The selection committee

The selection committee is formally appointed by the board or body that takes the final funding decision. That is usually NWO's Executive Board or the board of an NWO domain.

An NWO policy officer supervises the selection round, and the assessment procedure, and acts as secretary to the selection committee.

The committee members are usually scientists and experts from the Netherlands and abroad, drawn from universities, other knowledge institutions, industry or civil society organisations. They are usually senior researchers and/or persons who are experienced in assessing research. The number of committee members depends on the size and nature of the funding instrument.

A committee normally meets to assess the research proposals, and to compile advice for the board. In a few cases, NWO works with a jury. A jury does not meet: the jury members assess the proposal individually.

Broad perspective

Referees are usually subject matter experts. Members of the selection committee or jury, however, are usually generalists who can assess a wide range of proposals from a broader comparative perspective.

Excluding conflicts of interest

Committee or jury members may not be involved in a research proposal, or have a relationship with the applicant of the proposal they must assess. Neither may they have any other interest that could be seen as a conflict of interest. They must sign the NWO Code for Dealing with Personal Interests and act in accordance with this. For every research proposal, each committee or jury member must state if there is a conflict of interest and, if so, which. Measures can then be taken in accordance with the code of conduct. It might be the case that the committee or jury member concerned is replaced.


The committee chair leads the discussions and safeguards the procedures. He or she must satisfy additional requirements on expertise and experience.

Diversity committee members

During the selection of committee and jury members, efforts are made to ensure a certain spread across disciplines and institutes. NWO actively seeks to appoint more women to selection committees and juries. Attention is paid to the ratio of younger and more established members. Scientists from outside the Netherlands are often appointed as selection committee or jury members.