Museum Grants

Grant for scientific research by museum employees

Grant for scientific research by museum employees.


The programme facilitates talent development and scientific research in the museum sector.

The grants are intended for individual employees of museums who carry out research related to the collection. Therefore the research proposal must clearly explain the importance of the research for the museum institution or the museum sector.

Who can apply

Employees with a temporary or tenured appointment at a museum can apply for a grant for scientific research. As a main applicant you must satisfy the following requirements:

  • you have a temporary or tenured appointment at the museum from which the application is made for at least the duration of the research;
  • you have a master’s degree or are qualified in a comparable manner.

Furthermore, the museum from which the application is submitted must be (provisionally) registered in the Dutch Museum Register.

Besides museum employees, researchers from the following knowledge institution can also submit an application:

  • RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History

The same criteria apply to them as to museum employees.

Two co-applicants are involved in each application: the director of the institute from which the application is submitted and an experienced researcher or professor employed at a Dutch university. You can approach a researcher to supervise your research. Or you can approach one of the researchers who has registered their willingness to act as a supervisor with NWO. In that case you should contact NWO.

What to apply for

For a research proposal in this round, you can apply for at least 10,000 euros and most 25,000 euros. The budget is intended for research grants that make it possible to realise scientific research. At the end of the programme Museum Grants, NWO will award a prize to the best scientific publication from this round that is disseminated in open access form. The procedure for awarding this prize will be announced later.

This (third) round of the programme Museum Grants is divided into two sub-rounds. For each sub-round, 600,000 euros is available. If after the awarding of grants in the first sub-round the full budget has not been used, then the remaining amount will be added to the second sub-round.

When to apply

  • The deadline for first sub-round of the third round is Tuesday, 5 January 2021 at 14.00 hours (CET).
  • The deadline for the second sub-round is Thursday, 17 June 2021 at 14.00 hours (CEST).

When you submit your application to ISAAC, you will also need to enter details online. You should therefore start submitting your application at least one day before the deadline of this call for proposals. Please note: applications that are submitted after the deadline will not be taken into consideration.



Complete information about the assessment criteria can be found in the call for proposals.

The quality of the candidate and the research proposal will be assessed using three criteria:

  1. Scientific quality
  2. Societal relevance
  3. Quality of the applicant


NWO will appoint a selection committee that will assess the research proposals according to the criteria in the call. The selection committee can invite the candidates with the highest chance of being awarded funding for an interview. The candidate will then present the research proposal to the selection committee. Lastly, the NWO Social Sciences and Humanities Domain Board will take a final decision about awarding the grants.




Open for application


5 January 2021 14:00

Grant type



1.3 million euros

Science area

Social Sciences and Humanities


Museum Grants


People (2019-2022)


Minsterie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap


Daan Olthoff +31(0)70 349 43 00