Dutch Research Agenda - Theme: archaeological research

Experienced researchers from knowledge institutions, archaeological companies and societal stakeholders can form consortia and apply for funding for innovative archaeological research.


  • Please note: as of 25 April 2019, an amendment decision applies to this call that relates to 1) the criteria for archaeological companies and 2) the deadline for submitting pre-proposals. The information shown below (including the downloadable call text) is the most recent information about this call for proposals.

The aim of the programme 'Future directions in Dutch archaeological research' is to inspire research that uses innovative methods and techniques to answer central questions in archaeology. The research should involve the entire knowledge chain and contribute to the development of a sustainable research infrastructure. Knowledge transfer/valorisation to a wider audience is an important part of the programme and will be carried out in cooperation with societal stakeholders (regional authorities, museums). In doing so, this programme will lead to both scientific and societal breakthroughs. 

Who can apply

Applications should be submitted by consortia. 
Four categories of participants are differentiated within a consortium: 

  1. Main applicant (also the official secretary)
  2. Co-applicant(s)
  3. An archaeological company or agency that has received a certificate or an archaeological research or consultancy company;

  4. Other public and/or private cooperation partner(s)

Consortia are formed by researchers from knowledge institutions, private parties (specifically archaeological companies and services) and societal stakeholders such as national or regional authorities and museums. Each consortium must consist of at least one knowledge institution, at least one archaeological company, and at least one societal stakeholder. For each participant in the consortium, his/her role and contribution to the proposed project should be defined in the application. 

In the case of pre-proposals, at least the knowledge institution and the archaeological company should be known.

Only the institutions of the main applicant and co-applicants can be beneficiaries of the NWO funding.

In this round, a researcher may act as a main applicant in a maximum of one application, and as a co-applicant in a maximum of one application.

What to apply for

In this round, a maximum of 625,000 euros in funding per proposal can be requested from NWO for projects with a duration of three to five years. 

If the necessary budget exceeds the maximum amount of funding, co-funding by the knowledge institution or a public or private party is required. It is also possible not to apply to NWO for the maximum budget but still include co-funding by another party. 

The budget is composed using the building blocks or modules which have been standardised across NWO. These modules are described below. In the application budget, choose the combination of modules needed to answer the research question, and indicate how often each module will be used. 

There are five modules: 

  1. Personnel
  2. Material budget
  3. Investments
  4. Valorisation/Impact
  5. Internationalisation 

When drawing up the budget for the proposal, applicants should explain how the proposed expenditure on the various items will contribute to the proposed research. NWO will provide a budget form which must be submitted as a compulsory annex to the detailed proposal. 

A specification of the different modules follows. 

When to apply

  • The compulsory pre-proposals should be received by NWO by 12 September 2019, 14:00 CE(S)T.
  • The full proposals should be received by NWO by 9 January 2020, 14:00 CE(S)T.

When you submit an application to ISAAC, you will also need to enter additional details online. You should therefore start submitting your application at least one day before the deadline of this call for proposals. Applications received after the deadline cannot be taken into consideration.



Pre-proposals will be assessed on the basis of the criteria detailed in section 4.2.2 of the call for proposals. Full proposals will be assessed on the basis of the following three criteria:
(I) Quality of the research proposal;
(II) Quality of the consortium;
(III) Potential scientific and/or societal breakthroughs.

The criteria are weighted equally and each criterion counts for one third of the overall assessment. The assessment criteria are operationalised in section 4.2.2 of the call for proposals on a number of sub-aspects. 


The procedure broadly consists of the following steps:

  1. Submission of pre-proposal via ISAAC;
  2. Administrative eligibility check of pre-proposal;
  3. The selection committee evaluates whether the admissible pre-proposal fits within the aims and objectives of the program, the (intended) composition of the consortium and the experience / expertise of the applicants;
  4. Submission of full proposal and appendices via ISAAC;
  5. Administrative eligibility check of full proposal;
  6. All admissible applications are submitted to independent (inter) national referees for the assessment of the scientific quality (criterion I) and the quality of the consortium (criterion II);
  7. The selection committee evaluates the social relevance and knowledge utilization (criterion III);
  8. Main applicants are given the opportunity to respond in writing to the judgments (rebuttal);
  9. The selection committee may decide to interview main applicants;
  10. The selection committee determines a final assessment of the applications and establishes priorities;
  11. Final decision-making by the Social Sciences and Humanities domain board;
  12. Results are communicated.



Temporarily closed for application


12 September 2019 14:00


A budget of 2.5 million euro is available for applications.

Science area

Social Sciences and Humanities


Future directions in Dutch archaeological research


Research (2019-2022)


Dr. Lydia Langerwerf Dr. Lydia Langerwerf +31 (0)70 3440900 l.langerwerf@nwo.nl