Cooperation India-The Netherlands (DST)

NWO and the Indian Government Department of Science & Technology (DST) open a joint call on 'Cleaning the Ganga and Agri-Water'. Consortia of research institutes and other organisations (both public and private) from the Netherlands and India are invited to submit proposals for interdisciplinary research on this theme.

Changes Cooperation India-The Netherlands (DST) due to coronavirus


NWO acts in accordance with the measures that the Dutch government takes in tackling the coronavirus. At the same time, NWO always wants to satisfy its basic principles that (1) all candidates receive the same opportunity to submit their applications, and that (2) applications are assessed correctly. NWO is therefore making changes to the current funding rounds; the information that is known to date about the prevailing measures form the basis for this. If measures are changed or extended, then the changes in the funding rounds will be reconsidered.

For the NWO-DST call on ‘Cleaning the Ganga and Agri-Water’ the following changes apply:

  • NWO and the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India (DST) have decided to pause the call, with the original deadline of 12 May. The call will be resumed one month after the Dutch and Indian coronavirus measures have been suspended. NWO and DST will then announce the revised schedule and new timelines.
  • The webinar, which is planned on 8 April, will be postponed.

For more detailed information and the general guideline about changes in funding rounds, please see

These changes are provisional; as soon as changes in this funding round become definite, the information on the grant page will be changed accordingly.


The main objective of this call is to support interdisciplinary research and innovative approaches that contribute to Cleaning the Ganga, in particular related to the impact of agriculture on the Ganga water system in the Hindon sub-basin. This requires a better understanding of the impact of agriculture on the water quality and availability in the catchment area of the Hindon basin. Furthermore, the call aims for knowledge to develop effective interventions in the agricultural water management to reduce negative effects, including technical and non-technical application-oriented solutions, as well as the governance and policy recommendations required for sustainable implementation.

Three areas of research are being distinguished that are all expected to be addressed in the research project to some extent:

  1. River basin system understanding, data and monitoring
  2. Interventions to improve agricultural water management
  3. Recommendations for implementation

Who can apply

Applications can be submitted by consortia that include at least:

  • Two different research organisations that are based in the Netherlands,
  • Two different recognised academic institutions and/or public funded research & development organisations that are based in India, and
  • A partner from a public, semi-public or private practitioner organisation (for-profit or not-for-profit)

Each project proposal should be submitted by a Dutch and an Indian main applicant to NWO and to DST respectively.

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 design and 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. Per project, a maximum of 700,000 euro can be applied for from NWO and a maximum of Rs. 5.5 Crores from DST.

Different costs can be reimbursed from the DST and NWO grants. The application form allows you to specify which organisation you would like to cover a certain cost. Annexes 1 and 2 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 12 May 2020, 14:00 CE(S)T/18:30 IST. Applications must be submitted to both NWO and DST, 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.


All eligible proposals will be assessed by external experts (reviewers). The reviewer reports will then be made available to the consortium via the Indian and Dutch Principal Investigators. The consortium then has the opportunity to write a response to the reviewers' comments, which must be uploaded via the Dutch Principal Investigator's ISAAC account and send to DST.

The application, reviewer reports, and response will then be submitted to an International Advisory Committee (IAC). NWO and DST will jointly compose this IAC. All applications are assessed in competition by the IAC, according to the criteria specified in paragraph 4.2.2 of the Call for Proposals. The IAC will formulate a funding advice. The NWO-WOTRO Steering Committee and the board of DST will take a provisional decision based on the advice of the IAC regarding the applications to be awarded. The decision is final when both boards have reached the same decision.

More information

A webinar on the Theory of Change and Impact Pathway approach will be held in March 2020. In this webinar, more information will be provided regarding this approach, and the call secretariat of NWO and DST will answer questions from applicants. For questions, please contact



Open for application


12 May 2020 14:00

Grant type



Euro 1.400.000

Science area

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


Merian Fund


Knowledge sharing (2019-2022)


India Department of Science & Technology


Drs. Berry Bonenkamp Drs. Berry Bonenkamp +31 (0)70 3494416