Diversity Initiative Award

The NWO Domain Science hands out five special scientific awards. These awards recognise the achievements of scientists in various areas of scientific research. There is an award for inspirational teamwork (Team Science Award), an award for science communication for a wider audience (Communication Award), an award to foster diversity (Diversity Initiative Award and Athena Award) and an award for the societal impact of scientific results (Stairway to Impact Award). The awards are intended to reward scientists who have contributed in these areas and to inspire others to do the same. All disciplines in the Science domain are eligible for these awards.

The Diversity Initiative Award rewards initiatives related to the improvement of Diversity and Inclusion on the work floor in (natural) scientific disciplines. Through this award put (small) initiatives in the spotlight. The award is a sum of 50k€, to be used in keeping with the goal the prize was given for.

What for?

Diversity and inclusion are important for the quality of science and the impact of science on society. In the Netherlands, Dutch researchers with a migration background or from abroad are underrepresented in natural sciences. Furthermore, the percentage of women working in (natural) sciences is also low: only 16% of professors in (natural) science disciplines is female (source: LNVH Monitor Vrouwelijke Hoogleraren 2019).

Through the Diversity Initiative Award, the NWO Domain Science wants to place (small) initiatives related to the improvement of Diversity and Inclusion on the work floor in (natural) scientific disciplines in the spotlight. These initiatives are a motivation and inspiration to others. The Diversity Initiative Award is intended for a scientist (the initiator), a scientific team or department.

Who can submit a nomination?

Anyone can submit a nomination. It is possible to nominate yourself or your team for the Diversity Initiative Award.

What could the nominees win?

The Diversity Initiative Award is a sum of 50k. Recipients have ample freedom when it comes to spending this sum, as long as it is used in keeping with the goal the prize was given for.

When can nominations be submitted?

Nominations must be received by NWO by 30 June 2020, 12:00 CE(S)T (ENWprijzen@nwo.nl).

Assessment procedure


Applications are assessed according to the following criteria:
  • The initiative is intended to increase Diversity and Inclusion in (natural) science. This can be in terms of gender, people with a migration background etcetera. The nominated initiative can vary from an initiative that already have clear results, to an initiative that is still in the preparatory or execution phase.
  • The initiative is mostly set up by the scientist or the team itself.


The nominations are assessed in relation to the criteria by a committee. The Board of NWO Domain Science will make the decision regarding the winners. More details are given in the brochure.

Related documents:


Open for nominations

Deadline for nominations:

30 June 2020, 12:00 CE(S)T


50k€ per winner or winning team


Dr. Silke Diedenhofen Dr. Silke Diedenhofen +31 (0)70 34 94 261 enwprijzen@nwo.nl


Dr. Eveline Mezger Dr. Eveline Mezger +31 (0)70 3494206 enwprijzen@nwo.nl