NBB Research Fellowship Programme


The NBB Research Fellowship Programme provides financial support to prominent professionals from academia and research institutions in research areas where the Bank sees a need to enhance its knowledge and to stimulate economic thinking in the Belgian context.

The aim of the programme is

  • to promote economic and financial research that meets the highest academic standards while being directly policy-relevant;
  • to offer research staff at the NBB the opportunity to gain exposure to, and expertise in, the most recent advances in economic research, in particular in fields related to new challenges, such as climate change and digitalisation, or in fields for which the Bank wishes to gain a better understanding of the driving forces, such as the consequences of agent heterogeneity and domestic regional divergences;
  • to give prominent scholars the opportunity to gain an insight into the policy-making environment of the NBB.

For the 2021 edition of the programme, two fellows will be appointed, one for each of the following areas of expertise:

  • climate change and climate change mitigation policies.
  • agent heterogeneity and the distributional aspects of financial and economic developments and policies.

Under the economics of climate fellowship, the successful candidate will contribute to research on the economics of climate change and the transition towards a low carbon economy, with particular attention to one or more of the following dimensions:

  • incentive policies,
  • real and nominal consequences,
  • cost-benefit analysis of policies and emission reduction measures/technologies, accounting for their scalability and their relative marginal cost, in general or in a particular industry,
  • interactions with monetary, fiscal and macroprudential policies.

These topics may be treated either through (climate integrated) macro-modelling or sectoral/firm level micro-econometrics.

Under the economics of agent heterogeneity fellowship, the successful candidate will contribute to one of the following areas:

  • the transmission of shocks and economic policies to macroeconomic outcomes in the context of agent heterogeneity;
  • the impact of shocks and economic policies on agent distribution;
  • the analysis of production and/or financial networks;
  • the identification and measurement of structural microeconomic characteristics of agents along relevant heterogeneity dimensions.

The research topics may be in monetary and fiscal economics, industrial economics, international economics, labour economics, financial economics and banking, or macroprudential policy.

These topics may be treated through the use and development of macroeconomic models accounting for agent heterogeneity, applications of agent-based modelling or state-of-the art statistical and econometric methodologies.

These two fellowship positions will give the successful candidates access to the economic and statistical resources available at the Bank.

About the fellowship

Successful candidates will be offered an assignment for a period of between six and twelve months - to be spread over two to three years - to conduct economic research in the Economics and Research Department.

While at the NBB, fellows are expected:

  • to give feedback and guidance, when relevant, to the analysts and researchers of the Economics and Research Department;
  • to complete at least one theoretical or empirical research paper for presentation at internal seminars and external conferences, and for publication in the NBB’s Working Paper Series and a leading refereed journal. A proposal for research projects must be presented by candidates as part of the application procedure;
  • to grant a right of first publication of the paper resulting from the fellowship project to the NBB’s Working Paper Series;
  • to conduct research projects in mutual agreement with the Economics and Research Department.
  • to organise at the NBB at least one external (virtual) workshop/conference on topics related to the main field of their research activities;
  • to stimulate collaboration and exchange with Belgian academics and universities during this period.

Fellows conduct their activities at the NBB’s premises. They have access to the NBB library and to the computing and statistical facilities necessary to conduct their research.

The NBB will offer a fellowship contract to the candidate(s) that the NBB considers likely to provide the most valuable contribution in view of their experience, qualifications and competences and in accordance with the principles of non-discrimination and equal treatment. For this purpose, the proposals will be evaluated based on the following elements: (i) the envisaged research proposal that the candidate is planning to develop; (ii) the extent of the candidate’s experience and expertise relevant to carrying out the assignment, based on their curriculum vitae; (iii) proof of an excellent publication record in the relevant area, and supervision and teaching activities at universities. All these elements will be weighted equally in the evaluation.

The fellowship programme consists of a research grant of €100,000 per year per recipient for a yearly assignment of six months (on average €66,666 per year if spread over three years, to be phased according to the number of months assigned per year). The grant includes all taxes, retributions and levies, and covers living costs (rent or hotel) or travel costs between the recipient’s home country and Brussels. Travel costs & fees related to participation in external conferences and seminars are covered by the Bank.

During the assignment, the grant cannot be combined with another support scheme or contractual relation offered by the Bank.


The period for applying to the 2021 Fellowship Programme runs from 15th March to 14th May, 2021.

The Bank recognises the value that diverse perspectives bring to its work. It promotes the advancement of women specialising in economics and finance and encourages the nomination of researchers with a range of identities and backgrounds.


Candidates are required to:

  • be citizens of an EU country, permanent residents of an EU country, or otherwise legally permitted to work in an EU country
  • conduct and support research in an EU country (nominations where the majority of the research is in an EU country could also be considered)
  • be employed by an EU university as a professor (or an associate/assistant/visiting professor) during the term of the fellowship.


Eligible nominees will be considered by the Fellowship Nominating Committee. This Committee makes recommendations to the Bank's Board who will make the final decision. For more information, please refer to the terms of reference.

The selection criteria used to assess eligible nominations include:

  • demonstrated excellence and innovation in the nominee’s work as indicated by publications and forthcoming articles in high impact peer-reviewed journals, as well as citations and references (i.e., commentaries/critiques), working papers, other research outputs, including books and book chapters, research grants and awards, and recognition by peers;
  • demonstrated leadership within the discipline and/or academic institution(s) as indicated by mentoring, committee roles, collaboration, contribution to the education and development of new researchers, etc.;
  • policy-relevance, innovating approach of the research questions the nominee wants to address as well how far they are topical for a central bank.

The Fellowship recipient will be announced in June 2021.

Fellowship Nominating Committee - Terms of Reference


The Fellowship Nominating Committee provides guidance to the NBB Executive Board by submitting a recommendation for the selection of new recipients and the continued funding for current recipients of the Fellowship Programme awards.

Roles and responsibilities

  • To review nominations for individuals who meet the established criteria and have provided the proper documentation and to make a recommendation to the Board.
  • To undertake an annual review of the ongoing professional contribution of the recipients, with a view to determine whether, after the first six month assignment, they remain eligible for a second six month assignment.


The Chair of the Fellowship Nominating Committee is a member of the NBB’s Board of Directors and is appointed by the Board.

The Bank’s Board appoints all other members of the Nominating Committee which is composed of both members who are employed at the NBB and external members. Membership consists of: 

  • two advisors or heads of department/service of the Bank;
  • two senior economists of other ESCB central banks or of leading Economic Research centres.

The members will have no voting rights in the selection of candidates of universities with which they have a contractual relationship.


Typically, the Fellowship Nominating Committee meets once a year to discuss the nominations for the current year’s Fellowship Programme. The outcome of the annual meeting is a recommendation to the NBB’s Board for the selection of recipients. Committee members who are not otherwise in Brussels at the time of the meeting are encouraged to participate virtually, and will be deemed to be present at that meeting if they do so.