Open Competition SSH – round 2021

The Open Competition SSH focuses on non-programmed, curiosity-driven research that primarily has a social sciences and/or humanities research question. The target group of this programme, experienced researchers with a fascination for challenging and groundbreaking research, decide themselves which funding best suits their research ambitions. Funding is available for various personnel and material costs up to a maximum of 750,000 euros.

  • Purpose

    The Open Competition SSH facilitates high quality, non-programmed, curiosity-driven research in the social sciences and humanities. With this funding instrument, researchers can apply for funding for various types of project and cost categories without thematic constraint. These can be both small and large projects. Funding can be requested for projects with or without scientific personnel (such as PhDs and postdocs). Besides funding for different types of personnel costs, this instrument also offers the possibility to request specific funding for investments in equipment or databases, knowledge utilisation and/or (inter)national collaboration. The Domain Board SSH explicitly invites researchers to make optimum use of the various possibilities this funding instrument offers.

  • Who can apply

    Experienced researchers can act as main or co-applicant if they hold a salaried position for the entire duration of the proposed research at one of the following organisations:

    • Universities established in the Kingdom of the Netherlands;
    • University medical centres;
    • NWO and KNAW institutes;
    • the Netherlands Cancer Institute;
    • the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen;
    • the DUBBLE Beamline at the ESRF in Grenoble;
    • NCB Naturalis;
    • Advanced Research Centre for NanoLithography (ARCNL);
    • Princess Máxima Center.

    Additional conditions are (a.o.):

    • Applicants may only submit proposals if they are no longer eligible for the NWO Talent Scheme;
    • Applicants may only submit one proposal per round, and not in successive rounds;
    • Applicants may submit a new pre-proposal no more than one year before the end of their NWO project with the latest end date;

    For a description of these and other conditions, please the call for proposals.

  • What to apply for

    For a research proposal in this round, a maximum of € 750,000 can be applied for. There is no minimum amount. The maximum funding period is six years for the entire project.

    The instrument explicitly provides the opportunity to submit different types of proposal. The application is built up using a combination of budget modules, including those for personnel, material costs, investments in databases/equipment, knowledge utilisation, and internationalisation. Applicants choose themselves which budget modules are used for the proposed research. More information about the budget modules can be found in the call for proposals.

  • When to apply

    • The deadline for the submission of preproposals is September 7, 2021, 14:00:00 CEST.
    • The deadline for the submission of proposals is February 15, 2022, 14:00:00 CET.
  • Assessment

    Criteria

    Pre-proposals will be assessed against the following two criteria:

    • Research idea
    • Appropriateness of the research team

    Criterion 1 accounts for 70% of the overall assessment and criterion 2 for 30%.


    Full proposals are assessed against the following three criteria:

    • Scientific quality
    • Embedding, organisation and budget
    • Scientific and/or societal impact

    Criterion 1 carries a weighting of 50% in the overall assessment, criterion 2 a weighting of 30% and criterion 3 a weighting of 20%.

    Procedure

    Pre-proposals

    The Open Competition SSH selection committee assesses the pre-proposals in six disciplinary panels without consulting referees. Its advice is forwarded to NWO’s Social Sciences and Humanities Domain Board, which will decide on the selection for the full proposal phase.

    Full proposals 

    External referees advise on each proposal and applicants may respond to their reviews in April 2022. The selection committee incorporates the reviews and the applicants’ rebuttals in its assessment, and advises NWO’s Social Sciences and Humanities Domain Board. The Domain Board decides end of July 2022 which applicants are granted on the basis of this advice.

  • More information

    For this call for proposals, your application must fit in the NWO Domain Social Sciences and Humanities. Consider at an early point in time if the contents of your application meet this condition. In case of any doubts, for instance because your application is (partially) multidisciplinary, please contact one of the contact persons for this programme well before the deadline. This person can advise you about the substantive connection between your application and this call for proposals. Please note that you have to make the final decision yourself.

    For advice, please contact:

    Information about the full proposal phase will be published on this page after the Domain Board’s decision on the pre-proposals.

You can find all the documents you need for your application here. An application is submitted via the application and reporting system ISAAC. If you do not have an ISAAC account yet, create one at least one working day earlier. Below you will find more information about writing a proposal and which forms to use. You must use the forms that you can download below.

  • Write proposal

    For this call for proposals, your application must fit in the NWO Domain Social Sciences and Humanities. Consider at an early point in time if the contents of your application meet this condition. In case of any doubts, for instance because your application is (partially) multidisciplinary, please contact one of the contact persons for this programme well before the deadline. This person can advise you about the substantive connection between your application and this call for proposals. Please note that you have to make the final decision yourself.

  • Fill in forms

    You can download the forms for the pre-proposal and full proposal from the online application system ISAAC or at the bottom of this page. Complete the form in English, save it as PDF, and upload it in ISAAC.

    Please note: When submitting a pre-proposal, you should not attach a budget form. The full proposal form and its associated budget form will be published on the website when the results of the pre-proposal phase have been announced. The budget form should be uploaded as a separate Excel attachment together with your full proposal form in ISAAC.

  • Do you already have an account in Isaac?
  • Have you completely filled in the pre-registration form in English and saved it as a PDF?

Note: the assessment takes place in the six panels of Social Sciences and Humanities. That is why there are six submission links for this round, one per panel. Make sure you submit to the correct panel. You will find the disciplinary composition of the panels in the file ‘Panels SGW/SSH’, which you can download under "Prepare".

Culture and Linguistics 2021

Apply for this funding digitally at the Cultural and Linguistic Sciences panel

Economics and Business 2021

Apply for this funding digitally at the Economics and Business Panel

Philosophy, Historical, Religious Studies 2021

Apply for this funding digitally at the Philosophy, Historical and Religious Studies panel

Behavior and Education 2021

Apply for this funding digitally at the Behavior and Education panel

Law and Governance 2021

Apply for this funding digitally at the Law and Administration panel

Social Sciences 2021

Request this funding digitally from the panel Social Sciences