BOF (Bijzonder Onderzoeksfonds)

Next to other resourch agencies such as FWO-Vlaanderen, the Bijzonder Onderzoeksfonds (BOF) is an important financial resource for stimulating academic scientific research, i.e. research initiated by the scholar. The BOF-key is an interuniversity distributing mechanism providing the universities with significant financial resources that can further be allocated to large (the so-called GOAs) and smaller research projects through a proper internal selection screening based on peer-review of competitive project applications. The BOF-resources have been quadrupled (from 21,1 million euros in 1995 tot 90,3 million euros in 2002) in the period of 1995 to 2002.

Before 2002, the interuniversity distribution of these resources was based on three criteria, namely on the share of delivered second-cycle diploma’s over a time period of 4 years (35 %), on the share of delivered doctoral dissertations over a time period of 4 years (50 %) and on the total share of resources that universities could claim (15%).

From 2003 onwards, an additional criterium has been added to the distribution key: each university’s share in the total Flemish academic publication and citation output in the Science Citation Index (extracted from the Expanded Web-of-Science, ISI-Thomson) over a shifting time period of ten years. For 2003, the original three criteria were considered for 90%, the SCIE-output provided the remainder 10%. According to the latest update on the BOF-proposition, the 90/10 ratio is to grow into a 70/30 ratio in the coming years. ECOOM carries out the publication and citation counts for the Flemisch government.