NWO launches new 'Refugees in Science' pilot

3 May 2018

This month, NWO is launching a new pilot programme titled 'Refugees in Science'. The aim is to fund one-year appointments for academics who have fled their home country and wish to continue their scientific career in the Netherlands. Candidates must hold a master's degree or a doctorate and must have been granted refugee status in the Netherlands. The pilot was developed in consultation with the Young Academy, KNAW and the Foundation for Refugee Students (UAF).

Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein. What these important scientists have in common is the fact that they were forced to flee their country of origin. By escaping to a safe haven in another country, they were able to start or continue their research. Even today, there are large numbers of scientists living in the Netherlands as refugees. Continuing their scientific career is not always straightforward because they face obstacles such as a language barrier, a different working culture or limited scope to build a network.

A win-win situation

With its new Refugees in Science pilot call, NWO is introducing a one-year term of funding for academics living in the Netherlands as refugees. The intention is to help them join current Dutch research projects and build a network. It will also give them a chance to actively share knowledge and expertise, to familiarise themselves with the Dutch scientific system, and possibly even to continue the career or research line started in their home country. At the same time, these academics will enrich Dutch science and society with the expertise they bring with them. Candidates can express their interest in the call by completing an interest form. This information will be shared with the institutions in order to identify suitable candidates for current research projects.

Submissions from 17 May, deadline on 13 September

The application must be submitted by a project leader of a current research project already funded by NWO or ZonMw. The project leader can apply for additional funding for the one-year appointment of a junior or senior researcher with demonstrable refugee status (received an asylum residence permit for a fixed period (type III) on or after January 1 2013). A total budget of €750,000 is available for this pilot call, sufficient to fund eight to fifteen applications. For more details on who can apply and the criteria for submitting a proposal, please refer to the call for proposals. Proposals can be submitted from 17 May to 13 September 2018 via the NWO website. Once the pilot has been completed, an evaluation will be carried out and a decision taken on whether to continue the programme.

Information session on 2 June

The Young Academy, KNAW, UAF and NWO are holding an information session in Utrecht on 2 June. The aim is to provide candidates – both refugees with a scientific background and project leaders of current research projects – with more information about the new call and the organisations involved. Participants will also be offered practical assistance in finding a matching research project or a suitable candidate for their project. The session starts at 14:30 (doors open from 14:00) and will take place in the Utrecht University Hall. You can register using this registration form.

More information


Source: NWO