Comenius programme

The Comenius programme funds teaching innovation projects in higher education, proposed by excellent teachers and education professionals working at higher education institutions.

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.

The closing date shown on this page is not up to date. It gives no indication of the new closing date. NWO will communicate the new time frame for this call, including the current closing date, as soon as it becomes clear how long the measures restricting physical contact will last.

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


The aim of the Comenius programme is to give impetus to educational innovation and improvements by professionals in higher education.The Comenius programme enables education professionals to implement their vision of education in practice. The educational innovation projects funded by the Comenius programme contribute directly to innovation and improvement of higher education in the Netherlands.

By valuing excellent and inspired teaching in a visible way, the Comenius programme contributes to making varied career paths possible for teachers and researchers at research universities and universities of applied sciences.

The Comenius Programme has three 'tiers': Teaching Fellow (50,000 euro, one-year project, small-scale innovation in a single study programme) Senior Fellow (100,000 euro, two-year project, innovation in a faculty or degree programme) Leadership Fellow (500,000 euro, three-year project, innovation in several faculties or in an entire educational institution)

Who can apply

Applications can be submitted by professionals working in publicly funded higher educational institutes (as defined in article. 1.8 of the Wet Hoger Onderwijs en Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek) in the Netherlands. For each tier, specific terms and regulations apply. These can be found in the Call for Proposals.

What to apply for

The Comenius programme offers grants to Teaching Fellows (€ 50,000), Senior Fellows (€100,000) and Leadership Fellows (€500,000). The Fellows are distinguished on the basis of experience and the extent of their impact on education. They can use the grant to implement educational innovations and improvements in their own educational practice on a scale suited to their position and the duration of the project (for instance within a course, in a degree programme or faculty or in the entire institution).

When to apply

Applicants must submit a Letter of Intent via ISAAC (10 September Teaching Fellows, 3 September Senior Fellows, 5 september Leadership Fellows). Applicants in the round Teaching Fellows and Senior Fellows additionally have to submit a preliminary application (8 October Teaching Fellows, 1 October Senior Fellows).

The deadlines for the full applications vary for each tier and can be found in the Calls for Proposal and on the programme pages.



Applications are assesed on the following criteria:

  • Innovative nature of the project
  • Expected result of the project
  • Quality of the project plan
  • Teaching experience and vision of the applicant

Specific criteria for each tier can be found in the Calls for Proposals.


After the admissibility check, applications are assessed by a science-wide assessment committee. The assessment committee prioritises the proposals and advises the Minister of Education, Culture and Science on the applications to be honoured. The minister takes the final decision on which proposals will be honoured in April 2020.

More information about the specific procedures for each tier can be found in the Calls for Proposals.

More information

More information can be found on the specific Funding Pages:

  • Comenius Teaching Fellows
  • Comenius Senior Fellows
  • Comenius Leadership Fellows 

or on the Comenius Programme Page of the NRO-website.
A collection of Frequently Asked Questions can also be found on the NRO-website.

Choose a funding instrument


Grant type



Temporarily closed for application


3 September 2019 14:00


6,200,000 euros


Science area

Netherlands Initiative for Education Research


Ministry of Education, Culture and Science


Judith Huisman, MA Judith Huisman, MA +31 (0)70 3440928