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SI 2023

Call Short Initiatives (SI) 2023




Maximum duration of 2 years



Short Initiative (SI) projects are short-term projects that aim to explore, build and deepen academic/scientific collaborations among diverse teams of academics and researchers. They are very accessible, particularly for new/young project promoters that are eager to go for a first experience as promoter of a VLIR-UOS project.

Like TEAM projects Short Initiatives focus on a sustainable development challenge, but within a shorter time framework and budget. The objective is the same: strengthen research and educational capacities of higher education and science institutions in partner countries and create the conditions for uptake of new and relevant knowledge, applications and/or services by academic, civil society, private and public actors.

An online information session took place on 6 December 2022. During this session, we presented the call and the application modalities:

1. SI 2023 Information Session - Basic info and formats

2. SI 2023 Financial guidelines intro

3. SI 2023 Information Session - Full Video

How does it work?

  • A Short Initiative (SI) is expected to produce short-term results within the 2-year project duration.

  • SI projects are very accessible, in particular for new/young project promoters that were sensitised via the Global Minds framework or via involvement in ongoing projects of other promoters, and/or are eager to go for a first experience as a promoter of a VLIR-UOS project. Also academics with VLIR-UOS experience have access.

  • SI projects allow for differentiated aims (exploration, innovation, valorisation, etc.) and approaches (education, research, policy, outreach, people, networking)

  • The partnership can vary in terms of size and composition: one or more Flemish higher education institutions, one or more local higher education, and science institutions and/or other actors; one or more disciplines; young/new and/or more experienced academics, etc.

Who can apply?

An application for SI involves both a Flemish and a local promoter, but it is the Flemish promoter who submits the application.  
Affiliation and statute of promoters

  • Flemish promoter:

    In case of academic projects (1):

    For the Flemish universities, the applicant must have permission from his/her institution to be a budget holder. The applicant must have ZAP status (minimum 10%) at the moment of application.
    For the Flemish universities of applied sciences and arts (2), the applicant must be a professor/lecturer.

    In case of project proposals focusing on more technical and/or management issues, e.g. HE management, ICT, library, quality assurance, ..:

    For the Flemish universities, the applicant must have permission from his/her institution to be a budget holder. The applicant must have ZAP status (minimum 10%) or ATP status at the moment of application.
    For the Flemish universities of applied sciences and arts (2), the applicant must be a professor/lecturer.

  • Partner promoter: employed at a recognised higher education institution or national public (not-for-profit) research institute located in a VLIR-UOS project partner country.

(1) Specific details of the eligibility criteria and internal regulations as to project promotership of the respective Flemish universities are still under discussion. VLIR-UOS will provide further clarity as to the eligibility criteria on the VLIR-UOS website as soon as possible after the Bureau UOS meeting of 10/2/2023. 

(2) For the Flemish universities of applied sciences and arts, most professors/lecturers might not have permission to be budget holder. Another person, e.g. the director, can be assigned as budget holder for the project.

Additional criteria

  • Applicants (Flemish/partner) can submit a maximum of 2 SI projects in case they have no ongoing SI 2022 or TEAM 2022 project. Promoters of a SI 2022 or TEAM 2022 project can submit only 1 SI 2023 project.

  • At the level of the partner institutions, no further criteria apply. Former and present IUC partner institutions are fully eligible, without any restriction.

Which partner countries are eligible?

Higher education and science institutions located in one of the 17 project partner countries listed below may apply for SI projects:

Benin, Bolivia, Burundi, Cuba, DR Congo, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam

Budgetary framework

  • Project budgets amount to a maximum of 70.000 EUR for two years.

  • The overall budget for SI 2023 allows for a maximum of 29 selectable projects.

Financial guidelines for proposal writing

  • The VLIR-UOS financial guidelines for SI projects indicate which expenses are allowed in the framework of a project, how budgets are to be determined, and how expenses have to be accounted for. In order to support the project formulation, we provided you with a basic set of guidelines needed for filling out the budget proposal. (see Call Annex 2, financial guidelines ppt presentation)

The applicable budget lines are:

  • A.  Investment costs (durable goods with a long life that can be depreciated in the accounts over several years)

  • B.  Operational costs (“project-related” costs incurred for the purchase and/or operational use of goods that are not depreciated in the accounts and costs directly related to a specific project activity)

  • C.  Personnel costs

  • D.  Scholarship costs
  • E.1.  Coordination cost at the level of the Flemish institution (5% of the A-D total)

  • E.2.  Coordination cost at level of the partner institution(s) (5% of the A-D total)

How does the assessment procedure work?

  • All project proposals will be assessed and selected based on four standard selection criteria: (1) relevance and coherence of the project; (2) quality of the project design; (3) implementation set-up of the project; (4) potential impact and sustainability.

  • Project proposals are assessed by Regional Selection Commissions (Africa, Asia, Latin America) in May 2023.

  • The selection decision will be communicated shortly after the ratification of the decision by the Bureau UOS, ultimately in May 2023.

Useful documents

UPDATE: the budget format (Annex 2) was updated on 9 December. If you already downloaded the file before that date, please download the new version.

2023 Call for SI projects SI 2023 Call Annex 1_formulation guidelines SI 2023 Call Annex 2_financial guidelines intro Formats SI 2023

Need inspiration for a VLIR-UOS project? Here are some ideas for your project proposal.

How to submit a proposal?


The Flemish promoter of the proposed SI project submits the application to the ICOS of the Flemish university (association) for quality control. The ICOS will validate and submit to VLIR-UOS.


Project applications are submitted via an online submission tool.

If you already have access to this tool, you can click the “Apply now” button below. If you do not yet have access, and wish to create your project application, please contact the responsible person at the Flemish institution of your project application. They will grant you access to the tool.


Deadline March 16, 2023, 5pm (CET).

Did you miss the information session or do you need details on the call? Check it here.





Information Session SI 2023

Our new Theory of Change