A specific cooperation process between Asia and Europe in the field of education – and more specifically higher education – has been set up in the context of the Asia-Europe Meeting. During the Asia-Europe Meeting of Ministers of Education held in Kuala Lumpur in 2013, the Wallonia-Brussels Federation announced it would participate in the ASEM-DUO Mobility Scholarship Programme as of 2014.
DUO/Wallonia-Brussels has been established at the Wallonia-Brussels Federation in order to promote “paired exchanges” between professors from Wallonia-Brussels HEIs and Asian ones. Mobility must be carried out over a period of 18 days to 2 months (60 days) and by "pair", i.e. a professor/researcher from an FWB institution goes to Asia-Pacific partner institution and vice versa. However, candidates don't necessarily have to work in the same field of study.
The list of partner countries is: Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
A webinar will be held on Monday 26 February from 11am to 12pm (Brussels time) to present the ASEM-DUO 2024-2025 programme and answer any questions participants may have. Registration for this webinar is free but compulsory.
What kind of financial support?
The ASEM-DUO scholarships are awarded annually to pairs of professors, lecturers or researchers for a project that should take place between August 1st of the academic year and August 31st of the following academic year.
The duration and the amount of the grants enter these conditions:
01/ Duration of stay
The duration of the exchange should be of at least 18 days and of maximum 2 months (60 days).
02/ Amount of the scholarship
The amount of the scholarship awarded to the duo is €7,000 for the two partners. This amount includes mobility and per diem costs. Any excess costs not already covered by the ASEM-DUO scholarship may be covered by other funding (private or institutional).
How to introduce an application?
The institution belonging to the FWB applies for both partner institutions. In each higher education institution, a contact person must be clearly identified. The person responsible for the application is the one belonging to the Belgian institution and should ideally be the institution’s representative for international relations. This person is responsible for coordinating the exchange and for sending a complete application, including the documents for both applicants.
01/ Documents to inclose
Documents have to be sent in ONE single PDF document:
- The completed application form of the current call for the DUO/Wallonia-Brussels Fellowship Programme. The application form must be typewritten and submitted in PDF format;
- A copy of the academic cooperation agreement between paired institutions or the declaration of intent to sign one in the two following years;
- The passport copies of the two applicants;
- The resume of both applicants (maximum 5 pages).
02/ Eligibility criteria
The applicants must meet all eligibility requirements:
- applications should be submitted by a pair of academic or scientific staff from higher education institutions, one from the FWB and one from Asia ;
- candidates must be remunerated by their respective institutions and it must be their main occupation (full or part-time (min. 50%)) ;
- the Wallonia-Brussels and Asian HEIs must be recognised/accredited by the competent authorities in the field of higher education ;
- the Asian institution must be located in one of the following countries : Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam ;
- the Wallonia-Brussels and Asian HEIs must sign a cooperation agreement or must have expressed the intention to sign one in the two following years ;
- the call is open to all disciplines. The two members of the duo do not have to belong to the same disciplines ;
- the citizenship of the candidate is not a criterion for eligibility ;
The following groups are not entitled for a fellowship:
- students and PhD students,
- professors emeritus and honorary,
- teaching assistants.
Exemptions are possible for the colleges of arts. The selection committee will assess on a case-by-case basis.
The exchange must necessarily take place between the two same institutions, but does not need to take place in the same time span, nor between two identical departments.
03/ Selection criteria
ARES selects beneficiaries of the ASEM-DUO Wallonia Brussels Fellowship Programme based on the following criteria:
- The originality of the project ;
- The scientific, academic or artistic quality of the applicants (e.g. publications, publications with the partner institution, research or artistic project, exhibitions, work experience, competitions, academic background, etc.);
- The degree of internationalisation of the project, i.e. opportunities for developing collaborations that go beyond the project itself ;
- The expected impact of the grant on the work and professional career of the applicant;
- The expected impact of the grant on the applicant’s institution;
- The explanation for the duration of the trip;
- The quality of bilateral relations between the Wallonia-Brussels institution and the Asian partner;
- The relevance of financial support for the applicants;
- The complementarity of the projects submitted between the members of the duo (if the projects are different).
After the exchange?
- A summary of the project (10 lines),
- The actions/research carried out during the visit and the results obtained,
- The course of the visit,
- The impact of your visit on your institution,
- The contribution of the ASEM-DUO programme to this particular project,
- Positive points and improvements to be made to the ASEM-DUO programme.
01/ What are the eligible higher education institutions (HEI) in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation (FWB)?
There are 5 universities, 19 university colleges and 16 school of arts and 84 adult HEIs in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. The full list of HEIs eligible is available here: https://www.studyinbelgium.be/en/higher-education-institutions-french-speaking-belgium
02/ How to find an eligible partner?
If you already have a partner, you must then check that he or she actually works for an eligible higher education institution (HEI) of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation (FWB) and meets the conditions of eligibility.
If you do not have a partner yet, you can inquire with the international relations office of your institution to find out whether your institution already has a partnership with a higher education institution in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. Alternatively, you can check on the mesetudes.be website the list of higher education institutions dealing with areas related to your project and contact, for instance, the head of international relations office, the head of the research department, or the heads of faculty/department of these institutions.
03/ Are electronic signatures accepted?
You have two options regarding signatures: either the document is signed by hand and then scanned, or you save the completed form in PDF format and you, and your authorities, append your authenticated signatures.
04/ Can I split my stay of min. 18 days and max. 2 months (60 days) in two trips?
Yes, you can split your stay in two trips in order to meet, after your second trip, the minimum length of stay of 18 days in total. However, in this case, we draw your attention on the fact that most of your scholarship will be spent in transportation fees.
As a reminder, the stay of each of the partners in the duo must last for a minimum of 18 days and a maximum of 60 days.
05/ What if I don't yet know the exact date of my stay when I submit my application?
The definitive dates of your stay must be sent to ARES by 30 September 2024 at the latest.
06/ If my application is selected, will I be allowed to modify the travel dates stated in my application file?
Yes, you can change your travel dates up to one month after the deadline for signing the agreement between you, your partner and ARES, i.e. until September 30.
07/ How do I demonstrate the intent to sign an agreement to meet the eligibility criteria?
This is a co-signed letter (or two separate signed letters) from the authorities of both institutions, or their representatives, stating the intention of both parties to sign an inter-institutional agreement within the next 2 years.