Brussels, 25 Nov 2002
The Belgian federal science policy office has published a guide to participation in the country's national research programmes, entitled 'be part of a Belgian research team.'
The publication aims to inform researchers from Belgium and abroad of the opportunities for participation in research initiatives, grant schemes and fellowships. The guide also contains practical information including the details of national contact points, research institutions and an overview of Belgium's national research policy.
In his introduction, Eric Beka, the secretary general of the federal science policy office, stresses the importance of international research collaboration to a small country such as Belgium, saying: 'It is [...] important to stimulate all our involvement in R&D programmes conducted on the basis of international and particularly European cooperation, so as to strengthen the country's scientific and technological potential and it's integration in the European Research Area.'
The first chapter gives details of the thematic areas under which funding is available to Belgian and international researchers. These include sustainable consumption and production patterns, global change and problems concerning social cohesion. International cooperation takes place on the basis of 50 per cent co-financing with the foreign partner.
The funding of 'interuniversity attraction poles' aims to create networks of scientific excellence and, where such networks already exist, provide increased resources in order to achieve the required critical mass. This initiative is focussed particularly towards institutions from different linguistic regions of Belgium, but is also open to international partnerships.
The 'return grants for researchers' programme aims to encourage the reintegration of national scientists working outside the EU by providing them with full-time funding for two-year initiatives in Belgium. The federal science policy office hopes that through such projects, national research will benefit from the international experience of returning scientists.
Other information contained within the guide includes an overview of Belgium's participation in European space research, fellowships to allow central and eastern European scientists to join national research teams, and details of Belgium's support for European research infrastructures and institutions.
To see the guide, please consult the following web address: http://www.belspo.be/belspo/ostc/geninfo /publ/pub_ostc/bres_uk.pdf