The programme PhD@Sea focuses on cross-disciplinary research projects that can help realise the planning, operation and maintenance of offshore wind farms.

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 two months.

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


With the ambition of the Dutch government to build up to 75 GW of wind-power capacity by 2050, we will be seeing a substantial number of wind farms in the Dutch sector of the North Sea. Several other European countries have similar ambitious plans.

This implies significant challenges with regard to managing the available space, including safety, enhancing marine habitat biodiversity, interacting with other users of the North Sea, protecting the marine environment, maintaining the assets and feeding the large supply of offshore wind energy into the European electricity grid.

Hence, research is required;

  1. across a range of disciplines - science and technology, ecology, humanities and the social sciences,
  2. that is well integrated and aligned,
  3. and that will deliver synergies.

Who can apply

Applications can be submitted by an academic researcher on behalf of a consortium of academic researchers and public and/or private co-funding partners. A consortium should involve researchers of at least two different knowledge organisations. 

What to apply

The maximum budget to be applied for is EUR 1,5 million and each application should bring at least 30% co-funding. Eligible for remuneration are costs for PhD students appointed to the project at a knowledge institute, and for project-specific costs for materials, travel and/or equipment. In addition, the application can include costs for knowledge utilisation, internationalisation and Money follows Cooperation.

When to apply

The deadline for submitting your application is:

  • June 13, 2019, 14:00 hours CEST.



Applications are assessed on the following criteria:

  1. Relevance to the PhD@Sea programme
  2. Scientific quality and originality
  3. Innovation potential and impact on the offshore sector

Each criterion will carry an equal weighting in the assessment and ranking.


First of all the eligibility of the application is checked. Subsequently, the application is assessed by international academic referees. Next, applicants are given the opportunity to respond to the comments of the referees. The assessment committee ranks the applications and sends its advice to the Board of the NWO domain Science. The Board of the Science domain takes the final funding decision.



Temporarily closed for application


13 June 2019 14:00

Grant type



1,500,000 euro

Science area

Exact and Natural Sciences Social Sciences and Humanities


Dr. ir. Bram Borkent Dr. ir. Bram Borkent +31 (0)30 6001310


Anthony Gadsdon Anthony Gadsdon +31 (0)70 3494276