Our website uses cookies to improve your experience. To make optimal use of this website please agree to our cookie policy.

I agree I do not agree.

Policy Supporting Programme (PSP)

The Policy Supporting Programme delivers research output on specific themes of interest to the Belgian development cooperation on demand of the Belgian government. The goal of PSP is to deepen the knowledge on themes that are of prime importance to the Belgian development cooperation.

Why are Policy Supporting Programmes important?

The Policy Supporting Programme delivers research output on specific themes of interest to the Belgian development cooperation on demand of the Belgian government. The goal of PSP is to deepen the knowledge on themes that are of prime importance to the Belgian development cooperation, linked to building the knowledge and capacity of DGD.

PSP and Terms of Reference - Themes

An online information and matchmaking session with stakeholders took place on November 30th 2022. This resulted in the final Terms of Reference elaborated by DGD for PSP regarding the following three themes:

  • Climate & Environment
  • Fragility & Resilience
  • Social protection, inequality & inclusive growth.

These Terms of Reference (ToR) provide potential applicants with more subject matter-related information. The present call invites interested parties to submit a concept note containing the following elements:

  • A presentation of the core group:
        o   relevant expertise
        o   roles & responsibilities
  • A strategy for the inception phase:
        o   reflections on the theme and priorities
        o   outlining the method and approach for the inception phase
        o   the approach to mobilise expertise
        o   the approach to guarantee (gender) equality and interdisciplinarity
  • a strategy for the uptake of research results
  • an activity planning and budget for the inception phase

Who can apply for a Policy Supporting Programmes?

Researchers of Belgian higher education institutions (universities and universities of applied sciences and arts) are eligible to submit for this call.

The concept note needs to present the core group, which includes at least 1 promoter of an HEI from the Federation Wallonia-Brussels region, 1 promoter from a Flemish-speaking HEI, and 1 promoter from a partner country. The group consists of people with:

  • the relevant expertise,
  • the capacity to mobilise a network and
  • the capability to generate change and impact. The concept note also includes a budget.

When submitting a project proposal, a promoter must meet both the internal criteria and regulations regarding the project promotership of their institution and the minimum conditions set by VLIR-UOS.

Affiliation and statute of lead researcher

Flemish lead researcher:

For the Flemish universities

The minimum conditions set by VLIR-UOS for a lead promoter from a Flemish university to submit a proposal are the following:

  • one must be able to be an account holder within one's own institution;
  • one must have a ZAP (1) status at the time of submission, with a minimum appointment level of 10%;
  • postdocs can also submit, depending on the Flemish institution’s internal criteria and on condition that a ZAP member with at least 50% appointment of the institution with whom the contract will be signed is included in the project team as co-promoter;
  • ATP (2) members can also submit, depending on the nature of the project and provided they can be account holders within their own institution, without a ZAP member with minimum 50% appointment as co-promoter being part of the project team;

(1) ZAP: Zelfstandig Academisch Personeel (Independent Academic Personnel)

(2) ATP: Administratief en technisch personeel (Administrative and Technical Personnel)

For the Flemish universities of applied sciences and arts

  • The applicant must be professor/lecturer.

In case the professor/lecturer does not have permission to be a budget holder. Another person, e.g. the director, can be assigned as a budget holder for the project.

A researcher can be involved in only one concept note proposal.

This framework is considered a pilot project for the 2023 calls. There will be an evaluation of the impact of these new eligibility criteria on the number of proposals and their distribution.

FWB lead researcher:

The FWB coordinator of the project is

  • a staff member of a FWB HEI who is authorised and empowered by their institution to coordinate the project. This person must be authorised to sign an agreement, to manage an internal financial account and to engage the responsibility of the HEI with regard to all aspects of the coordination. They coordinate the academic and scientific aspects of the project.
  • For ARES, this person is the official point of contact for any communication relating to the project. The FWB coordinating HEI entrusts the execution of the project to them, including administrative and financial aspects. Every coordinator can only submit one project in the framework of the present call.

Partner lead researcher:

  • The applicant must be employed at a recognised higher education institution or national public (not-for-profit) research institute located in a VLIR-UOS or ARES project partner country.
  • This person is authorised and empowered by their institution to locally coordinate the project.

What are the eligible project partner countries?

Researchers affiliated with Belgian higher education institutions (HEIs) (both universities and universities of applied sciences and arts), and researchers affiliated with higher education institutions in one of the partner countries of ARES and VLIR-UOS.

Concept notes need to include at least 1 HEI from Flanders, 1 HEI from the Federation Wallonia-Brussels (FWB), and 1 HEI from a partner country.

A maximum of 50% of the budget can be spent by a HEI in a partner country.

Of the funds spent by the Belgian HEIs, max. 25% of the ARES/VLIR-UOS budget can be spent on Flemish / FWB researchers respectively. How this rule will be implemented, is still under discussion and will be communicated without delay.

What is the maximum budget and duration of a Policy Supporting Programme?

Three thematic Policy Supporting Projects will be funded, with the budget of each project being € 1,330,000 for the entire duration of the project.

More info & application




Policy Support Programme (PSP) Infosession