Within DeepNL researchers can request funding for fundamental research projects which aim to increase the quantitative and physically underpinned understanding of the dynamics of the deep subsurface under the influence of mining activities such as gas extraction and CO2 storage.


DeepNL is a long-term NWO research programme which has the aim of making fundamental steps in the quantitative and physically underpinned understanding of the dynamics of the deep subsurface under the influence of mining activities such as gas extraction and CO2 storage. This will address the scientific questions concerning subsidence, induced seismicity and the integrity of the subterranean system. This requires the expansion and integration of scientific knowledge in different (sub)disciplines, both within and outside the Solid Earth Sciences. Ultimately, DeepNL must lead to the development of a ground-breaking quantitative capacity for predicting induced activity in the deep subsurface, which can be used as a (geo)scientific basis for estimating the risks of human interventions.

Applications within this call for proposals can be submitted for research projects that tie in with the themes of DeepNL and contribute to the objectives of the programme. In this first round, the emphasis of the research question is on improving the modelling and prediction of the dynamics of the deep subsurface as a consequence of gas production in the Groningen reservoir.

Who can apply

Funding can be applied for by professors or researchers with an equivalent position , who have a paid appointment at a Dutch University or a NWO recognized researchinstitute. Additional conditions can be found in the call for proposals.

What to apply for

A maximum amount of 1 million euros can be applied for per application to cover direct costs associated with the research described in the proposal. The size of the budget applied for should be proportionate to the research objectives. Funding for smaller projects can therefore be applied for as well. At least one PhD researcher or postdoc position should be applied for per application.
If the application covers a collaboration between several knowledge institutions (as stated under 3.1), then a maximum of 1.5 million euros can be applied for. This collaboration must have added value for the research and should be justified in the application.

Costs that are eligible for funding are  personnel costs (PhD-students, postdocs and non-scientific personnel), material costs and benchfee. Additional information can be found in the call for proposals.

When to apply

  • The deadline for submitting an expression-of-interest was 15 February 2018, 14:00 hours CE(S)T.
  • The deadline for submitting a full proposal was 17 April 2018, 14.00 h CE(S)T.



All proposals will be assessed against the following criteria:

  1. Innovative character and scientific impact of the research proposal (see 4.2.1);
  2. Scientific quality of the research proposal (see 4.2.2);
  3. Relevance for DeepNL and knowledge utilisation (see 4.2.3).

These criteria carry a weighting of 20%, 40% and 40%, respectively, in the overall assessment.


The applications will be evaluated in a peer review procedure by international referees. Applicants will be given the opportunity to respond to the anonymised advice from the referees and applications will then be assesed by an independent international selection committee which will advise the NWO Science domain board. The board will decide which projects will be granted.

More information

Further information about the DeepNL programme is available on the website:



Closed for application


17 April 2018 14:00

Grant type



7 million euro

Science area

Exact and Natural Sciences


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


Dr. Jeroen van Houwelingen Dr. Jeroen van Houwelingen +31 (0)30 6001244


dr. Niels van den Berg dr. Niels van den Berg +31 (0)70 349 44 05