Since 1997, the FNRS (as well as the FWO and Belspo) had been receiving grants from the Federal Government under a "supplementary researcher" program that allowed it to fund scientists, under certain conditions, to carry out research in federal areas of competence.
(This program no longer exists: it is the "FedTwin" program, created in 2017, which is ongoing and subsidizes sustainable research cooperation between federal scientific institutions and Belgian universities).
During the last 4 years of this "additional researchers" program (2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018), the FNRS should have benefited from a total subsidy of 11,456,280 € which would have allowed the financing of 238 annual grants for doctoral or post-doctoral students. However, for regulatory and technical reasons, this grant had not been paid until today.
This situation has finally come to a favorable conclusion: indeed, based on the opinion of the Inspection des Finances, Thomas Dermine, Secretary of State for Recovery and Strategic Investments, in charge of scientific policy, decided to free up these means and the payment of this amount to the FNRS has just been made.
This is obviously excellent news for scientific research: the FNRS should be able to use these additional means as early as 2021 to finance more researchers (doctoral and post-doctoral students) in federal scientific fields (cfr www.belspo.be).