Social Sciences and Humanities
Science area

Social Sciences and Humanities

NWO encourages excellent research in the domain of the social sciences and humanities. Various funding instruments are available to achieve this.

The NWO Domain Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) covers the following disciplines:

  • Business Administration
  • Public Administration
  • Communication Sciences
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Cultural Sciences
  • Demography
  • Economics
  • Philosophy
  • Geography and Planning
  • Historical Sciences
  • Literature Studies
  • Media Studies
  • Environmental Studies
  • Educational Studies
  • Pedagogical Sciences
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Law
  • Religious Studies
  • Sociology
  • Linguistics

Within now, the SSH Domain realises the funding of research via five strategic lines:

  • Talent via the Innovational Research Incentives Scheme (Veni, Vidi, Vici), Rubicon and NWO Spinoza Prize
  • Curiosity-driven research
  • Strategic programming, both national and international (including the Top Sectors and the Dutch National Research Agenda - NWA)
  • Valorisation
  • Infrastructure

Applying for funding

It is currently possible to apply for funding via the open calls of the following scientific fields (former NWO units):

The SSH Domain Board will take decisions regarding this subject.


SSH has a Domain Board that is responsible for developing the policy. The Domain Board takes decisions about the awarding of funds. Members are pre-eminent professors in the domain of the social sciences or humanities at Dutch universities or research institutes. The chair is a member of the NWO-wide Executive Board. This Board is a collegial board. The members jointly represent the entire scope of science.

The members of the SSH Domain Board are:

  1. Prof. Wim van den Doel (Leiden University), president, also member of the Executive Board
  2. Prof. Paula Fikkert (Radboud University)
  3. Prof. Anthonie Meijers (Eindhoven University of Technology)
  4. Prof. Ale Smidts (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
  5. Prof. Hans de Bruijn (Delft University of Technology)
  6. Prof. Chantal Kemner (Utrecht University)
  7. Prof. Pearl Dykstra (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
  8. Prof. Ben Peperkamp (VU University Amsterdam)

The office of the SSH Domain realises the established policy and prepares new policy to support the Domain Board. It deals with funding applications, manages programmes and projects, and supports NWO steering groups and committees in the realisation of their tasks. The director of the SSH office is Dr Dirk-Jan den Boer.

The NWO Domain Social Sciences and Humanities has been operational since 1 January 2017.