Responsible Use of Artificial Intelligence

The ambition for this research programme is to carry out public-private AI research projects that make a significant contribution towards addressing the major social and economic issues arising from AI for the Netherlands and to enable consortia to prepare for future AI research programmes. In this regard NWO, together with Topsector ICT and the Ministery of Economic Affairs, grants a total of 2.3M €.


AI is a multidisciplinary field, centring on information technology and mathematics but with important ramifications to life sciences and social sciences & humanities. AI is opening up new vistas and opportunities but also raises many fundamental questions about technological, social, economic and cultural issues, such as 

  • social interaction with people
  • the transparency and reliability of AI systems
  • responsible use of AI technologies

This research programme focuses on the research and development of AI algorithms that guarantee responsible and careful use of AI in applications.

Who can apply

Scientists employed by Dutch Universities and institutes eligible for funding by NWO (see ‘Guide for applicants’ published separately) can submit a proposal. In addition the main applicant should have 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. 

What to apply for

The available grants range from € 200,000 (minimum) to € 500,000 (maximum) for research projects with a maximum duration of 48 months. 

The budget of a research project comprises the following sources of income:

  • requested grant;
  • private co-financing amounting to 20% (minimum) to 35% (maximum) of the overall project budget. At least half of the private co-financing must consist of cash resources. 

The grant is intended for the performance of scientific research but can also be partly used to organize and prepare for future AI research programmes.

When to apply

  • The deadline for the submission of full proposals is 5 November 2019, 14:00 CE(S)T.



  • Criterion 1: Scientific quality of the proposal (What/Who) 
  • Criterion 2: Scientific and/or social impact (Why) 

The criteria are weighted as follows: 
Scientific quality of proposal counts for 70% of the final score and scientific/social impact for 30%.


The first step in the assessment procedure is to test whether the application is eligible for consideration. The suitability of the research is part of this test but is tested by Team Dutch Digital Delta. All admissible applications are put to international external advisers (the referees) for assessment. The next step is a adversarial process between the referees and the applicant(s). The assessment committee discusses and ranks the applications in a meeting and gives advice on the acceptance or rejection of applications to the steering group of this programme. The NWO Science Board makes a decision about the award of the available resources on the advice of the assessment committee. 



Open for application


5 November 2019 14:00

Grant type



a minimum of 200,000 and a maximum of 500,000 euros per research project

Science area

Exact and Natural Sciences Social Sciences and Humanities


Mw. Dr. S. Mohammadin +31 (0) 70 3494269