Access to the National Computer Facilities for Pilot projects

Access to the National Computational facilities is a funding scheme that grants researchers, research groups and research institutes access to the national computational facilities.


Supercomputers are used for technical scientific research. In the Netherlands, two different systems are available for national use. These are the Cartesius supercomputer, and the Lisa system. The granting scheme Access to the National Computational facilities grants access to these systems. This round is specifically meant for applications smaller or equal to 500.000 SBU on Cartesius, or 100.000 SBU on LISA.

Who can apply

Researchers from the following research institutes can apply for access to the computational facilities:

  • Dutch universities
  • KNAW and NWO research institutes;
  • The Dutch Cancer Institute;
  • The Max Planck Institute for Psycho-linguistics in Nijmegen;
  • Dubble-beamline at ESFR in Grenoble;
  • NCB Naturalis.

Grants can only be applied by researchers with a permanent contract at one of the above mentioned research institutes, or researchers with a temporary position at one of the above mentioned research institutes with a guarantee from a supervising staff member with a permanent contract.

What to apply for

At NWO Exact and Natural Sciences grants can be applied for in order to access to the national computational infrastructure.

NWO Exact and Natural Sciences provides access to the Computational Systems Lisa and Cartesius.
In this granting scheme applicants can apply for Pilot projects, meaning projects up to a maximum of 500.000 SBU on Cartesius, or 100.000 SBU on LISA. Pilot projects are meant for researchers wishing to investigate if use of the supercomputer infrastructure can provide benefit for their research, or researchers in need of a relatively small amount of computational time on the supercomputer infrastructure.

When to apply

Proposals can by applied at any given moment in the year. There are no deadlines.



Due to the nature of pilot applications, these are reviewed in different criteria than the other types of applications. The criteria used for pilot applications are:

  • The scientific aspects of the project in relation to the request for computing time;
  • The importance to gain access to the super computer infrastructure;
  • The technical feasibility.


Pilot applications are reviewed by the bureau of NWO Exact and Natural Sciences, and reviews are not based on peer reviews form external experts. The board of NWO Exact and Natural Sciences decides about the funding of projects, based on the assessment.

More information

For more information on the available supercomputer systems, you are directed to the website of SURFsara.





Open for application


Continuous application

Grant type



32 million SBU on LISA, 350 million SBU on Cartesius

Science area

Exact and Natural Sciences


Computing Time National Computing Facilities


Nationale rol NWO-instituten



NWO in transition: changes funding instruments

On 1 January 2017, NWO will adopt a new organisation structure. Current funding instruments will remain unchanged until a decision about any change is taken. NWO will announce this change at least six months in advance. 2017 will be a transition year and the new funding instruments will become effective no later than 1 January 2018.


Dhr. J. van Wijk Dhr. J. van Wijk +31 (0)70 3494459