Dutch Research Agenda - Theme: Innovation of Supervision

This call for proposals invites knowledge institutions and other interested parties to participate in consortia aimed at research and improved practice within the theme Innovation of Supervision. The consortia will work in a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary manner and will have a knowledge-chain-wide composition. Each consortium will contain more than one government inspectorate and/or market regulator. The research themes relate to the profession of supervision in a changing society.

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.

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


Independent public supervision is a key institution of the constitutional state. Government inspectorates and market regulators (further referred to as regulators) exercise this supervision in the Netherlands. Supervision safeguards the safety of the living environment and products, the quality and reliability of services, and the honesty of markets. As a result of a properly functioning supervisory practice, citizens can trust the quality of products and services on a day-to-day basis. However, public supervision is increasingly under pressure from a wide range of societal, and sometimes destabilising, dynamics. The key question is how supervision can innovate to continue to guarantee the safeguarding of public interests, to become more agile and flexible and also more responsive towards public expectations. 

Who can apply

Applications must be submitted by a consortium in which the broad knowledge chain, as described in Chapter 2 of the Call for proposals, is represented. We differentiate four categories of participants in the consortium:

  • Main applicant;
  • Co-applicant(s);
  • Co-financier(s);
  • Cooperating partner(s)

The main applicant submits the application on behalf of the consortium. More information about the four categories of participants as well as specific requirements regarding who can apply, can be found in paragraph 3.1 of the call for proposals. 

What to apply for

A budget of 4.31 million euros is available for this call for proposals. From the available budget, three research projects can be awarded at most 1.2 million euros in funding for a maximum duration of five years, and an overarching project Knowledge Synthesis and Utilisation (KSU project) can be awarded a maximum of 0.71 million euros.

Funding can be requested to cover the following types of costs (modules): 

  • Personnel costs;
  • Material costs;
  • Knowledge utilisation;
  • Internationalisation;
  • Money follows Collaboration.

Extensive information about the modules can be found in paragraph 6.2 of the call for proposals. 

When to apply

  • The deadline for submitting pre-proposals is Tuesday, 15 September 2020, before 14:00 hours CE(S)T.
  • The deadline for submitting full proposals is Thursday, 14 January 2021, before 14:00 hours CE(S)T.



The pre-proposals and full proposals will be assessed against the following three criteria:

  • Quality of the project proposal;
  • Quality of the consortium.
  • Potential scientific and/or societal breakthroughs.


The assessment of pre-proposals will result in a selection of six to nine pre-proposals. The selected pre-proposals will receive an invitation for phase 2, the other pre-proposals will be advised not to participate. However, this advice is non-binding.

Full proposals will be evaluated by at least three (inter)national experts (referees). Applicants will be given the opportunity to write a rebuttal to the referees’ reports. The committee will subsequently rank the proposals and give each proposal a qualification. The assessment results will be issued in the form of an advice to the NWO Executive Board, which will subsequently take a decision.

More information

On 12 May 2020, NWO and the Academy for Supervision organised a Webinar explaining the background, goal and procedure of this call, presenting the online matchmaking platform, and answering questions about the call. The Webinar, a Q&A document and the instructions for getting access to the online matchmaking platform can be found on this webpage.

The updated application form pre-proposal needs to be uploaded as well.



Open for preliminary proposals


15 September 2020 14:00

Grant type



4,31 million euros

Science area

Social Sciences and Humanities Applied and Engineering Sciences National Science Agenda Nationaal Regieorgaan Praktijkgericht Onderzoek Exact and Natural Sciences


Innovation of Supervision


Research (2019-2022)


Dhr. R.P.W. Heinsbroek Dhr. R.P.W. Heinsbroek +31 (0)70 3440987 nwa-toezicht@nwo.nl