Completing a doctoral thesis in business – Win4Doc


This mechanism aims to support any industrial research project conducted with a view to completing a doctoral thesis within a company whose headquarters is located in Wallonia. The doctoral thesis will be completed within a university research department. The completion of a doctoral thesis in collaboration with another university research department (jointly supervised thesis) or with an approved research centre is possible.

The Win4Doc measure is part of the HUMAN axis (Enabling the hiring of qualified research staff) of the research aid reform based on identified needs (Win4Research).

Key points

The company’s financial strength is evaluated in accordance with the procedure set out in the handbook, by requesting the drafting of a financial plan that details the funding of the project by the company.

This plan comprises elements that are used to assess the company’s financial ability to perform the activities and to use the expected results.

In detail

Target audience – details

The sponsor is established as a commercial company,

  • regardless of the sector;
  • any size: small, medium or large company

The partner university is not a sponsor (see ‘Benefits’ below).


Target audience – Eligibility criteria

A proposal is eligible if the following elements are all answered in the affirmative:

  • The consortium includes one company with a business unit in Wallonia.
  • The research consortium includes at least one university partner and three partners at most (in the case of joint supervision or a collaboration with an approved research centre, it is possible to have three partners).
  • The sponsor is a company.
  • The submission methods have been followed
  • The project falls within one of the technological fields covered by the current call for tenders.
  • The research has not already received public funding.
  • The partnership agreement is signed by all the partners.
  • At the time of submitting the application, the company must not be experiencing difficulties, in accordance with the guidelines from the European Union concerning State aid and the rescue and restructuring of companies in difficulty.
  • When submitting the project, the partners must have fulfilled all of their administrative obligations with respect to their prior agreements with the administration (reports, declarations of debts, etc.), in accordance with the deadlines outlined in these agreements or established by the administration.

Assessment criteria and project selection

The projects are assessed in accordance with the legal basis defined in the Walloon Government Decree concerning support for research, development and innovation in Wallonia. Each of the criteria defined in the decree has its own maximum score:

  • Article 38: The innovative nature of the project (rating/20)
  • Article 45/46: Excellence and experience (rating/15)
  • Articles 39 and 45/46: The quality, feasibility and relevance of the project (rating/15)
  • Article 40 – 43/1: The promotion of innovation (rating/30)
  • Article 41: The contribution to sustainable development (rating/10)
  • Article 43: The degree of risk (rating/10)

Furthermore, as part of ‘Win4Doc’ aid, the assessment also covers the following elements.

  • The researcher’s profile. This is included in the ‘Excellence and experience’ assessment criterion.
  • The quality of the coordination and management, within both the company and the host university laboratory. This is included in the ‘Quality, feasibility and relevance of the project’ assessment criterion.
  • The international scope. This is included in the ‘Excellence and experience’ assessment criterion.

Other conditions

  • The researcher must be hired no later than the date on the document describing the call for projects.
  • The applicant must have a diploma that makes them eligible to complete a doctorate in the partner university
  • The applicant must have obtained this diploma within the last ten years (at the start date/submission date for the project).
  • The project is part of Wallonia’s RIS3 Smart Specialisation Strategy and favours themes connected to this.

The maximum portion of eligible expenses covered by the Walloon region for the sponsor is:

  • Small enterprise: 70%
  • Medium enterprise: 60%
  • Large company: 50%

Admissible expenses include: 

  • the researcher’s salary;
  • fixed operating and coordination costs for the company (up to €10,000 per half-year);
  • general costs, corresponding to 10% of the researcher's total salary;
  • subcontracting costs: fixed operating and coordination costs for the university department (up to €10,000 per half-year). 

Projects are submitted via the ONTIME platform in the form of a declaration of intent (DI) by the sponsor (the company). The submission of the project involves two successive stages:

  1. the declaration of intent (DI);
  2. Win4Doc (detailed proposal).

Appeal procedures

How can I contact the department who made the decision?

You may contact the administrative department that made the decision at any time, independently of the appeal procedures outlined below, in order to obtain information about why the application was rejected.

 You must contact the following department:

PSW Economy, Employment and Research
Technological Research and Development Department
Place de la Wallonie, 1 (Building III), 5100 NAMUR (JAMBES)
Phone no.: +32 (0)81 33 45 32

This free process is not subject to any specific formalities and does not suspend the periods for filing an appeal. The absence of a response from the administration does not constitute acceptance of your request.

How to file an appeal

Unless the dispute can be viewed as relating to a subjective right – in which case only courts of law and legal tribunals have jurisdiction – an appeal may be submitted to the State Council, in accordance with the procedures outlined below.

Request for cancellation

Cancellation of the decision may be requested by filing a request with the State Council, either:

Conseil d’État


Section du Contentieux administratif

Rue de la Science, 33

1040 Brussels

You must submit your request within 60 calendar days from the date of notification for the disputed decision.

In your request, you must indicate the ‘reasons’ for your appeal, that is, the legal rights that have been infringed by the decision and the way in which they have been infringed.

Request for suspension

Sending a cancellation request does not suspend the effects of the decision.

If an emergency arises which is incompatible with the processing of the case, and if a serious argument is manifestly likely to lead to the cancellation, you may file a request to suspend the decision with the State Council.

The request for suspension may be submitted before, at the same time as, or after sending the request for cancellation.

In exceptional cases, and under specific conditions, you may also request the suspension of the decision in cases of extreme emergency.

Practical information

Requests for cancellation and suspension requests are only valid if they contain certain annexes and information. Reference is made to the coordinated laws and decrees mentioned below, which are available at (‘Procedure’ section).

Each requesting party must pay a fee of €200 (amount as of 9 January 2017), using a transfer form that will be sent to the party after the appeal is received. Payment is not currently subject to any deadline and the payment of the sum may be made at any time before the closure of the dispute.

Find out more: laws on the State Council, coordinated on 12 January 1973, Regent Decree of 23 August 1948 determining the procedure before the administrative disputes department of the State Council, Royal Decree of 5 December 1991 determining interlocutory proceedings before the State Council, which are available at (“procedure” section).



Research Programs Department
Place de la Wallonie, 1 Bât 3
5100 Jambes

Personnes de contact

Monsieur GILLIN Alain 
Monsieur LAPIERRE Fabian 
Updated on
Process n° : 146250
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