to VLIR-UOS to report about the progress of the project and the achieved goals.
  • VLIR-UOS invites the project partners to share testimonials about the progress of the project, its results and its successes. You can find stories on our website, in our newsletter and in the annual report.
  • VLIR-UOS regularly evaluates its programmes. In the heading 'publications' you can find an overview of the evaluation reports.