Diversity Initiative Award

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 2020).

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?

The deadline for nominations will close on 15 June 2021, 14:00:00 CE(S)T.

How can nominations be submitted?

The “nomination form” must be used for nominations. The form can be downloaded at the bottom of this page. The nominations must be written in English and must be DORA compliant. If a document is only available in Dutch, please contact dr. Silke Diedenhofen, via ENWprijzen@nwo.nl or by phone via +31 70 34 94261.

The nomination form contains the following elements:

  1. A cover page (mandatory) with general information about the nominee(s) and the applicant.
  2. A motivational letter (mandatory, maximum two pages), in which the applicant explains why the initiative should win the Award and how the assessment criteria stated in Call for Nominations apply to the initiative.
  3. Supporting documentation (optional, maximum five pages), such as, supporting (visual) material and any supporting letters from third parties.

See the brochure for more information.

Assessment procedure


The NWO Domain Science wants to reward effective initiatives that increase diversity and / or inclusion in the exact and natural sciences. The following criteria have therefore been chosen:

  • The initiative is intended to increase Diversity and Inclusion in (natural) science, for example in terms of gender or people with a migration background. The nominated initiative has either already achieved good results, or excels in originality and potential;
  • The initiative is original and novel;
  • The initiative has long-term potential and the prize money of the Diversity Initiative Award can make a significant contribution to the extension of this initiative;
  • The initiative is mostly set up by the scientist or the team itself and is set up next to the regular work of the researchers.


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.