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Luxembourg National Research Fund

AFR Bilateral

Bilateral PhD & Postdoc grants

  • Career Stage(s):
    PhD Candidate (with Masters)
  • Funding Type(s):
    International collaboration , PHD & Postdoc
  • Deadline: 08-03-2023 14:00 CET
Home Funding Instruments AFR Bilateral



Through the research grant scheme AFR (Aides à la Formation-Recherche) PhD and postdoctoral level research training in Luxembourg and abroad is supported.

This specific call is dedicated to the cooperation between Luxembourg based research institutions and public research institutions and universities from Quebec (Canada), Singapore, and the RIKEN IMS Center (Japan).

By offering PhD- and Postdoc grants conducted jointly in Luxembourg and selected countries abroad, the FNR aims to foster bilateral research collaboration and strengthen networking activities and links between public research institutions of both countries.

In line with FNR’s vision, mission and strategic priorities, the key objectives of the AFR bilateral programme are stated as follows:

  • Attract and train the most talented doctoral and postdoctoral candidates from any nationality in Luxembourg
  • Foster international mobility of doctoral and postdoctoral researchers and support research collaboration with specific partner countries (i.e. Singapore, Quebec (Canada), and Japan (Riken IMS Center)
  • Enhance high quality standards for PhD training and Postdoctoral research in Luxembourg, by ensuring that the principles of the National Quality Framework for Doctoral Training are respected in the framework of the AFR programme.

The AFR programme has a bottom-up approach, i.e. proposals in all domains of research and technological development are eligible for funding. Proposals do not need to align with the National Research Priorities (NRP), but should fall within the expertise of the main researchers supervising/mentoring the grant’s beneficiaries. The programme targets the most talented researchers to be trained in high quality research environments that ensure an optimal PhD training / Postdoctoral research environment.

In these AFR bilateral grants, consortia of supervisors from Luxembourg and an International collaboration partner can apply for joint projects of a duration of 4 years with up to 2 positions (PhD and/or Postdoc). The positions are considered as open positions, i.e. later grant beneficiaries (PhD and/or Postdoc) do not need to be known at submission stage.

In the AFR bilateral programme, the involved research groups from the two different eligible countries/ Host Institutions should have complementary expertise to guarantee an optimal research and training environment for the beneficiaries. Through the bilateral international cooperation, beneficiaries will benefit from training opportunities in both institutions and countries and the supervision/mentoring by at least two experts in their field. Scientific support and training offered to the AFR beneficiaries as well as an excellent research framework are key elements for a successful completion of the research project.

The majority of the research activities will need to be carried out at a Luxembourg based eligible research institution, i.e. more than 50 % of research time is spent in Luxembourg, under an employment contract. Additionally at least 20% of the research time must be spent at the international partner (i.e. Singapore, Quebec (Canada), and Japan (Riken IMS Center).

The funding available for the 2022 call may cover up to 9 positions.


All applications must be submitted via the FNR Online Grant Management System.

Collective applications for at least 2 PhD and/or Postdoc positions. In this case the proposal is submitted by a coordinator at an eligible Luxembourg host institution. It is not expected that the respective PhD and/or Postdoc candidates are already known at the application stage. 


This specific call is dedicated to AFR grants (PhD or Postdoc) conducted in a cooperation between Luxembourg based research institutions and the NASA Ames Research Center (NRC). In addition, it allows to support:

  • Luxembourg nationals, or residents in Luxembourg for more than 5 consecutive years, based at public research institutions abroad


  • candidates from any nationality may apply for a PhD or Postdoc position in an eligible Luxembourg host institution. Candidates will have to spend >50% in Luxembourg under an employment contract with the host institution;

conducting their PhD or Postdoc studies in cooperation with the NASA Ames Research Center.

In order to be eligible, candidates require a written confirmation by NASA-Ames accepting them as visiting researchers/PhDs in their labs in case they do receive the grant.

Update 28 February: Please submit the official letter by 8 April 2023 at the latest.

Find out about NASA Ames Research Center (external link)


All must be submitted via the FNR Online Grant Management System.