Caribbean research: Call for Programme Chairs

Within the call for Programme Chairs researchers can request a personal grant for setting up and leading a multidisciplinary research programme in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The two prospective research programmes will address knowledge questions that are relevant for the Caribbean region and will respectively have a socio-cultural and natural sciences thematic focus. The two Programme Chairs will setup research teams and collaborate with local partners.

NWO’s policy towards funding and the impact of the coronavirus

As a result of the outbreak of the coronavirus, NWO has drafted a guideline to provide applicants with clarity. NWO takes into consideration that under these circumstances it is not always possible that all candidates have an equal opportunity to submit their applications and it is important that we are confident when evaluating applications that we are doing so correctly.

Please note deadline shifts: The deadline for rounds whose pre-registration deadline has already passed, and for which detailed applications need to be submitted, will be extended by at least two months.

For more information about measures for which no deadlines have passed yet – ongoing rounds - , and updates on this temporary guideline go to


The aim of this call for proposals is the recruitment of two experienced researchers (Programme Chairs) who will each set up and lead a multidisciplinary research programme in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The research programmes address knowledge questions that are of societal relevance for the Caribbean region. The thematic focus of one of the programmes will lie on social sciences and humanities and for the other programme the focus will lie on natural sciences in the context of environment and nature.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) and in particular the Small Island Developing States framework (SIDS) form the source of inspiration for both programmes. In addition to scientific and societal impact the goal of the programmes will be strengthening of the regional research infrastructure and transfer of knowledge via education and outreach. The Programme Chairs will setup research teams and will collaborate with local institutions and partners.

Who can apply

Applications can be submitted by researchers with a doctoral degree, irrespective of whether or not they hold tenured positions and whether they come from The Netherlands or abroad. The appointment of the applicant will take place at one or multiple hosting research institutions within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Suitable candidates are talented researchers with a demonstrable fascination for scientific and societal issues that play a role in the Caribbean region.

They have relevant research and management experience and are capable of independently setting up and running a wide-ranging, multidisciplinary research programme. The future Programme Chairs have a strong ‘pioneering spirit’ that will also enable them to establish networks and research structures in a new environment and to embed these locally. They have skills for bringing together people and organisations within as well as outside the (academic) knowledge world. Programme Chairs are willing to spend a substantial part of their time working in the Caribbean region.

What to apply for

Applicants can request in their preproposal a maximum amount of thirty thousand euro as a development budget for the elaboration of a full proposal. 

For each full proposal a maximum budget of 3.5 million euro can be requested for carrying out the proposed research programme. Costs that are eligible for funding are: the salary of the Programme Chair; salary of PhD students, postdocs and non-scientific staff at universities; costs for the research leave of applicants; costs for staff at universities of applied sciences and other knowledge institutes; material costs; costs for knowledge utilisation; costs for internationalisation; costs for Money follows Cooperation. Detailed conditions for the budget can be found in the call for proposals.

When to apply

  • The deadline for submitting pre-proposals was 14 November 2019, at 14:00 hours CET.
  • The deadline for submitting full proposals is 21 July 2020, at 14:00 hours CEST.



All proposals are assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Quality and suitability of the applicant
  • Relevance of the proposal for the objective of this call and potential for impact on the Caribbean region
  • Scientific quality of the proposal

The weighting given to these criteria in the overall rating of the application is 40%, 30% and 30% respectively.


Applicants first submit a pre-proposal. An assessment committee will assess the pre-proposals and rank these according to their potential of success. Based on the advice of the assessment committee the board of the NWO Science Domain will decide which applicants may submit a full proposal. The full proposals will be assessed by independent experts and the applicants will be given the opportunity to submit a rebuttal. Subsequently, the applicants will be invited to an interview with the assessment committee. This results in an assessment advice and a ranking of the proposals. The selection committee nominates one application for each of the two thematic focus areas for granting, in case of sufficient quality. Based on the advice of the assessment committee the board of the NWO Science Domain decides on awarding and rejection of the applications.

The indicative timeframe will be as follows:

21 July 2020 Deadline submission full proposals
August/September/October 2020 Consulting referees and rebuttal
November 2020                                                  (Online) interviews with candidates / assessment committee meeting
December 2020/January 2021   Granting decision and informing applicants about the decision

More information


Dr. Niels van den Berg, telephone : 31 (0)70 349 44 05, email:

Dr. Arnold Lubbers, telephone: +31 (0) 70 349 45 25, email:




Open for full proposals, by invitation only


21 July 2020 14:00

Grant type



The total budget available for this call is 7.18 million euro.

Science area

NWO-wide Social Sciences and Humanities Applied and Engineering Sciences Exact and Natural Sciences


Caribbean Research: a Multidisciplinary Approach


Research (2019-2022)


Ministry of Education, Culture and Science


Dr. Linda Jongbloed Dr. Linda Jongbloed +31 (0)70 3494600