Research Talent

Research Talent is a responsive mode funding scheme, which offers talented and ambitious young researchers a platform to pursue a scientific career and carry out high-quality PhD research. This ambition, amongst others, is reflected in the choice of study, followed courses and academic activities that the student engaged in.


Research Talent offers excellent students within the social and behavioural sciences the opportunity to fulfill their ambitions of pursuing their scientific careers. To this aim a full professors (or associate professor holding ius promovendi) within social and behavioural sciences, and who is also the intended promoter, can submit an application for a grant for these upcoming researchers.

Who can apply

On behalf of the candidate the envisaged promoter submits a pre-proposal. Proposals can be submitted by applicants who:

  • are employed by a Dutch university, an NWO or KNAW institute or the MPI for Psycholinguistics, and
  • will be employed for at least the duration of the application process and the research for which the funding is requested.

In order to be admitted, the candidate must meet the following requirements:

  • the overall average Dutch grade of the completed bachelor study is at least 7,5 (or a GPA of at least 3.37 to be calculated for foreign grades)
  • the overall average Dutch grade of the completed first year of the master study in the research field of the social sciences is at least 8,0 (or a  GPA of at least 3.95 to be calculated for foreign grades).

What to apply for

Funding may only be requested for:

  • personnel costs: four years full-time for a PhD student, and
  • material costs up to a maximum of 10,000 euros, including costs for knowledge exchange and impact and data management.

The personnel costs are for a four-year, full-time position for the PhD student at a Dutch university. The student must devote that time fully to the PhD research. The research should be conducted at a Dutch university.

The proposal must fall within the remit of research field of the sociale sciences of the NWO Domain for Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH).

Candidates who already hold a position as a PhD student (in the Netherlands or in another country) are not eligible, nor are external PhD students.

When to apply

  • Closing date pre-proposals: 26 September 2017 at 2 PM CEST
  • Closing date full proposals: 6 March 2018 at 2 PM CET



Different criteria apply for pre-proposals and full proposals:


  • Education (bachelor and master)
  • Extracurricular activities (academic and non-academic)
  • Motivation
  • Research idea


  • Originality and potential contribution to science
  • Research set up and methods
  • Quality of candidate, supervision and institutional environment
  • Knowledge exchange and impact


The assessment procedure is split up into two phases:

  1. Pre-proposal phase
  2. Full proposal phase

In both phases, no external reviewers will be consulted. Committees will assess the pre-proposal, resulting in advices to the Board. Based on these advices, the Board will decide mid-December 2017 whether or not to invite promoters to submit a full proposal.

In the full proposal phase the candidate will be invited for an interview with the committee, leading to an assessment. The results will be announced end-June 2018.




Open for preliminary proposals


26 September 2017 14:00

Grant type



6.25 million euro

Science area

Social Sciences and Humanities


Research Talent


Curiosity driven research and talent (2015-2018)


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