Cooperation China (NSFC) - Supramolecular Chemistry & Catalysis

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) are long-term partners in international research co-operation. This funding instrument offers funding opportunities for bilateral research co-operation between Dutch and Chinese research groups in the field of Supramolecular Chemistry and Catalysis.


Because of its interdisciplinary nature, supramolecular chemistry is now prevalent in many scientific areas including chemistry, physics, materials and life science. Supramolecular chemistry was linked to biology at its initial invention, for the reason that both sciences are dominated by weak interaction and molecular recognition. Typical processes such as enzymatic catalysis featuring high catalytic activity and selectivity take place under mild conditions. These attractive properties have been a source of inspiration and longstanding proposed application of supramolecular chemistry.

The joint Sino-Dutch bilateral research project will focus on the establishment of novel supramolecular systems that are constructed and fabricated based on new principles and ingenious macrocyclic compounds or other small molecular building blocks. The program aims at the development of conceptually new supramolecular and bio-inspired systems which have applications in catalysis and energy conversion.

Project partners are invited to explicitly seek complementary expertise, where fundamental knowledge of chemical/biological self-assembly, host-guest systems, artificial receptors and molecular recognition are enablers for the development of new concepts in supramolecular catalysis or energy conversion processes.

Who can apply

Research teams should be composed of Dutch and Chinese researchers, with active involvement in the project of a senior Principal Investigator (PI) on both the Dutch and the Chinese side. Each combined Dutch/Chinese research team jointly submits one common application to NWO. For Dutch Principal Investigators the NWO/KNAW eligibility criteria apply, plus additional criteria. Dutch scientists may be involved in one application/project only.

To ascertain if they could be eligible to apply, Chinese applicants should refer to the Chinese call for this programme on the NSFC website.

A full description of the terms and conditions for application is found in the call for proposals.

What to apply for

Grants can be used to finance personnel, travel expenses and accommodation costs for researchers involved in the project, contribution to material costs, contribution to laboratory and/or equipment costs. Dutch researchers can apply for up to 294.000 euro, Chinese researchers can apply for  direct research costs. Chinese researchers cannot apply for personnel costs; these costs are covered by the Chinese universities/institutes where the research is carried out.

When to apply

  • Closing date for submitting proposals was July 14, 2017 14.00 hours (CET)



Proposals must be submitted to NWO via the electronic application system Iris by the Dutch Principle Investigator.

Applications will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • relevance to the theme of the call,
  • scientific quality of the research proposal,
  • knowledge utilisation,
  • quality of the research groups,
  • sino-Dutch co-operation.

The criteria are specified in the call for proposals. The call can be downloaded from this website.


  • July 14, 2017 Deadline for submitting Sino-Dutch research project proposals
  • End of July 2017 Eligibility check
  • July - September 2017 Consultation with referees (written peer review)
  • October 2017 Possibility for rebuttal by applicants
  • November 2017 International Assessment Committee meeting will prioritize and make ranking
  • End of November 2017 Joint Decision on proposals by NSFC and NWO
  • December 2017 Informing the applicants
  • January 1, 2018 Earliest starting date joint research projects

More information

contact NSFC:

Mr. Xu Jin
+86 (10) 6232 5351




Closed for application


14 July 2017 14:00

Grant type

Cooperation and Exchange


1,47 Million euro

Science area

Exact and Natural Sciences


Cooperation China (NSFC)


International collaboration (2015-2018)


National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)


Dr. ir. Marijn Goes Dr. ir. Marijn Goes +31 (0)70 3440982