NWO Open Competition offers prospects for researchers

7 January 2019

With the NWO Open Competition NWO stimulates free, curiosity-driven research. Individual researchers can continue and develop their line of research with this programme. One of the ambitions of NWO for the period 2019-2022 is to ensure that researchers in the Netherlands can continue to develop in all phases of their career by doing research of their own choice. Each NWO domain makes its own substantial contribution to the NWO Open Competition.


NWO Open Competition domain Science

With effect from 1 August 2018 researchers will be able to submit proposals for curiosity driven, non- programmed fundamental research in two new funding instruments for the Open Competition of the NWO Domain Science: a single instrument for small-scale projects and investments and a single instrument for large-scale projects. This new open competition replaces the old instruments: ALW Open Programme, EW TOP1&2, EW NWO-M, CW TOP/ECHO, FOM/N Projectruimte, FOM/N Vrije Programma's.

NWO Open Competition domain Science– KLEIN

The KLEIN grant offers researchers the possibility to elaborate creative and risky ideas and to realise scientific innovations that can form the basis for the research themes of the future. There are three categories of KLEIN grants: KLEIN-1 (1 scientific position), KLEIN-2 (2 scientific positions in collaboration) and KLEIN-0 (investments) that are assessed in competition with each other. The total available budget is M€ 25.5 and proposals can be submitted on a continuous basis.

NWO Open Competition domain Science – GROOT

GROOT grants are intended for consortia in which research groups create added value through collaboration compared to individual KLEIN grants, for example. The GROOT grant gives researchers the opportunity and freedom to strengthen and/or expand excellent, challenging and innovative lines of research. The call will be published once every two years and a pre-proposal phase will be used. The deadline for submitting pre-proposals in the first round is 12 February 2019. For this round M€ 25 is available.


NWO Open Competition SSH

In 2018, NWO-SSH launched a new instrument for the open competition: "NWO Open Competition – SSH".  Researchers can apply for funding for different types of research: small or large research projects, and for individual projects or for research groups. Research can have a disciplinary, interdisciplinary or cross-domain character. The research can be aimed at international collaboration between researchers and/or research groups. This subsumed most funding instruments from the SSH Open Research Area (Research Talent, Free Competition Humanities, Internationalisation in the Humanities, Open Research Area, Investment Grant NWO Medium).

New: NWO Open Competition concerning digitalisation – SSH

Given the specific purpose, the character and the scope of this call for proposals concerning digitalisation, it has been decided to establish a separate Open Competition instrument with which NWO-SSH can optimally meet the specific conditions of the call: "NWO Open Competition for Digitisation – SSH".
For each proposal, researchers can request a maximum of €750,000 to cover personnel costs, material budget and costs for valorisation and knowledge utilisation. The deadline for submitting final proposals is 24 September 2019.


Open Technology Programma AES

The Open Technology Programme is open to excellent research aimed at the possible implementation of the results. The programme offers companies and other organisations an easily accessible way of becoming involved in scientific research that leads to usable knowledge. In the Open Technology Programme, research applications can be submitted the whole year round. Several times a year, the Domain Board decides which research proposals will receive funding.


ZonMw Open Competition

The aim of the ZonMw Open Competition is to create space for excellent, curiosity-driven, groundbreaking science. The grant offers excellent research groups the opportunity to renew their line of research, enter into new collaborations and perform studies of exceptional quality in the field of health.

In the ZonMw Open Competition applicants may request funding for staff, material, equipment, investment, valorisation/impact and internationalisation. The Investment module includes the possibility of an extra grant for medium-sized infrastructure.

The expected outcome of projects will primarily be to deepen scientific understanding (increased knowledge, development of models and theories) in new collaborations between research groups. ZonMw believes this boost to science will prove a driver of innovation in the longer term.

In line with the process of harmonisation and simplification of funding instruments across the board at NWO, the ZonMw Open Competition replaces ZonMw’s TOP Grants and Medium-sized Investments programmes.


NWO strategy 2019-2022

There are five key ambitions for the period 2019-2022: Nexus, People, Research, Infrastructure and Knowledge sharing. The NWO Open Competition strengthens the ambition People.

Simplification funding instruments

NWO harmonises the current funding instruments as much as possible to facilitate collaboration. As a result, researchers, irrespective of the research domain, will be subject to the same conditions as much as possible. Harmonisation will facilitate both applicants and NWO to work more across the boundaries of disciplines and domains.

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Source: NWO