Welcome to the European Liaison Office (ELO) - We are here to help you obtain research funding!

Our service is specialized in supporting you with European funding schemes, such as the European Commission’s Research and Innovation programme Horizon Europe.  

Beyond giving support on research funding, our office also provides information on European Research and Innovation policies by following-up the regulatory developments of the EU funding landscape.

Our (ELO) office focuses on fundamental science research which is represented in the Horizon Europe programme by the first pillar: “Excellent Science” and strengthening the European Research Area.  

On our website, you will find support for calls that are related to the following programmes: Marie Skłodowska-Curie (MSCA), European Research Council (ERC) and Research Infrastructures (RI).

We also provide support for European funding programmes that are external to the Horizon Europe/ Horizon 2020 funding scheme: COST Actions - European Cooperation in Science and Technology;  Justice Actions (JUST);  Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM);  the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action (LIFE), and European Area Research Networks - ERANET/JPI with the involvement of FWO/BELSPO, the European Space Agency tenders and the Regional Development Fund

Funded schemes have either a bottom-up approach (e.g. MSCA) where research topics are investigator-driven, or they follow a top-down approach where research topics are prioritized by the European Commission and defined in the funding call (e.g. ERA-NET). 

If you are interested in the calls pertaining to the other two pillars “Global Challenges & European Industrial Competitiveness and “Innovative Europe,  we would like to refer you to the ERIS Team which is part of the Tech-Transfer office, whereby ELO is part of the Research and Data Management Department (R&D). 






ELO coordination & EU Research Policy
Tania Van Loon

+32 2 629 21 84

Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions Support
Dr. Manuela Jungmann

+32 2 629 10 87

Stien Mommaerts

+32 2 629 22 13

Cristina Macovei

+32 2 629 21 54


Intranet for VUB-researchers

Find all relevant and practical information on research policy and the services of the R&D department on out new Intranet for VUB-researchers!

Have a look

Why choose VUB as your host institution?

Research groups at VUB have a proven track record with high publication scores, successful participation in national and internationally funded research projects, as well as excellence in research facilities. The VUB is a well-performing university with many successful collaborative projects that are obtained through a number of funding channels: Internal funding via VUB Strategic Research funds;  national funding via the Research Foundation Flanders, the Belgian Science Policy Office and Innoviris Brussel; and funding at the European level via the Horizon Europe funding scheme. As an international university, VUB’s working language is English. The VUB  is the number ONE Brussels organization in number of participations to Horizon 2020 programme.
The VUB contributes to Brussels-Capital Region being a European Innovation Leader, whose performance increases with time, and scoring high on the number of scientific co-publications.

The VUB with its four campuses has an established reputation in research excellence which is represented by a broad spectrum of research disciplines. At the Humanities, Science and Engineering Campus situated in the Etterbeek district of Brussels, 132 research groups distributed over 8 faculties, are engaged in cutting-edge research. The VUB’s Health Campus located in the Jette district of Brussels is divided into 10 research clusters and is adjunct to the University hospital, UZBrussels. The third campus is the Technology Campus located in the district of Anderlecht. The Photonics Innovation Center, also called B-PHOT is the fourth campus which is located outside of Brussels in the Western Brabant. It houses high-tech platforms for micro optical design to advance polymer prototyping.

VUB Faculties:

Languages and Humanities
Law and Criminology
Medicine and Pharmacy
Physical Education and Physiotherapy
Psychology and Educational Sciences

Science and Bio Engineering Sciences
Social Sciences and Solvay Business School

Excellence in Outreach

In recent years “science outreach” has gained more traction in the public eye, which is in part due to the outreach and dissemination component present in many of the Horizon 2020 funding schemes, requiring researchers to communicate with the public.

At VUB, science outreach has already been tackled for more than 30 years. Wtnschp, the VUB’s Science Outreach Office has been creating bridges between researchers and society. The Science Outreach Office hosts a number of activities, such as the science comedy night Bright Club, a science festival,  and Wtnschp.be, a popular science blog.

Recently, the VUB’s Outreach office has extended its services to researchers who are applying for Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions – Individual fellowship. The purpose of this service is for incoming researchers to benefit from the experience of the Science Outreach team.  During the proposal writing phase, the Outreach Office supports the incoming researcher by fine-tuning the researcher’s outreach and dissemination ideas, either by integrating them into existing outreach initiatives or by advising on new concepts, tailored specifically to the research project.  After the proposal has been accepted, the researcher can further receive assistance on questions concerning the implementation of their outreach and dissemination activities.

Career Development

VUB is a “Free University” working from the premise that research excellence originates from a bottom-up approach with researchers initiating their own path. VUB research is mostly stirred by the research community without management interfering in the allocation of funds to specific research domains. Funding takes place across domains where only the best applications are selected through competition.

In 2011, VUB was one of the first universities in Belgium to be awarded by the European Commission (EC) with the right to use the “HR Excellence in Research” logo. VUB’s dedicated career centre has recently began to also focus its support on incoming post-docs and fellows, e.g. MSCA. The centre is currently rolling out a pilot which aims to assist the post-doc or fellow in their professional development with a view to strengthen continued employability.

