Cooperation India-The Netherlands (DBT)

Please note deadline shifts: The deadline for rounds whose pre-registration deadline has already passed, and for which detailed applications need to be submitted, will be extended by two months (the closing date shown opposite).

NWO’s policy towards funding and the impact of the coronavirus

As a result of the outbreak of the coronavirus, NWO has drafted a guideline to provide applicants with clarity. NWO takes into consideration that under these circumstances it is not always possible that all candidates have an equal opportunity to submit their applications and it is important that we are confident when evaluating applications that we are doing so correctly.

Please note deadline shifts: These rounds, whether ongoing or upcoming, will be frozen and resumed one month after the national measures have been suspended.

The closing date shown on this page is not up to date. It gives no indication of the new closing date. NWO will communicate the new time frame for this call, including the current closing date, as soon as it becomes clear how long the measures restricting physical contact will last.

For more information about measures for complex rounds, and updates on this temporary guideline go to


NWO and the Department of Biotechnology of India (DBT) aim to finance and strengthen the scientific collaboration between The Netherlands and India. Consortia of research institutes and other organisations (both public and private) in the Netherlands and in India can apply for funding of joint research projects that focus on Climate Smart Agriculture.


The main objective of this call is to support interdisciplinary research and innovative approaches in order to develop application-oriented solutions for adaptation of agriculture to incremental climate change and/or increased climatic variability. These solutions should aim at balancing trade-offs and amplifying synergies between economic development and social demands while simultaneously preserving the environment.

There are three areas highlighted as key to advancing research in this area: 

  1. Genetics and breeding of plants to increase resilience to climate change
  2. Pests and diseases linked to climate and posing significant risks
  3. Adaptive management of water and soil resources

The research proposal should address at least two of the key research areas highlighted above. 

In addition, projects in the ‘Climate Smart Agriculture’ programme should:

  1. Use an integrated approach to find solutions for the adaptation of agriculture to climate change. 
  2. Translate research to inform policies in developing options for climate smart agriculture. 

Who can apply

Applications can be submitted by consortia consisting of the following:

  • A Dutch Principal Investigator, who will submit the application to NWO;
  • An Indian Principal Investigator, who will submit the application to DBT;
  • A societal partner, such as a local or municipal government or NGO, or a partner from industry;

Your consortium may include additional applicants. However, it must include the above applicants in order to be eligible.

For more information on the conditions with regards to who can apply, please see section 3.1 of the Call for Proposals. All consortium partners, as well as relevant stakeholders, are expected to be engaged in all phases of the project execution, from its inception to sharing the (emerging) results.

What to apply for

Consortia may apply for a project with a maximum duration of five years. A maximum of 700,000 euro can be applied for from NWO. A maximum of Rs. 5.5 Crores (approximately 700,000 euro) can be applied for from DBT. The total combined budget for this call is 2,800,000 euro. With the available total budget, NWO and DBT aim to fund two projects.

Different costs can be reimbursed from the DBT and NWO grants. The application form allows you to specify which organisation you would like to cover a certain cost. The annexes to the Call for Proposals describe which costs can be covered by each grant.

The NWO part of the budget is built up using the NWO-wide standardised building blocks, the so-called budget modules. In the proposal budget, applicants choose which combination of modules are needed to answer the research question and how often each module will be deployed. 

When to apply

  • The deadline for full applications is 7 April 2020, 14:00 CET/17:30 IST. Proposals must be submitted to both NWO and DBT, by the Dutch and Indian Principal Investigator respectively.



Applications will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  1. Quality of the research proposal
  2. Quality of the consortium
  3. Potential scientific and/or societal breakthrough

The criteria carry equal weight and each count for one-third of the final assessment. For the further breakdown of the criteria, please see section 4.2 of the Call for Proposals.


The assessment procedure will be conducted via the Dutch application system, ISAAC. All correspondence during the assessment procedure will therefore be sent to the Dutch Principal Investigator.

After the application has been found eligible, it will be submitted to external experts (reviewers) for consultation. The reports submitted by these reviewers will be made available to the consortium, via the Dutch Principal Investigator, for response. 

The application, reviewer reports, and the consortium's response will then be submitted to an International Advisory Committee (IAC) for evaluation. NWO and DBT will jointly compose the IAC, with experts on the subject of the Call. The IAC will assess all applications in competition, according to the criteria specified in the Call for Proposals, and formulate a funding advice. The NWO-WOTRO Steering Committee and the DBT Executives will take a provisional decision based on the advice of the IAC regarding the applications to be awarded. The decision is final when both organisations have reached the same decision. 

More information

On 9 March 2020, NWO and DBT organised a webinar for potential applicants to provide more information on the requirements and application procedure of the Climate Smart Agriculture call within the Cooperation India (DBT)-The Netherlands programme.

The slides of the webinar presentation and a list of frequently asked questions can be found below.

Should you have any other questions, please contact

Contact Department of BioTechnology, Government of India
Dr Sangita M. Kasture, 
+91 1124365438




Temporarily closed for application


31 December 2045 14:00

Grant type



Euro 1.400.000

Science area

Social Sciences and Humanities WOTRO Science for Global Development NWO-wide Applied and Engineering Sciences Exact and Natural Sciences


Merian Fund


Research (2019-2022)


India Department of Biotechnology


Berry Bonenkamp Berry Bonenkamp +31 (0)70 3494416