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2 MISSION AND ORGANISATION The Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique- FNRS (the Scientific Research Fund) supports the development of basic research in French-speaking Belgium. It does this by promoting the training of individual researchers and financing research programmes in Belgiums French-speaking universities. A public-interest foundation, the FNRS is neutral philosophically and politically. It does not discriminate between scholars and researchers on the basis of their beliefs and opinions. The FNRSs activity is supported by four specialised funds to which it is associated: the Institut Interuniversitaire des Sciences Nucléaires (Inter-University Institute of Nuclear Sciences), the Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique Médicale (Medical Scientific Research Fund), the Fonds de la Recherche Fondamentale Collective (Collective Fundamental Research Fund), and the Fonds pour la Formation à la Recherche dans lIndustrie et dans lAgriculture (Fund for Research Training in Industry and Agriculture). The FNRS and the Associate Funds each have their own objectives but their organisations, operations and methods have been combined to create a coherent whole.

3 FNRS Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique established in 1928 IISN Institut Interuniversitaire des Sciences Nucléaires established in 1951 FRSM Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique Médicale established in 1957 FRIA Fonds pour le Formation à la Recherche dans lIndustrie et dans lAgriculture established in 1994 FRFC Fonds de la Recherche Fondamentale Collective established in 1965

4 ACTIVITIES SUPPORTED Researcher training: Two-year doctoral appointments, renewable once (Research Fellow, FRIA Grant, Special Doctoral Grant) Graduate colleges Research development: Postdoctoral appointments - Fixed term (Postdoctoral Researcher) - Unlimited term (Research associate, Senior Research Associate, Research Director) Scientific-promotion appointments Appointment of postdoctoral foreign researchers on a short-term period Part-time clinical research appointments Research agreements Allowances for researchers Operating grants for new appointees Contact groups Postgraduate programmes Scientific prizes Evaluation Scientific Commissions Reference Laboratories Mobility: European co-operation and openness Grants for participation in, or organisation of, symposia, conferences and scientific meetings and missions Visiting fellowship grants Co-operation agreements Secondments to European and international research organisations

5 THE FINANCING OF THE FNRS AND OF ITS ASSOCIATE FUNDS On the basis of initiatives presented by researchers, the FNRS promotes the generation and development of knowledge at laboratories and facilities located primarily at the nine universities in French-speaking Community of Belgium. French-speaking Community of Belgium has approximately 4.5 million inhabitants. 69,000 students attend the universities, which award 8,000 basic graduate degrees and 600 doctorates on a annual basis. In 2007, the breakdown of the funding of the FNRS and of its Associate Funds is as follows : Community subsidiesFederal subsidiesWalloon Region subsidies External resources 89,66830,5543,8607,712

6 TÉLÉVIE Since 1989, the Télévie initiative, organised each year by RTL TVI on behalf of the FNRS, has given impetus to the development of research into leukaemia and cancer among children and adults. Télévie has doubled the resources made available to our research teams : it has already made possible the financing of more than 1,200 research programmes, the awarding of 1275 grants and Télévie appointments and the production of a large number of publications. But, above all, it has resulted in the setting up of a number of important tools, such as a registry of stem-cell donors consisting of more than 50,000 names, a bank of more than 5,000 umbilical-cord blood samples and platforms using DNA microchips.

7 RESEACHER TRAINING By granting appointments, the FNRS enables nearly 1,300 young doctoral graduates to prepare and present their doctoral theses. These doctoral candidates include 498 FNRS research fellow, 520 FRIA felloswhip holders, 54 FNRS doctoral-fellowship holders and some 200 researchers working on their doctorates as part of a research agreement (Télévie agreements, in particular). Recently appointed research fellows, FRIA fellowship holders and FNRS doctoral- fellowship holders receive operating funds to help them with their research projects. As of 1 October 2006


9 GRADUATE COLLEGES The FNRS coordinates the graduate colleges in the French-speaking Community of Belgium, as provided by the Bologna Decree. There are 20 of these inter-university and inter-academy colleges: Philosophy Theology Languages and Literature History, Art and Archaeology Urban Planning and the Art of Building Information and Communication Political and Social Sciences Law Criminology Economics and Business Management Psychology and Education Medical Sciences Veterinary Sciences Dental Sciences Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences Motor skills Sciences Agronomy and Bioengineering Engineering Sciences Art and Science of Art One or more thematic graduate schools may be set up within these graduate colleges. These thematic graduate schools are inter-university and, as far as possible, interdisciplinary and international. The FNRS decides on the recognition of a thematic graduate school which is granted for five years. At the present time, 50 thematic graduate schools have been approved.

10 RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT Research development is essentially limited to postdoctoral researchers. The FNRS finances around 900 postdoctoral researchers. Recently appointed postdoctoral researchers receive operating funds to help them with their research projects. FIXED TERM APPOINTMENTS The FNRS supports around 420 fixed-term postdoctoral researchers. The junior researchers are awarded research fellowships (for a maximum for four years). If they so desire, and on the basis of the scientific excellence of their work, postdoctoral researchers may be appointed for unlimited terms. UNLIMITED TERM APPOINTMENTS There are around 520 unlimited-term (permanent) postdoctoral researchers. They include research associates, senior research associates and research directors. The FNRSs permanent researchers are among the principal players in scientific research in the French-speaking Community of Belgium. Nearly 30% of the permanent researchers appointed since 1974 have joined scientific and academic university faculties. In the French-speaking Community of Belgium, the FNRS permanent researchers are the authors of approximately 25% of the scientific publications listed in the Science Citation Index.


