Aspasia provides grants to help more female scientists progress to associate and full professorships.

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. The guideline is based on information that has been available until today and the intention to end the announced measures (i.e. closure of public establishments and recommendation to minimise personal contact) on 6 April. If the measures are extended, then we will revise this guideline.

Upcoming rounds refers to rounds for which no deadlines have passed yet. The following applies to these rounds:

  • The entire schedule of the round will be postponed by one month.
  • NWO will announce the revised schedule for this round before 6 April (or later if this date shifts.
  •  if the deadline is imminent and people have therefore already submitted their application (which could be case in rounds with pre-registration, such as Vici), then these applications can be revoked and resubmitted.

For more information go to

Rectification (February 2020): This instrument is open to the entire Kingdom of the Netherlands, not only the Netherlands.


Women are underrepresented at higher levels on the career ladder. This is certainly true for higher education and research in the Netherlands. Aspasia ensures that more female assistant professors progress to the level of associate or full professor. Aspasia was set up by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Association of Universities in the Netherlands and NWO.

The grant is intended to encourage the promotion of female Vidi grant candidates to an associate professorship and female Vici grant candidates to a full professorship.

Who can apply

Aspasia is linked to the Vidi and Vici competitions of the NWO Talent Scheme. Eligible candidates:

  • female applicants who have received a Vidi or Vici grant;
  • female applicants who were not granted a Vidi or Vici, but were assessed as very good or excellent after the interview procedure: university executive boards who promote these candidates to an associate or full professorship within a year of the Vidi or Vici being granted will be eligible for a grant under certain conditions.

What to apply for

For applicants who received funding in the Vidi and Vici competition the grant is € 40,000. For other applicants the grant is € 120,000. Therefore applicants who did not receive funding from the Talent Scheme receive a higher Aspasia grant.

When to apply

After the Vidi and Vici grant decisions, NWO will contact those candidates eligible for an Aspasia grant. Candidates who are an associate or full professor will not be approached. If the candidate agrees, NWO will recommend promotion to her University Executive Board.


There are no selection criteria. If the promotion satisfies the conditions stated in the call for proposals, NWO will allocate the grant.


Grant type



Open for application, by recommendation only


Continuous application


in 2020 4,2 million euros


Curiosity driven research and talent (2015-2018)

Science area

Exact and Natural Sciences Social Sciences and Humanities Applied and Engineering Sciences WOTRO Science for Global Development Medical Sciences Netherlands Initiative for Education Research Nationaal Regieorgaan Praktijkgericht Onderzoek


Ministry of Education, Culture and Science


Charlotte Jalvingh Charlotte Jalvingh +31 (0)70 3440671