Vici grants for 34 scientists
17 February 2017
The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded 34 leading scientists a Vici grant worth one and half million euros. Vici is one of the largest grants for individual scientists in the Netherlands and is part of NWO's Talent Scheme. The funding will enable the scientists to develop their own innovative research line for the next five years and build up their own research group.
This year 235 researchers submitted a pre-proposal for a Vici grant, from which 138 researchers submitted a full proposal. 60 of these researchers were invited to explain their proposals in front of an evaluation committee. Based on recommendations by international and national scientists, 34 proposals were ultimately selected for funding. This comes down to an award rate of 14.5%.
From sign language to producing environmentally friendly medicines
Within Vici, researchers are free to nominate their own research project for funding. The Vici laureates will conduct their own research in the coming years on topics such as communicating across borders in sign language, the fastest possible methods for storing data magnetically, the meaning of human rights during the welcoming and integration of refugees in European cities, and ways of producing certain medicines in a more environmentally friendly, more sustainable way.
This year, 161 (69%) of the 235 proposals were submitted by men and 74 (31%) by women. In total, 12 of the 34 candidates receiving a grant were female (35%). This comes down to an award rate of 16% for female applicants, which is slightly higher than that of the male applicants (14%).
Changes to the Vici award procedure
NWO will be changing its evaluation procedure starting the next Vici round. In the rounds from 2012 to 2016, the evaluation of Vici pre-proposals and full proposals was largely handled by three 'domain committees', and the final step in the evaluation process, the interview phase, was assessed by a science-wide committee. From 2017 onwards, the entire procedure, including the interviews, will be allocated to five committees: four committees corresponding to the new NWO domains. The fifth committee will handle applications that transcend the boundaries of NWO's domains.
The Talent Scheme: about the Vici grant
The Vici grant is intended for highly experienced researchers who have successfully demonstrated the ability to develop their own innovative line of research and can act as a coach for young researchers. Vici provides researchers with the opportunity to build their own research group, often in anticipation of a tenured position as professor. The Vici grant is one of three types of grant in the Talent Scheme. The other two are the Veni grant (for researchers who have gained their doctorates within the last three years) and the Vidi grant (for experienced postdocs who have received their doctorates within the last 8 years).