Recently appointed professors, associate professors, assistant professors as well as tenure track researchers can use a START-UP subsidy to form and develop a new research group. Only researchers appointed to a post in one of the areas of focus ('onderzoekzwaartepunten') in physical or chemical research recognized by the Breimer Committee may submit an application.


The aim of START-UP is to strengthen still further the areas of focus (onderzoekzwaartepunten) in physical and chemical research by giving the universities more scope to offer new principal investigators (PIs) better start-up packages. The decision to use these funds for start-up packages was made on the basis of talks between the science faculty deans and NWO.

Who can apply

An application can be submitted by new, recently appointed PIs who were appointed with permanent tenure less than one year before the deadline for submission of applications. Researchers with a tenure track appointment and the prospect of permanent tenure may also submit an application. They too must have been appointed less than a year before.

In the period prior to their appointment in the area of focus newly appointed associate professors and full professors need to have had a substantial appointment at a research institution abroad for a period of at least one year.

What to apply for

The maximum amount that can be applied for in the case of (tenure-track) assistant professors is 0.4 million euros. The maximum amount that can be applied for in the case of associate professors and full professors is 0.8 million euros.

START-UP subsidies can be used to create temporary research posts (for PhD students and postdoctorate researchers) and for the appointment of technicians and analysts. They may also be used to apply for material budget (consumables, tools, measuring time, computing time, travelling expenses and publication costs) as well as equipment for the benefit of the proposed research project.

When to apply

  • The deadline for the submission of applications was 4 April 2019, at 14:00 CE(S)T.



All START-UP applications are assessed on the basis of the following three criteria:

  • Past performance / track record of the applicant
  • Academic quality and innovative character of the research proposal
  • Utilization of knowledge and outreach


The procedure for assessing START-UP applications involves the following steps:

  • The applications are assessed in terms of their admissibility.
  • The committee assesses the applications by reference to the criteria and then ranks them according to their chances of success.
  • The most promising candidates are invited for interview.
  • The committee assesses the applications of the interviewed applicants on the basis of the entire file (applications, cv, university’s statement and the interview) and ranks them in accordance with the assessment criteria.
  • Based on the committee’s advice, the NWO’s Science Domain Board decides on the award of funding.



Closed for application


4 April 2019 14:00

Grant type



A sum of 3 million euros is available for START-UP subsidies in each round.

Science area

Exact and Natural Sciences


Curiosity driven research and talent (2015-2018)


Dr. Marieke van Santen Dr. Marieke van Santen +31 070-3494433