12 RESEARCH AGREEMENTS Three of the Associate Funds (FRFC, FRSM, IISN) finance the research programmes presented by teams of researchers (equipment, consumables, scientific and technical supplying personnel). At the present time, some 775 agreements are in place; more than 100 technicians and nearly 400 scientists are involved. Within the framework of a research agreement, part-time clinical researchers may be appointed, as well as foreign, short- term, postdoctoral researchers. In 2004, the FNRS set up scientific-promotion appointments for young, permanent FNRS researchers or university students interested in developing a scientific unit at their universities in the future. The FNRS also supports researchers in French-speaking Community of Belgium by making individual grants available to enable them to acquire the scientific instruments and/or operating means necessary to pursue their research projects. More than 130 researchers benefit from this type of funding. In addition, in order to strengthen the potential of laboratories and inter-and intra- university co-operation, the FNRS maintains a database of all major equipment in use in laboratories in French-speaking Community of Belgium.

13 SCIENTIFIC EVALUATION Both the agreements and the appointments are concluded on the basis of the opinion of scientific committees. All requests are presented by the researchers. The researcher takes the initiative, according to a bottom-up approach. Evaluation is based on the projects feasibility, its originality, the composition of the team, its scientific environment and the scientific history of the promoters and researchers participating in the research programme under consideration. The 33 scientific commissions are organised into seven groups: Engineering Science Science Earth Science Life Science Humanities and Social Science Medical Science Material Science Scientific evaluation is one of the FNRSs essential missions. It becomes involved once a request for subsidy is submitted and applies particularly severe selection criteria. It continues to monitor projects throughout subsidiation, on the basis of the research reports submitted to the scientific commissions. Scientific experts organised according to discipline are responsible for actual evaluation. 329 Belgian and foreign are members of the FNRSs 33 scientific committees. If a project is multidisciplinary, it may be examined by a committee specifically set up for this purpose. The FRIA also bases its recommendations on the work of juries composed of university and industry experts.

14 REFERENCE LABORATORIES The FNRS assigns its reference laboratories through the fundamental research programmes that it finances. The reference laboratories contribute to the international visibility of the scientific advances produced in the French-speaking community by means of research, publication and the promotion of science. These laboratories must meet the following criteria: a working environment that attracts the most highly qualified individuals, a solid international reputation, training and integration of FNRS appointees and foreign researchers. The laboratories are supported in particular by the Associate Funds (FRFC, FRSM, IISN), which cover personnel costs and make essential equipment available.

15 MOBILITY AND INTERNATIONAL OPENNESS The FNRS considers the internationalisation of scientific research to be of fundamental importance. All FNRS researchers are able to enjoy the benefits of their appointments during fellowships abroad. The FNRS has put in place several schemes to promote international co-operation: Foreign researchers are appointed as short-term postdoctoral researchers to promote international mobility and, for a maximum of three years, can collaborate with a FNRS- financed programme. More than 260 foreign researchers have so far benefited from this initiative. The visiting fellowship grant enables a researcher to work abroad. Reciprocally, foreign researchers are able to work in laboratories financed by the FNRS. The funds for a brief visiting fellowship enable a researcher to acquire new knowledge at a laboratory abroad. University academics and foreign professors have the opportunity to carry out scientific missions lasting up to 12 months. The FNRS also provides assistance through contact groups, so that Belgian and foreign specialists are able to meet and work together. 101 contact groups are currently active.

16 In addition, the FNRS participates with a large number of sister institutions in various scientific co-operation agreements. It participates in several Associated European laboratories (AEL), International Scientific Cooperation Projects (ISCP) and European Research Groups (ERG) with the CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research) and INSERM (The Natioanel Health and Medical Research Institute). These far-ranging co-operation projects guarantee not only the involvement of our researchers at European and international levels but also strengthen their competitiveness and visibility. Moreover, the FNRS serves on bodies coordinating European research, of which it is often a founding member (CERN, ESF, ESRF, MBO, ESO, EuroHorcs, etc. ), which enables it to ensure the participation of researchers from our community in high-level international scientific co-operation initiatives. The influence, openness and integration of our researchers from all of the sciences in European and international scientific communities is demonstrated by their numerous co- publications (more than 40%) with foreign researchers (from France, the United States, Great Britain, Germany, etc.).

17 EUROPEAN FRAMEWORK PROGRAMMES The FNRS follows very closely the participation of Belgian French-speaking researchers in the European Research Area (ERA). During the Sixth Framework Programme, the FNRS agreed to take on the role of bridgehead for university centres promoting mobility and thus to join the ERA-More network and its French component, MERCATOR. It manages seven ERA-Net research co-operation projects and represents the French-speaking community within the Women and Sciences Network. The FNRS has made funds available to assist permanent researchers in the coordination of European projects. As part of the Seventh Framework Programme, the FNRS hosts a National Contact Point (NCP) in support of exploratory research initiatives. It grants a subsidy for the setting up of certain initiative categories in favour of its permanent appointees and all academic personnel at universities in French-speaking Belgium.

18 GIFTS AND SCIENTIFIC PRIZES The FNRS would like to take this opportunity to thank all of its sponsors whose generosity contributes directly to financing research. Donations and bequests may be earmarked for specific research, as requested in the donation or will. The public authorities have established various tax-exemption measures for bequests and gifts: Gifts of between 30 and 319,580 that do not contribute more than 10% of the donors net annual taxable income are tax-deductible. The same applies to companies for gifts up to 500,000 and 5%. Bequests are subject to only 6.6% inheritance tax. Moreover, thanks to private and industrial patrons, each year the Fund awards several scientific prizes in various disciplines. The FNRS publishes a widely distributed quarterly magazine, La Lettre du FNRS which provides information about the Funds activities and helps to make its researchers known to the general public.

19 CONTACTS Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique – FNRS rue dEgmont, 5 B-1000 Bruxelles Tél Fax Véronique Halloin, General Secretary


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