Post-docs and fellows receive further guidance from their supervisors on the framework of their research, and input on important aspects related to career advancements as researcher, such as the development of their own international network. Supervisors also encourage the post-docs and fellows to more autonomous functioning by passing on responsibilities in research management, e.g. the building of a research cell with Master and PhD students, independent of the supervisor.

General facilities

The VUB has excellent services that are flexible, customised and well-organised. Computer facilities and strong (wireless) internet connections are available as well as access to technology platforms, research facilities, and the university library. The VUB International Relations & Mobility Office assists the fellow before and after their arrival in Brussels with administrative matters such as visa permits, registration and health insurance.

VUB campuses have day-care centres that are open all year round from 7h00 to 19h00. Both VUB campuses have a primary school located around the corner, and during school holidays sport and language camps are organised for children of VUB employees. VUB employees and their families enjoy full refund of medical costs when treated at the University Hospital (UZ Brussel). Canteens on both campuses as well as the University hospital, offer daily diverse and fresh menus that include vegan, vegetarian and meat/fish options. The fish served is MSC /ASC certified and efforts towards sustainability are ongoing, for example all plastic dishware and cutlery has been replaced with sustainable tableware.  

Apply with VUB for an ERC grant

Are you an excellent researcher looking for competitive long-term funding for your ground-breaking fundamental research? Then ERC funding  might be interesting for you! The European Research Council (ERC) provides funding for the implementation of ground-breaking research for a period of 5 (6) years.

Funding & grants

The following types of grants are available:

  • Starting Grants (1.5 mio euro for 5 years, for researchers with 2-7 years postdoctoral experience*)
  • Consolidator Grants  (2 mio euro for 5 years, for researchers with 7-12 years postdoctoral experience*)
  • Advanced Grants (2.5 mio euro for 5 years, for established senior researchers)
  • Synergy Grants (10 mio euro for 6 years, for 2-4 Principal Investigators at any stage in their career)
  • Proof of Concept (lump sum 150 keur) for ERC grantees to cover activities at the very early stage of turning research outputs into a commercial or socially valuable proposition

*Extensions of the eligibility period are possible based on documented absence for parental leave, long-term illness, military service or clinical training. Check the ERC Work Programme for more details. 

The ERC programme, provides a distinctive funding mechanism devoted to scientific excellence for all scientific fields (bottom-up call).
Currently, Vrije Universiteit Brussel proudly hosts several ERC-projects and their Principal Investigators.

What does Vrije Universiteit Brussel offer you?

As an applicant

  • Individual support and scouting in the proposal writing stage: screening of the applicants profile - training for ERC proposal writing - set-up of the project budget - assistance with the ethical issues - review of the proposal in cooperation with external consultants - preparatory pitching and mock interviews

As a successful ERC-grantee

  • A tenure track offered by the VUB Research Council
  • A wide range of career development opportunities and dedicated communication
  • Appropriate working conditions for the implementation of the project
  • Full administrative, legal and financial support


Contact the European Liaison Office team at elo@vub.be.

Highlights from the work programme for Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions under Horizon Europe:

The MSCA strongly contribute to excellent research, boosting jobs, growth and investment by equipping researchers with new knowledge and skills and providing them with an international as well as inter-sectoral exposure (including through academia-business collaboration), to fill the top positions of tomorrow.

The main principles applying to the Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions


  • applies to the individual fellows supported & collaborations fostered and knowledge transferred
  • applies to using the best possible R&I methodologies
  • applies to research conducted as well as training, supervision and career guidance


  • The guiding principle of MSCA is physical mobility where researchers are required to move abroad to acquire new knowledge, skills and competences.
  • Researchers are also strongly encouraged to move between sectors and disciplines.


Virtual mobility only complements physical mobility by facilitating long-distance collaborations; and to be an effective means to faster achieving research and training objectives.

MSCA proposals are encouraged to explore opportunities offered by e-infrastructures and related services, in particular those provided through GEANT, the pan-European research and education network.

Bottom-up and open to the world

MSCA are open to all domains of research and innovation; it is bottom-up research

For Horizon Europe, Postdoctoral Fellowships can also address domains covered by the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom Research and Training Programme 2021-2025). All MSCA will complement top-down collaborative research activities, notably contributing to the Horizon Europe Missions.

MSCA has a strong international dimension, it encourages setting-up strategic collaborations worldwide with special focus on unique collaboration that facilitate expertise, facilities and/or testing environments available only outside of Europe.

Recruitment, working/employment conditions and inclusiveness

The principles of:

European Charter for Researchers

Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (Charter and Code)

  • Promoting open, merit-based and transparent recruitment and attractive working and employment conditions and all funded host organisations must put effort into applying them.
  • Attention to equal opportunities and inclusiveness.
  • Encouraged to embrace diversity
  • Take measures to facilitate mobility and counter-act gender and disability-related barriers to it.
  • Facilitate access by researchers at risk, through tailored support and career services, including job search assistance in the researcher’s new geographical area.


The MSCA promote effective supervision, which contribute to creating a supportive environment for the researchers to conduct their work.

