An Integrated Approach to the Scientific Study and Conservation of Art

Interdisciplinary teams consisting of senior researchers of at least one university and one museum can apply for funding for research projects focused on the potential of data science for the research agenda of NICAS.


NICAS aims to bring about a new and lasting framework integrating the disciplines of art history, conservation and science. Bringing these disciplines together will make it possible to tackle existing research problems in novel ways.

For this edition of the call, a key element is the potential of data science for the research agenda of NICAS. One of the biggest challenges in interpreting and safeguarding cultural heritage is obtaining the necessary and correct insights from large scale and highly diverse data. Cultural heritage research generates large quantities of data that are difficult to match and compare. This means that their potential value is not fully utilised. In addition, this type of research deals with data that are difficult to substantiate, but that nonetheless play an important role in the interpretation of cultural heritage and decision making processes in conservation issues.

Who can apply

Proposals can be submitted by interdisciplinary teams consisting of senior researchers of different research disciplines and one or more museums.

Applications can be submitted by full, assistant and associate professors and other researchers with a comparable appointment, as main applicant, if they:

  • possess a PhD or equivalent qualification;
  • hold an appointment at a Dutch university or a research institute recognised by NWO;
  • are employed for at least the duration of the application process and the project for which the funding is requested.

In case a museum/gallery or conservation institute in the Netherlands has a regular research activity at academic level in conservation science, senior researchers may be eligible as main applicant. In this case the co-applicant needs to be from a university.

What to apply for

The maximum grant for full proposals that can be applied for is k€  500.
For full proposals, applicants should provide additional budget of a minimum of 25% of the budget requested from NWO. More information on the conditions for matching can be found in the call for proposals.

For each full proposal, funding can be applied for:

  • Employment costs for a maximum of two new research positions, one of which must be a PhD.
  • Additional non-scientific personnel, who do not carry out the research but nevertheless contribute to the project.
  • Material costs, consisting of equipment costs, travel expenses and accommodation costs for research team members, and costs in order to realize knowledge utilization and international activities.
  • Maximum budget for non-scientific personnel and material costs in total is k€  50.

The maximum grant for seed money proposals that can be applied for is k€  25.

When to apply

  • The deadline for application via ISAAC was July 6, 2017, 14:00 hours CE(S)T



Each proposal will be evaluated on four main criteria:

  • scientific quality of the proposal (45%)
  • quality of the research team (20%)
  • relevance to NICAS (20%)
  • either knowledge utilisation (for advanced project proposals) or project potential (for seed money applications) (15%)

More information on the criteria can be found in the call for proposals attached to this page.


All full proposals will be submitted to external referees, who will write referees' reports for assessment. The applicant receives the opportunity to provide a rebuttal based on the referees' reports.

A panel of independent (inter)national experts will discuss and rank the full final proposals and seed money proposals during a meeting. Based on the opinion and ranking of the review panel, the Board of NICAS prepares a final funding advice. The Board of NWO Physical Sciences makes the final funding decision.

More information on the procedure can be found in the call for proposals attached to this page.

More information

Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Art and Science:

Choose a funding instrument


Grant type



Closed for application


6 July 2017 14:00


1.5 million euro


Thematic research and public -private partnership (2015-2018)

Science area

Exact and Natural Sciences Social Sciences and Humanities




Mw. drs. E.T. Vleugel MSc Mw. drs. E.T. Vleugel MSc +31 (0)70 349 4064