NWO Open Competition for Digitalisation - SSH

Teams from at least two experienced researchers from the humanities and social sciences can apply for funding to collaborate and shed more light on the question: what does digitalisation mean for society and for academic practice within the SSH domain?


Through this call - originating from the SSH Domain Plan "Samen Sterker - Beeld van het domein SSH" [Stronger together - Impression of the SSH domain] - research teams from the SSH domain are invited to respond to societal and scientific issues of the digital society.

Collaboration between social scientists and humanities scientists is an essential condition for applying for the funding of excellent research into the societal issues of the digital society and the digital transition and the science-related challenges as a result. That is because the digitalisation issues are so complex that these require an interdisciplinary SSH perspective. The joint development and exchange of knowledge is a condition for contributing to solutions to societal and scientific issues.

Who can apply

Applications can be submitted by at least two researchers from at least two different faculties. One of them acts as main applicant, others are co-applicants. Of the applicants, at least one researcher must have a PhD in the humanities and at least one researcher must have a PhD in the social sciences.

Assistant, associate and full professors can act as the main or co-applicant for an application if they:
1. have a paid appointment at one of the universities in de Kingdom of the Netherlands;
2. and also have a contract (appointment period) for at least the length of the application procedure and the duration of the research for which the grant is applied for. Personnel with a zero hour appointment may not submit an application. An exception to the required duration of appointment can be made for applicants with a tenure-track appointment. 

The following limitations also apply to this call:
3. researchers can submit a maximum of one application as the main applicant and one application as the co-applicant.

Researchers who work at NWO and KNAW institutes may not act as applicants.

What to apply for

The maximum budget that can be applied for is € 750.000 euros. There is no minimum budget.

The following modules are available for an application within this round:

1. Module Personnel: a) PhD student / PDEng / MD PhD; b) Postdoc; c) Non-scientific personnel; submodule d (personnel HBO) is not available in this call; e) Research leave; f) Other Scientific personnel.

2. Module material costs,

4. Module Valorisation / Impact.

Module 3 and 5 are not available for this call for proposals.

The research must start within six months after the date on which the granting decision was announced.  In derogation of article 3.5.1 para 1 of the NWO Grant Rules 2017 research projects may have a maximum duration of 5 years.

When to apply

  • Pre-proposals (mandatory) must be received by NWO before 9 April 2019, 14:00 CEST. 
  • Full proposals must be received by NWO before 24 September 2019, at 14:00 hours CEST.



Pre-proposals will be assessed against the following criteria:

  1. Research idea,
  2. Impact,
  3. Researchers, research team and organisation.

Full proposals will be assessed against the following criteria:

  1. Scientific quality and impact,
  2. Embedding research team, organisation and budget,
  3. Knowledge utilisation.


The committee assesses pre-proposals on the basis of the criteria, establishes the expected quality, and ranks these proposals according to their chances of being awarded funding, without making use of external advisers. Based on this, the Committee formulates an advisory report, which is send to the candidates. The committee submits the advice to the Social Sciences and Humanities Domain Board, which makes a decision about this. The candidates with the most promising proposals will receive an invitation around July 2019 to submit a full proposal.

You can find full proposal application form below. The budget form will also be available here soon. The possibility to submit will be opened around mid-July as soon as the Domain Board Social and Humanities has taken a decision about the pre-proposals.

For the full proposals the evaluation procedure is as follows:

  1. all applicants are invited for an interview,
  2. the selection committee will prioritise the proposals based on the assessment criteria,
  3. the selection committee advises the Social Sciences and Humanities Domain Board about the applications that are selected for funding. The Domain Board will take a granting decision in December 2019.




Temporarily closed for application


24 September 2019 14:00

Grant type



750.000 euros

Science area

Social Sciences and Humanities


Open Competition - SSH


Carry Hergaarden Carry Hergaarden +31 (0)703494059 OC-digitalisering@nwo.nl


Dr. Lydia Langerwerf Dr. Lydia Langerwerf +31 (0)70 3440900 OC-digitalisering@nwo.nl