Cooperation India | Urban Water Systems

The Indian Government Department of Science & Technology (DST) and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) opened a joint call with the topic ‘Urban Water Systems. Dutch and Indian researchers, who were selected for and participated in the Sandpit from 27-30 November in Delhi, are invited to submit a full research programme proposal as follow-up of the Sandpit results.


This call addresses the complex challenges to urban water systems faced by fast-growing cities resulting from population growth, rapid urbanisation and the effects of climate change. It is focused on the need for an integrated systems approach in developing interrelated technological, institutional and financial solutions for sustainable urban water management.  

The call is based on a Sandpit procedure for joint design of a research programme with contributing and complementary work packages by Indian and Dutch researchers and stakeholders. The call consists of two phases:

  1. call for Expressions of Interest for Sandpit participation and
  2. call for full programme proposals. 

The Expressions of Interest phase has already been concluded. Only participants that were selected for and participated in the Sandpit are invited to apply (as main applicants) in this call for full programme proposals. 

Who can apply

A full proposal for a joint Indian-Dutch research programme, including the work package descriptions, can only be submitted by applicants who were selected for and participated in the Sandpit from 27-30 November 2018. 

Each programme proposal should be submitted by a Dutch and an Indian main applicant to NWO and to DST respectively. The main applicants are experienced researchers holding a senior position, meaning they have at least a PhD and at least six years of demonstrable relevant working experience. The main applicant should have a tenured appointment or a temporary appointment for the duration of the application process and the actual programme execution, at a research organisation that is based in the Netherlands.

What to apply for

The call budget covers funding for a Indian-Dutch integrated research programme, with a maximum duration of five years, jointly funded by NWO and DST. The Dutch part of the programme grant is subject to a maximum of 1.47 million Euro. This will be matched by DST for the Indian part of the research grant.

Full proposals should make clear how they will constitute and operationalize activities and projects for the following facilities:

  1. Personnel costs;
  2. Research costs;
  3. Knowledge sharing & research uptake costs;
  4. Audit costs (for all other organisations than Dutch universities)

More information can be found in section 3.2 of the call for proposals.

When to apply

Deadline for submission of full programme proposal was 31 January 2019 at 14.00 hours CET (18:30 IST).  

The full proposals must be submitted before the deadline to both NWO and DST, by the Dutch and Indian main applicants respectively. 



Eligible applications will be assessed on three criteria: 

  1. Scientific quality;
  2. Relevance for urban water systems in fast-growing secondary cities;
  3. Quality of the integrated, holistic approach and value for money.

More information about the assessment criteria can be found in section 4.2 of the call for proposals.


If eligible, the quality of the proposals will be assessed by the Advisory Committee, according to the assessment criteria. Each proposal is assessed by at least two Indian Advisory Committee members and two Advisory Committee members who were appointed by NWO. The Advisory Committee convenes once to moderate, rank and recommend the proposal for funding. The ranking of the Assessment Committee is sent as an advice to NWO and to DST. 

NWO and DST will make the final funding decision based on the advice of the Advisory Committee. The NWO-WOTRO Steering Committee and the Indian board responsible for the DST grant take a ‘conditional decision’ on the advice of the Advisory Committee. After both NWO and DST have reached the same ‘conditional decision’ the joint decision for funding becomes effective.



Closed for application


31 January 2019 14:00

Grant type

Cooperation and Exchange


1.470.000 euro

Science area

WOTRO Science for Global Development


Cooperation India - Urban Water Systems


International collaboration (2015-2018)


The Indian Government Department of Science & Technology (DST), Dr. Neelima Alam E-mail: Telephone: +91 11 26590467


Mw. S.P. Döpp, MSc Mw. S.P. Döpp, MSc 070 349 43 63