NWO Open Competition Domain Science - KLEIN

In the NWO Open Competition Domain Science - KLEIN researchers can apply individually or in collaboration for curiosity-driven, fundamental research in the research fields of the NWO Domain Science.


KLEIN grants are intended for realising curiosity-driven, fundamental research of high quality and/or scientific urgency. The KLEIN grant offers researchers  the possibility to elaborate creative and risky ideas and to realise scientific innovations that can form the basis for the research themes of the future. There are three categories of KLEIN grants: KLEIN-1 (1 scientific position), KLEIN-2 (2 scientific positions in collaboration) and KLEIN-0 (investments) that are assessed in competition with each other. 

Who can apply

Researchers can apply if they:

  • are employed (i.e., hold a salaried position) at a Dutch university or a research institute recognised by NWO;
  • and also have an appointment period for at least the duration of the application procedure and the entire duration of the research for which the grant is being applied for. 

Details can be found in the Call for proposals.

What to apply for

The NWO Open Competition Domain Science - KLEIN consists of three categories:


A KLEIN-1 grant has a maximum size of 350,000 euros. The grant must be used for a single temporary scientific position in combination with material budget, possible investments (equipment) and/or non-scientific support. 


A KLEIN-2 grant has a maximum size of 700,000 euros and has a single main applicant and a single co-applicant who work together to realise the proposed research. It should be clear from the application that their expertise is complementary. The grant must be used for two temporary scientific positions in combination with material budget, possible investments (equipment) and/or non-scientific support.


A KLEIN-0 grant has a minimum size of 150,000 euros and a maximum size of 500,000 euros for the funding of an investment. The host institution must contribute at least 25% of the costs for the investment.

When to apply

You can submit proposals at any time. There are no deadlines.



Proposals are assessed for: 

  1. Scientific quality of the proposal (What)
  2. Scientific and/or societal impact (Why)

Scientific quality of the proposal is 70% of the final score, the scientific and/or societal impact 30%.


Admissible proposals are assessed by independent external experts. The referees' reports are sent to the applicant for a written rebuttal. Subsequently, the various cluster committees will select the most promising proposals for a further domain-wide assessment. A domain-wide assessment committee will reach a single prioritisation of the proposals selected by the cluster committees and advises the NWO Domain Science Board about the quality of the proposals. Based on this advice and the available funding the Domain Science Board takes a decision about whether to award or reject the proposals.



Open for application


Continuous application

Grant type



EUR 30 million (1 August 2019 to 31 July 2020)

Science area

Exact and Natural Sciences


Open Competition Domain Science (ENW)


Curiosity driven research and talent (2015-2018)


Dr. Margot Snel Dr. Margot Snel +31 (0)70 3440758 enw-klein@nwo.nl