Accelerating Scientific Discovery (ASDI)

The Netherlands eScience Center (NLeSC) invites researchers working in the discipline areas Environment & Sustainability, Humanities & Social Sciences, Life Sciences & eHealth and Physics & Beyond to apply for funding and support for their research. This call aims to provide an impulse to all research endeavours in which the application of eScience tools and methodologies is relatively underdeveloped, and aims to enhance data- and compute-intensive research in each of these discipline areas.


The purpose of this call for proposals is to support research projects focusing on the pursuit of innovative domain research questions that are very hard or even impossible to investigate without the use of (advanced) eScience technologies and software. This call aims to provide an impulse to all research endeavours in which the application of eScience tools and methodologies is relatively underdeveloped and aims to enhance data- and compute-intensive research in each of the following Discipline Areas:

  1. Environment & Sustainability 
  2. Humanities & Social Sciences
  3. Life Sciences & eHealth
  4. Physics & Beyond.

The research must be driven by a clear set of research questions originating from the Discipline Area itself. A competitive proposal combines a clear, credible, and innovative research goal with a detailed description of the technological bottlenecks and roadblocks that prevent the research team (or the Discipline Area in general) from pursuing this goal.

A competitive proposal dentifies the expected impact of the required eScience solution(s) on the stated research questions, and on the daily research process. Moreover, it will indicate to what extent, and in what way, the solution(s) may have potential value to other research problems (within the same domain, or even in other domains). Next to this potential for reuse and generalization, a competitive proposal provides a sustainability section, describing measures taken to ensure usability and availability of developed solutions beyond the duration of the project itself.

Who can apply

Proposals can be submitted by researchers from any Dutch university or research institute affiliated with NWO or KNAW. Further requirements: The PI must: - have a PhD; - hold a contract for at least the duration of the requested project (or provide a letter of intent signed by the director or dean of the PI’'s institute indicating that the PI's employment will be guaranteed for at least the duration of the requested project). Co-authors of the proposal are encouraged to be part of the research team and to serve as co-applicants of the proposal. This also includes researchers (postdocs) for whom funding is being requested. It is encouraged to have links with business partners to enlarge the potential for valorization of the project. As such, it is possible for co-applicants to be employed by a non-academic partner.

What to apply for

A project grant may be requested for a maximum total in cash budget of k253 Euro and a minimum in-kind budget of 2.5 PYR from the eScience Center. The project duration must be between 30 and 42 months. The available in cash budget is primarily intended to cover expenses for local research personnel. Part of the in cash budget however, may also be reserved for additional resources and expenditures. Distribution of the in-kind contribution over the project period will be determined together with the eScience Center at the start of the project.

When to apply

  • Deadline for submission of pre-proposals: Thursday June 25, 2020, 14:00 CET

  • Deadline for submission of full proposals: Thursday October 22, 2020, 14:00 CET

Submission of a full proposal is possible only after participation in the pre-proposal round.



Pre-proposals and full proposals will be assessed on the following four criteria:

  • Scientific quality
  • Scientific novelty and impact
  • eScience and technology state-of-the-art
  • Lateral impact, re-use and sustainability

In the overall assessment, all four criteria will be weighted as 25% of the total score.


A first evaluation of all submitted pre-proposals is carried out by eScience experts and technology leads of the eScience Center. This evaluation only covers the eScience and technology criterium. The results of this evaluation are handed to the independent assessment committee. The assessment committee will assess the pre-proposals based on the four assesment criteria mentioned above, and advises the Board of NLeSC on the ranking of the pre-proposals. The Board of NLeSC will recommend the highest scoring PI's to submit a full proposal. Full proposals will be assessed by external referees. Applicants will have the opportunity to respond to the referee reports in a rebuttal. The assessment committee will prioritize the proposals based on the reports of the external referees and the rebuttal. Applications are assessed within their own selected Discipline Area. The assessment committee will advise the Board of NLeSC on the prioritization. The Board of NLeSC is responsible for the final granting descision.

More information

This call is processed by NWO for the Netherlands eScience Center (NLeSC). The Board of NLeSC decides about granting and rejection, and all grants will be awarded by NLeSC. For more information, please visit:

Contact NLeSC:

Dr. Frank J. Seinstra, Program
Director NLeSC
Tel.: + 31 (0)20 460 4770




Open for preliminary proposals


25 June 2020 14:00

Grant type



2024K Euro in cash funding and 20.0 PYR (Person Years) in-kind funding. On top of this, the eScience Center will contribute 5.6 PYR jointly to the 8 awarded projects.

Science area

Exact and Natural Sciences Social Sciences and Humanities ZonMw Applied and Engineering Sciences Netherlands e-Science Center (NLeSC) NWO Institutes Organisation


Research (2019-2022)


Netherlands eScience Center (NLeSC)


Tom van Rens MSc +31 (0)70 3440509