Research funding

Funding adapted to a variety of research contexts

At UCL, research projects are made possible by ‘scientist-adventurers’, various financial resources, research infrastructure and state-of-the-art equipment.

External research funding obtained by UCL researchers amounts to 30% of the overall university budget. In other words, many public and private sponsors trust UCL, based on the dedication of our researchers, international recognition of their work and the specialised support of the UCL Research Department (ADRE).

Research Department experts indeed play a major role in helping researchers identify appropriate funding sources, set up their project, and nurture permanent relationships with Belgian, foreign and supranational sponsors.
 

Public sponsors

In Belgium, public funding for research comes from the following:

  • The federal government, via BELSPO, its Science Policy Office, finances research programmes that support the decisions of federal authorities, researcher mobility and outer spacerelated research.
  • The French Community of Belgium, via Actions de Recherche Concertées (ARC) (‘Joint Research Activities’) and Fonds Spéciaux de Recherche (‘Special Research Funds’), is more involved in financing ‘fundamental’ research, as is the F.R.S.-FNRS (‘Belgian Fund for Scientific Research’), which in addition to its past programmes now coordinates, with Flanders’s Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (FWO), the Excellence of Science programme.
  • The Walloon and Brussels Capital Regions are more active in applied socio-economic research.
  • The European Union mainly provides funding through its Horizon2020 research and innovation framework programme for fundamental or applied collaborative or individual projects. The European Research Council (ERC) also allocates significant funds.
     
    Private sponsors

    UCL collaborates closely with businesses and socio-economic actors by building numerous research partnerships based on either established programmes or self-financing. The share of private funding is significant and demonstrates UCL’s continuous interaction with socio-economic actors and businesses and in the overall field. Collaboration with the private sector can take several forms:

    • research contracts and sponsorship agreements;
    • analyses;
    • use of university equipment and infrastructure;
    • providing expertise;
    • providing advice and consulting;
    • secondment of researchers;
    • lifelong learning;
    • granting licences.
       
    UCL contacts
    • International and EU funding: Amal Akheyar
    • Regional and federal funding: Nathalie Burteau
    • Fundamental research funding (FSR, ARC, FRS-FNRS and related funds): Anouk Distelmans
    • Mobility funding: Sara Wilmet
    • Private funding: Marie-Anne Crijns