Open Science (OS) Fund 2020/2021

The Open Science Fund aims to support researchers to develop, test and implement innovative ways of making research open, accessible, transparent and reusable, covering the whole range of Open Science. With this call, NWO wants to stimulate Open Science by incentivizing and rewarding researchers who are or would like to be at the forefront of this movement.

Please note change in call planning

Due to a hack of the NWO networkserver the grant procedure was suspended from 13 February to 22 March. NWO has published a new integral call planning. Please note: The deadlines in the Call for Proposals (pdf) have not been updated. 

Resumption of grant procedure FAQs

  • Purpose

    Researchers from all disciplines are welcome to submit proposals to the Open Science Fund, individually or in small teams, to develop, test and implement innovative ways of making research open, accessible, transparent and reusable - covering the whole range of Open Science.

    With this call, NWO takes a step forward towards changing the way academics are recognised and rewarded in the Netherlands.

    Particularly encouraged are projects that:

    • incentivise other researchers to practise open science;
    • transform the way researchers publish;
    • improve how research outputs are made findable, accessible, interoperable, re-usable (FAIR) and reproducible;
    • develop, test or adapt open platforms or tools;
    • stimulate wider adoption of open science practices among researchers
  • Who can apply

    Researchers can submit an application as a main applicant if:

    • they hold a PhD;
    • they are employed (i.e. hold a salaried position) at a Dutch university or a research institute recognised by NWO (see Call for Proposal for details);
    • and also have an appointment period for at least the duration of the application procedure and the entire duration of the research for which the grant is being applied for. Personnel with a zero-hour appointment is excluded from applying.

    The additional members of the team (the coapplicants, max. four) do not need to meet these conditions. The main applicant submits the proposal on behalf of the team and may submit a maximum of one application in that capacity.

  • What to apply for

    For a proposal in this round, a maximum of 50,000 euro can be applied for. With the exception from some costs as stated in the Call for Proposals, NWO imposes no restrictions on the type of costs for which funding can be requested. Applicants are required to draw up a realistic budget and explain why the spending choices are relevant to the project.

    The project must start no later than six months after the grant has been allocated and last for a maximum of one year. The grant will be provided in the form of a lump sum.

    Under the tab 'Prepare' a budget calculation tool is available in which the correct salary rates have been processed. Usage is optional.


  • When to apply

    The deadline for submitting proposals is 18 May 2021, before 14:00:00 CEST.

  • Assessment


    Applications must propose to develop, test or implement innovative ways of making research open, accessible, transparent and reusable. The proposals will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria.

    1. Quality of the project proposal (What and Why)
    2. Feasibility of the project plan (How)
    3. Open Science track record of the main applicant

    The quality of the proposal weighs with 50% to the final score, the feasibility 40% and the Open Science track record 10%.


    Admissible proposals are assessed by a selection committee consisting of independent, national and international experts in the area of Open Science. The role of the committee is to evaluate proposals based on the criteria set out in the Call for Proposals and to set a priority order. Based on this advice and the available funding, the NWO Executive Board takes a decision about whether to award or reject the proposals. In case the number of applications received is at least three times the number of grants available, a pre-selection will take place prior to the evaluation by the committee.

  • More information

    Transparent decision making

    Transparency is at the heart of Open Science. For this funding instrument, where we have the applicants’ consent, we will aim to make the details of the successful and unsuccessful proposals, alongside the evaluations from the selection committee, openly available through our publicly accessible website. Willingness, or lack thereof, to share these details is not taken into account when making the decision to award funding.

    For more details see the Call for Proposals.

  • Write proposal

    When writing your proposal, please be specific and provide only information that applies to the proposal and its objectives. Applications will be assessed by a selection committee with broad Open Science expertise. Therefore, your proposal should be written with a broad audience in mind. The proposal should thus be readable and understandable for persons outside your own area of expertise. The application form consists of the following sections:

    • Details of the main applicant;
    • Public summary in Dutch and English; the English public summary will also serve as abstract which will be published on the NWO website if the proposal is awarded funding;
    • Project proposal consisting of: details of the proposal, vision of the proposal, project plan, team members, budget table and clarification;
    • Open Science track record of the main applicant;
    • Data management;
    • Software sustainability;
    • Other grant applications with overlapping content.
  • Fill in forms

    Please adhere to the following rules when filling out the application form:

    • The form must be completed in English (apart from the Dutch public summary);
    • Use the Calibri font at font size 9.5 and do not change the margins (2.5 cm, all directions);
    • You may use subheadings;
    • Please remove all text in italics before converting the application to PDF and submitting it;
    • Please do not password protect the PDF file as this will hinder the processing of your application.

Due to a networkhack the grant procedure of NWO, including NRO and SIA, has been at a standstill from 13 February to 22 March 2021. NWO has updated the information on the website about the calls and the new deadlines. The deadlines in the Call for Proposals (pdf) have not been updated yet.