Funding lines

NWO harmonises the current funding instruments as much as possible to facilitate collaboration. As a result, researchers, irrespective of the research domain, will be subject to the same conditions as much as possible. Harmonisation will facilitate both applicants and NWO to work more across the boundaries of disciplines and domains.

NWO will provide a limited palette of funding instruments with a clear number of modules. These modules can be combined in accordance with the objectives of the programme or call concerned. This approach will provide the flexibility needed to meet the needs of the various disciplines.

Objective each funding line

The harmonisation of instruments will provide the following palette of funding lines and each line will have a distinct objective:

  1. Open Competition
    Curiosity-driven research
  2. Talent Programme
    Curiosity-driven, responsive-mode research aimed at research talent
  3. Knowledge and Innovation Contract/KIC
    Projects or programmes in partnership with external public and/or private parties
  4. Dutch National  Research Agenda
    Facilitate science making a contribution to economic and societal challenges
  5. Research infrastructure
    Realising large-scale infrastructure


In the majority of cases, the programmes and projects from the aforementioned funding lines will be built up from the following modules:

  • Personnel
    Researcher in training/PhD, postdoc, researcher, non-scientific personnel
  • Materials
    Investments: infrastructure and data files
  • Knowledge exchange
  • Internationalisation
  • Citizen Science

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