Supervision is one of the crucial elements of successful research. Guiding, supporting, directing, advising and mentoring are key factors for a researcher to pursue his/her career path. The European Commission has Guidelines for MSCA supervision.

Open Science and Responsible Research and Innovation

MSCA endorses Open Science and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) through engaging society at large, integrating the gender and ethical dimensions.

All MSCA under Horizon Europe promote:

Open Science practices through targeted training activities, ensuring open access to research outcomes, including FAIR  (= Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) data handling, encouraging formal and informal science education and feeding back research results into teaching and education.

European Green Deal

The MSCA support bottom-up and frontier/applied research contributing directly to the European Commission’s commitment to tackling climate and environmental-related challenges. Under Horizon Europe, the MSCA will significantly contribute to promote sustainable research in line with the European Green Deal, the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. All MSCA-funded projects are encouraged to address the principles of the MSCA Green Charter and implement measures to minimise the environmental footprint of their activities.


The MSCA promote the creation of strong links with the Cohesion policy funds and the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF)[1], notably by creating synergies through its COFUND action and enabling complementarities via awarding a Seal of Excellence certificate to proposals submitted to mono-beneficiary MSCA calls. The Seal is awarded to proposals that exceed all of the evaluation thresholds set out in this work programme, but cannot be funded due to lack of budget.


[1] The Recovery and Resilience Facility supports reforms and investments undertaken by Member States. The aim is to mitigate the economic and social impact of the coronavirus pandemic and make European economies and societies more sustainable, resilient and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the green and digital transitions.

Ready to become a Marie Curie fellow at VUB?

Browse the menu below to identify suitable topics or research projects for your 'Marie Sklodowska Curie – Postdoctoral Fellowship' proposal.

Based on your area of research, you can identify in the menu below a number of research topics as well as research projects that have been submitted by VUB research staff. The topics and research projects, submitted by the various VUB research groups, provide suggestions for the development of a proposal; they should assist you in identifying mutual research interests, innovation potential and areas for skill acquisition that enhance your research competences. The topics and research projects can be used as a basis to discuss collaborating on a MSCA-PF proposal. Please continue to read below for the entire procedure.


Once you have selected a topic (with topic ID) and you are interested in writing a MSCA-PF proposal with a VUB researcher, you should have the following documents ready to be send to us:

  • Current CV
  • Evidence of your current place of residence, as well as the place(s) of residence(s) for the past 5 years
  • Topic ID listed in the header of the pdf file describing the topic, i.e. MSCA-2021-xyz
  • 2-3 pages (A4) explaining your expression of interest and qualifications

Please note, you will only be eligible to submit a proposal if you will have obtained your PhD degree before October 12th, 2021.
All submissions should be sent to MSCA@VUB.be with the topic ID in the email header.

Alternatively, if you cannot identify a topic in the menu above, you are free to send us an open expression of interest following the steps above. However, in this case the email header should be specified as follows:  open expression of interest  - “name of your research discipline here”

If you are unsure whether you qualify for the MSCA-PF programme, please read the guidelines for applicants.  Once we have received your documents, we will conduct an eligibility check based on the guidelines for applicants and your qualifications. We will get back to you and if all is in order, you may contact the VUB researcher you would like to collaborate with directly.


Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks

Marie Sklodowska Curie Action – Doctoral Network (DN) is aimed at promising PhD students (Early-Stage Researchers) to receive research training or partake in doctoral programmes that focus on entrepreneurial and innovative aspects. The underpinning idea of this training is to enable these future researchers to be able to convert their innovative research outputs into economically viable application and services. There are three variations of this call:  European Doctoral Networks (EDN), European Industrial Doctorates (EID) and European Joint Doctorates (EJD).


European Doctoral Networks (EDN) are multi-partner research training networks and must be composed of at least three beneficiaries established in at least three different EU Member States or Associated Countries. Above this minimum, the participation of other organisations, including international organisations and those from Other Third Countries, is possible under the conditions provided by the Horizon Europe Rules for Participation. Although there is no pre-defined size for these multi-partner networks, it is strongly recommended to keep the size of the consortium between 6 and 10 beneficiaries. It is expected that beneficiaries will be drawn from the academic and non-academic sectors and that DN proposals will offer intersectoral and interdisciplinary research training as well as high-quality supervision arrangements. Each beneficiary must recruit and host at least one Early Stage Researcher (PhD student).

European Industrial Doctoral Networks (EID) involve the non-academic sector in doctoral training. EIDs aim to train researchers and to stimulate entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation. An EID is composed of at least two beneficiaries established in two different Member States or Associated Countries. At least one of the beneficiaries must be entitled to award doctoral degrees and at least one of the beneficiaries must come from the non-academic sector.

European Joint Doctoral Networks (EJD) promote international, intersectoral and multi/inter-disciplinary collaboration in doctoral-level training through the creation of joint doctoral programmes. EJD leads to a joint, double or multiple doctoral degree and is composed of at least three beneficiaries in different member states or associated countries (entitled to deliver doctoral degrees). The participation of other organizations is possible under specific conditions.

Take a look at previous projects!

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