Second call on tackling global challenges

25 May 2018

NWO-WOTRO Science for Global Development, together with eight universities, will fund use-inspired research to tackle global challenges in the second call for proposals of the Joint SDG research programme. Today, a joint call for proposals was launched to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals in an innovative way and with a focus on the most vulnerable people in low- and middle-income countries. A total budget of eight million euros is available.

Photo credit: Cia Park

On 25 September 2015, the 193 countries of the UN General Assembly adopted the Sustainable Development Agenda entitled ‘Transforming our world'. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires that all the three dimensions of sustainable development - economic, social and environmental - are addressed in a balanced manner. Also, science is critical to help meet the SDGs as it lays the foundation for innovative approaches, solutions and technologies. This joint initiative contributes to more coherent research funding and to a collaborative effort of the Dutch science community in addressing global challenges.

Call for proposals

The second Joint SDG-call is open only for researchers who are employed by one of the co-funding Dutch Universities. The deadline to submit a proposal - only after preselection and approval of the co-funding university - is 4 September 2018.

The co-funding universities are: Delft University of Technology, Leiden University, Maastricht University, University of Amsterdam, University of Groningen, Utrecht University, VU University Amsterdam and Wageningen University & Research.

Science contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals

Because of the complexity of the challenges, an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach of co-creation is needed for science to be able to contribute to the SDGs. The eight Dutch universities represent a huge body of knowledge in all scientific disciplines, which could and should be mobilised to contribute to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in an innovative way. Together with scientists from Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs), since this kind of collaboration clears the path to innovative insights and breakthroughs that would otherwise be beyond the reach of Dutch science.

Furthermore, research projects should generate outputs -other than knowledge- that are accessible, affordable and applicable for practitioners in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). To enhance the use of generated knowledge, research proposals should include close cooperation between Dutch and local researchers, between different disciplines and between knowledge institutes, governments, NGOs, private partners, or other relevant end-users. Additionally, projects must make an effort to share their plans, progress and outputs with organisations that potentially may use the knowledge generated.

Joint SDG research initiative

The Joint Sustainable Development Goal research initiative (Joint SDG research initiative) aims to encourage research that contributes to achieving the SDGs in LMICs to the benefit of the most vulnerable people. This is the second call for proposals within this programme, nine projects were granted in the first call that was launched in 2017. The co-funding research organisations were: Delft University of Technology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, University of Amsterdam, Utrecht University, VU Amsterdam and Wageningen University & Research.


Contact persons for questions about the pre-selection per co-funding university are:

  • Delft University of Technology: Dr Jennifer Kockx
  • Leiden University: Dr Nick den Hollander
  • Maastricht University: Merle Achten
  • University of Amsterdam: Dr Niek Brunsveld
  • University of Groningen: Dr Anke Schuster-Koster
  • Utrecht University: Eveline Helsper
  • VU University Amsterdam: Mira Maletic
  • Wageningen University & Research: Pieter Windmeijer

More information can be found on the NWO website:

Source: NWO