Since August 2018, all financial flows for clinical research and innovation have been brought together in one entity: the Fund for Innovation and Clinical Research. This replaces, among other things, the Platform for Digital Medicine and New Medical Technologies, the Clinical Research Fund (KOF), and the ‘speerpunt’ funding. Combining different financial flows for innovation and scientific research in a single fund will increase transparency and prevent competition and inefficient funding.


Type I projects

The Fund for Innovation and Clinical Research finances so-called type I projects. Clinical staff of the Ghent University Hospital who are involved in patient care in the broadest sense of the word, who want to carry out scientific research and who want to complete a PhD in Medical Sciences within the maximum project duration of four years, can submit an application for funding. This funding amounts to € 50,000 per year for a maximum period of 4 years and is mainly intended as a partial exemption from the normal clinical activities.

Type II projects

Besides type I projects, there are also type II projects. These projects are distinguished by their sustainable academic and possibly also economic/social importance, occupy an international leading position, and are preferably, but not exclusively, multidisciplinary in nature. Clinical staff of the Ghent University Hospital who are involved in patient care in the broadest sense, and who want to develop groundbreaking, state-of-the-art diagnostic, therapeutic or digital processes, can submit an application for project financing. The allocated funding amounts to a maximum of € 100,000 per year (index 2018) for a maximum period of 4 years. The call for type II projects also includes more limited innovative or research projects, with a high-risk profile, for which impulse financing can be requested for an amount between € 20,000 – € 70,000 maximum.

It is up to the steering committee and the selection committee to make a ranking after the launch of the project call. In order to be eligible for funding for a type I or type II project, a series of criteria must be met, which have been endorsed by the steering committee. The assessment criteria can be found on the UZ intranet page of the Fund for Innovation and Clinical Research.

General criteria

The promotor

  • is a clinical staff member (= involved in patient care in a broader sense) of the UZ Gent and is at least 80% employed in the UZ Gent.
  • can also be a ZAP clinician with main appointment at the University of Ghent on condition of a clinic reimbursement within the UZ Gent (as an expression of the clinical activity).
  • can never exceed the ceiling of € 100,000 funding per year from the fund.

The project

  • was submitted for advice to the Health Innovation and Research Institute (HIRUZ contact: prior to submission in order to assess the admissibility and eligibility of the application. In addition, HIRUZ also provides content support to increase the chances of success and to see if the project would not be better funded in another way.
  • was submitted for external funding. The decision of the application for external financing may still be pending at the time of submission. If a project has not been submitted in advance for external financing because the applicants consider it impossible for the project to be eligible for external financing, a thorough motivation must be provided. The assessment of whether a motivation regarding the impossibility of obtaining non-UZ funding is retained belongs to the steering committee.

Open call

The call for type I and II projects of 2019 has been completed. A new call will follow in the course of 2020.


Type I projects (PhD fellowship)

Prof. Bruno VerhasseltHannelore HamerlinckMicrobiota transfer
Prof. Hans Van VlierbergheHelena DegrooteHepatocellular carcinoma
Prof. Geert BraemsMenekse GökerLobular breast cancer
Prof. Steven WeyersIsabelle DehaenePreturn
Prof. Bart LeroyElke KrepsKeratoconus
Prof. Hannelore DenysEline NaertPelvic tumors
Prof. Patrick WoutersMichael VandenheuvelRight ventricle dysfunction
Prof. Koen PaemeleireNicolas VandenbusscheMigraine

Impulse financed projects (€ 20,000 – € 70,000)

Prof. Bruno VerhasseltDekodon
Prof. Peter De PaepePre triage
Prof. Frederick BerrevoetIrreversibel pancreascarcinoom
Prof. Kirsten ColpaertNAOMI
Prof. Thomas MalfaitElectromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy
Prof. Tessa KerreFight cancer
Prof. Joris DelangheGlycomics
Prof. Marc CoppensDPP surgical day hospital
Prof. Lieve BrochezSkin cancer
Prof. Yolande LievensE-reach
Prof. Freya SwinnenHearlab
Prof. Isabelle Van HerzeeleBlack box

Large projects (up to € 1,000,000)

Prof. Bart LambrechtGerm Free Mouse Facility
Prof. Steven WeyersUterus transplantation
Prof. Bruce PoppeNucleUZ
Prof. Rik AchtenPET-CT
Prof. Wouter WillaertITCIT
Prof. Ruth Van Der LoovenSmart places
Prof. Bart Vandekerckhove & Fritz OffnerCAR-T


Read the extensive project call on the UZ intranet page of the Fund for Innovation and Clinical Research. You will also find all the necessary documentation there.


Health Innovation and Research Institute (HIRUZ)
Sanne D’hondt

Fund for Innovation and Clinical Research:
Prof. Dr. Johan Decruyenaere (chair)