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Accelerate 2024

Call Accelerate projects 2024




32 months: 8 months inception phase and 24 months implementation phase



Accelerate aims to provide policy and policy implementation support to the VLIR-UOS community, both in Belgium as well as in all partner and scholarship countries, in a limited number of strategic themes. Accelerate will identify, connect, deepen and mobilise relevant expertise available in the VLIR-UOS network, sup-porting the acceleration of these themes within the VLIR-UOS community.

An online information session (focused on practicalities) took place on Thursday 23 May 2024, you can watch it here :

Presentations information session

An in-person matchmaking (focused on content and exchange) will  be organised on Thursday 30 May 2024 in the afternoon. The aim is to create a platform for interested parties to meet and participate in an initial brainstorming on one of the three themes. Interested? Fill out this register form by 24 May 2024 latest.

Why has this new project type been introduced?

Accelerate aims to support three projects fostering thematic networks which are innovative in their set-up and governance, and at the same time inspiring and accessible to the VLIR-UOS community and HES4SD at large.

Through Accelerate, we want to identify, connect, deepen and mobilise the relevant expertise available in the VLIR-UOS network in order to strengthen Flemish and partner institutions and their staff, and to enhance academic and social impact through exchanges with policymakers and experts.

The programme has three pillars:

  • policy development
  • policy implementation
  • capacity building and networking.

The programme emphasizes a co-creation process in multi-institution and multi-actor collaboration, valuing equal partnerships at different levels.

Key features

  • The project duration is from January 1, 2025, until August 31, 2027.
  • The Accelerate projects are considered pilots, leading to the creation of thematic networks and communities of practice with the ambition of being sustained beyond 2027
  • The Terms of Reference for each theme serve as the project's starting point. Gradual updates and modifications are permitted during implementation, based on input and demands from VLIR-UOS
  • Target group: the VLIR-UOS community as primary target group, with the ambition to also connect with the HES4SD community at large
  • Budget: €200,000, with a goal of securing matching funds from VLIR-UOS projects and other potential donors, if feasible. VLIR-UOS anticipates interest and co-funding—whether in kind or financial—from other interested parties.
  • The selection process consists of different stages:
    - Expression of interest
    - Concept note and selection of core group
    - Inception phase leading to a fully fleged proposal


Accelerate will be organised into three projects, with one project per theme:

  • Accelerating Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Accelerating Uptake, Use and Impact
  • Accelerating Higher Education Management

(Primary) beneficiaries

The primary beneficiaries of Accelerate projects are:

  • VLIR-UOS (Bureau UOS, ICOS/GEO, VLIR-UOS team, selection commissions).
  • The institutional level of HE&SIs in Flanders and partner countries
  • The VLIR-UOS community (individual promotors, researchers, professionals, support staff, students, etc.)

Who can apply?

Per theme, 1 core group will be formed. The core group consists at least of one Flemish promotor and one partner country promotor. 

Affiliation and statute of the promoters:

  • Flemish promoter: professor/specialist employed at a Flemish university or a professor/lecturer at a Flemish university of applied sciences and arts. 
  • Partner promoter: employed at a recognised higher education institution or a national public (not for profit) research institute, located in a VLIR-UOS country (list of 29 countries). 

Details on the eligibility requirements can be found in this Call document (section ‘3.1 Eligibility of applicants: who can apply?’).

Additional criteria:

A promoter can submit proposals for more than one theme, but cannot be part of multiple proposals within one theme.

Which partner countries are eligible?

Accelerate is organised in Belgium and in one or more of the VLIR-UOS project and/or scholarship partner countries.

As Accelerate is all about connecting and pooling all possible expertise, Higher education and public (not for profit) research institutions located in 29 partner countries are eligible:

  • Benin
  • Burkina Faso
  • Bolivia
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Cuba
  • DR Congo
  • Ecuador
  • Ethiopia
  • Guinea
  • Haiti
  • Indonesia
  • Kenya
  • Madagascar
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Palestine
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Rwanda
  • Senegal
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Vietnam
  • Zimbabwe

Budget and duration

The project budget amounts to a maximum of 200,000 EUR for a duration of 32 months:

8 months inception phase and 24 months implementation phase. Up to 40,000 EUR can be budgeted for the inception phase.

This 32 month period is considered a pilot-phase. The intention of VLIR-UOS is to sustain the networks also in its next Five-Year Programme.

How does the assessment procedure work?

The VLIR-UOS Selection Commission Accelerate will assess all project proposals in November 2024. In the upcoming months, a commission will be formed, comprising international experts. 

One proposal per theme will be selected.

How to submit a proposal?

Project applications must be submitted to the ICOS of the Flemish university association via the tool for the submission of project proposals.


APPLY NOW (starting 1 June)




Call Accelerate projects 2024 - Infosession