Aspasia

Aspasia provides grants to help more female scientists progress to associate and full professorships.

Rectification (February 2020): This instrument is open to the entire Kingdom of the Netherlands, not only the Netherlands.

  • NWO corona measures regarding the Aspasia rounds

    NWO is adjusting the planning of its funding rounds because of the disruptive consequences of the corona virus. The aim of these adjustments is to create space for those who currently do not have sufficient opportunities to provide input as applicants or do not have sufficient time to make a balanced assessment of applications as external reviewers or committee members.

    NWO corona measures

    The Aspasia program is linked to the Vidi and Vici program. Therefore, the planning of Aspasia has been adjusted as well. This applies to both the previous round (round 2018 – linked to Vidi and Vici 2018, nominations sent in 2019, promotions due to be completed in 2020) and the current round (round 2019 – linked to Vidi and Vici 2019, nominations sent in 2020, promotions due to be completed in 2021). The (indicative) adjusted timeframes are as follows:

    Adjusted timeframe Aspasia round 2018 for Vidi candidates and laureates:

    • The regular deadline for promotion for Vidi candidates and laureates who are eligible for the Aspasia premium has been delayed from 1 June to 1 July 2020. Notification of the completed promotion should be sent to NWO before 1 November 2020.
    • The promotion deadlines for Aspasia candidates who are eligible for the extension clause remain the same (1 December 2021 for promotion to assistant professor and 1 June 2022 for promotion to associate professor).

    Indicative adjusted timeframe Aspasia round 2019:

    Timeframe for Vici laureates and candidates who are (potentially) eligible for the Aspasia premium:

    • Mid September 2020: response deadline for Vici candidates contacted by NWO
    • Beginning of October 2020: NWO sends nominations of Aspasia candidates to Executive Boards
    • Beginning of January 2021: response deadline for Executive Boards
    • 1 July 2021 (at latest): Executive Boards report promotion of Vici candidates to NWO with expenditure plan
    • 1 January 2023 (at latest): Executive Boards report promotion of Vici candidates eligible for the two-step procedure to associate professor/senior lecturer to NWO with expenditure plan
    • 1 July 2023 (at latest): Executive Boards report promotion of Vici candidates eligible for the exceptional provision to full professor to NWO with expenditure plan

    Timeframe for Vidi laureates and candidates who are (potentially) eligible for the Aspasia premium (indicative - timeframe depends on the Vidi program timeframe):

    • Mid November 2020: award decisions Vidi round 2019
    • End of November 2020: NWO sends letters to eligible Vidi candidates
    • Beginning of February 2021: response deadline for Vidi candidates contacted by NWO
    • Mid February 2021: NWO sends nominations of Aspasia candidates to Executive Boards
    • Mid May 2021: response deadline for Executive Boards
    • 1 December 2021 (at latest): Executive Boards report promotion of Vidi candidates to NWO with expenditure plan
    • 1 June 2023 (at latest) - Executive Boards report promotion of Vidi candidates eligible for the two-step procedure to university lecturer to NWO with expenditure plan
    • 1 December 2023 (at latest): Executive Boards report promotion of Vici candidates eligible for the exceptional provision to associate professor/senior lecturer to NWO with expenditure plan.

    All other conditions at stated in the Call for Proposals remain the same.

  • Purpose

    Women are underrepresented at higher levels on the career ladder. This is certainly true for higher education and research in the Netherlands. Aspasia ensures that more female assistant professors progress to the level of associate or full professor. Aspasia was set up by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Association of Universities in the Netherlands and NWO.

    The grant is intended to encourage the promotion of female Vidi grant candidates to an associate professorship and female Vici grant candidates to a full professorship.

  • Who can apply

    Aspasia is linked to the Vidi and Vici competitions of the NWO Talent Scheme. Eligible candidates:

    • female applicants who have received a Vidi or Vici grant;
    • female applicants who were not granted a Vidi or Vici, but were assessed as very good or excellent after the interview procedure: university executive boards who promote these candidates to an associate or full professorship within a year of the Vidi or Vici being granted will be eligible for a grant under certain conditions.
  • What to apply for

    For applicants who received funding in the Vidi and Vici competition the grant is € 40,000. For other applicants the grant is € 120,000. Therefore applicants who did not receive funding from the Talent Scheme receive a higher Aspasia grant.

  • When to apply

    After the Vidi and Vici grant decisions, NWO will contact those candidates eligible for an Aspasia grant. Candidates who are an associate or full professor will not be approached. If the candidate agrees, NWO will recommend promotion to her University Executive Board.

  • Assessment

    There are no selection criteria. If the promotion satisfies the conditions stated in the call for proposals, NWO will allocate the grant.

To qualify as an Aspasia candidate, a female applicant for a Vidi or Vici grant (NWO Talentprogramme) must either have been awarded such a grant, or have had her application assessed to be very good or excellent following the interview procedure but been unsuccessful in obtaining one.

It is not possible to apply for Aspasia; eligible candidates will be contacted by NWO. 

It is not possible to apply for Aspasia; eligible candidates will be contacted by NWO.