NWO division


NWO encourages excellent research in the NWO Domain Science (ENW). Various funding instruments are available to achieve this.

The NWO Domain Science covers the following disciplines:

  • Earth Sciences
  • Astronomy
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Life Sciences
  • Physics
  • Mathematics

Within NWO, the Domain Science realises the funding of research via five strategic lines:

  1. Talent via Rubicon, Research Talent, the Innovational Research Incentives Scheme (Veni, Vidi, Vici) and NWO Spinoza Prize
  2. Curiosity-driven research
  3. Strategic programming, both national and international (including the Top Sectors and the Dutch National Research Agenda - NWA)
  4. Valorisation
  5. 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 NWO Domain Science Board will take decisions regarding this subject.


The NWO Domain Science 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 exact and natural sciences 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 NWO Domain Science Board are:

  1. Prof. L.J. (Ineke) Braakman (Utrecht University), Chair, also member of the Executive Board *
  2. Prof. J. (Jan) de Boer (University of Amsterdam)
  3. Prof. T.K. (Titia) Sixma (Netherlands Cancer Institute)
  4. Prof. A. (Arjen) Doelman (Leiden University)
  5. Prof. B.J. (Bas) Zwaan (Wageningen University & Research)
  6. Dr P.E. (Peter) Wierenga (former Philips).

(* Due to the current health issues of professor Ineke Braakman, professor Niek Lopes Cardozo has been appointed as acting chair for the NWO Domain Science Board for the time being.)

The office of the NWO Domain Science realises the established policy and prepares new policy to support the Domain Board. The office is the first point of contact for researchers and connects the scientific field with NWO. It deals with funding applications, manages programmes and projects, and supports NWO steering groups and committees in the realisation of their tasks. The NWO Domain Science Board will work closely with an advisory body (still to be appointed) to ensure that the relationship with the entire scope of the scientific field is maintained.

The director of the NWO Domain Science office is Dr Arian Steenbruggen.

The NWO Domain Science has been operational since 1 January 2017.

Domain Science advisory structure

The NWO Domain Science has appointed seven disciplinary advisory committees to facilitate an effective collaboration between the board, the office and 'the field'. The disciplinary advisory committees have been given the name 'round tables' and are made up of researchers. With the establishment of the round tables the research field has been organised in such a way that it can advise the board within the new NWO.