817 young PhD graduates from 88 countries applied for a BeIPD-Cofund fellowship. 622 IPD (Incoming fellows) and 113 OPD (Outgoing fellows) applications were completed and eligible.

The number of IPD applicants increased over time (+60% in 4 years), resulting in a decrease in a candidate’s chance at being accepted from 1 in 4 to 1 in 8. Applications from non EU-countries increased with each subsequent call: from 39% in 2013 to 53% in 2016, whereas the number of EU applications remain quantitatively steady (more or less 100 applications/call).  The number of ineligible applications decreased (12% to 3% to 1%) as a result of the improved information that was provided. However on the last call, there was an increase of ineligible applications (10%) due to a higher number of non-EU applicants who misunderstood some of the requirements.

The number of OPD applicants was steady. Ineligibility was mainly due to incomplete submissions. There was a 25% chance at being selected for an outbound fellowship, a significantly higher rate than was found among calls for national funds.

Figure 1

Incoming fellows (IPD)

IPD Calls Results: Call 1 (2013) - Call 2 (2014) - Call 3 (2015) - Call 4 (2016) .

Origin: IPD fellows came to Liège from all over the world, with the majority coming from Europe. France, Spain and Italy were the top three nationalities represented in the group.

Figure 5


Discipline: Based on ULiège criteria, research topics within each sector were attributed. One interesting factor observed among the fellowships was the high number awarded in Social Science and Humanities. Of the fellows, 58 fellows were in Social Science and Humanities, which includes Social Sciences and Humanities (SOC) and Economic Sciences (ECO), 28 fellows were in the Life sciences (LIF) and 52 fellows in Sciences and Techniques. Lower results in Life Sciences (LIF) were due to less applications submitted in this sector.

Figure 7 8

Gender balance: ULiège took into account maternity leave for female applicants and extended their eligibility period accordingly (1y/child with a maximum of 2 years). The gender distribution among applicants was 59%-41% (M-F) while the proportion of selected fellows was 56%-44% (M-F).  Within each discipline, we observed significant disparities between the genders for fellows in Engineering (10M-1F) and Life Sciences (7M-21F). These numbers are coherent with international graduation rate statistics within these disciplines/fields.

Once the Postdocs accepted their fellowships, they were directed to the ULiège Euraxess Mobility Centre. The centre oversees all the documents needed to obtain a scientific visa and provides individual assistance for logistical questions relating to the fellows’ time in Belgium.

ULiège created a “Welcome guide for incoming staff and visiting researchers” with pertinent information regarding life, culture and integration into the ULiège community and the surrounding city.  Information and support was also available for the postdocs’ families for issues arising before, during or after their stay.


Outgoing fellows (OPD)

IPD Calls Results: Call 1 (2013) - Call 2 (2014) - Call 3 (2015) - Call 4 (2016)  .

Destinations: Fellows who were awarded an OPD developed their projects throughout the world, with a high percentage of them working in a European institution (25/32). Having previously worked as researchers at ULiège, they were well versed on internal rules and regulations; their main requests for support were for visas, insurance and other formalities related to their travels and stay.

Figure 10

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