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. Talent Programme
    Curiosity-driven, responsive-mode research aimed at research talent
  2. Open Competition
    Curiosity-driven research
  3. Programmes for scientific or societal breakthroughs
    Large-scale programmes based on the Dutch National  Research Agenda, Knowledge and Innovation Agendas and the knowledge agendas of government ministries,  where relevant in collaboration with public and/or private stakeholders
  4. PPP
    Projects or programmes in partnership with external public and/or private parties
  5. Specific programmes
    Projects or programmes in the context of, for example, the Merian Fund with third countries, the Netherlands Polar Programme, the User Support for Space Research programme, the Caribbean  Research: a Multidisciplinary Approach programme, and  the long-term strategic programmes of the NWO institutes
  6. 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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