Aspasia programme to be modified in context of centralisation of funding lines

23 January 2020

NWO is focusing its funding policy on the five primary funding lines and is therefore modifying the Aspasia programme. The Aspasia programme will continue to exist, but as of January 2020 the available budget will be 4.2 million euros, which will change the scope of the individual grants.


With a budget of 4.2 million euros, the size of the grant for Vidi and Vici recipients is 40,000 euros, whereas the amount for applicants who did not receive a grant but were nevertheless assessed as good or excellent is 120,000 euros. Approximately 50 Aspasia candidates are therefore expected to receive a grant, and the grant will remain available for both Talent Scheme laureates and candidates. These changes will enter into force in the next round of the Aspasia programme, which is linked to the 2019 Talent Scheme round with the decision process taking place in 2020.

From 2021 onwards, the available budget for Aspasia will be 3 million euros. In the first half of 2020, a proposal will be developed in agreement with the universities about the design of the Aspasia programme from 2021 onwards.

Ongoing commitment to inclusion and diversity

NWO remains committed in various areas to an inclusive and diverse academic world and has set up different initiatives within its own funding lines for that purpose. The focus is on diversification in terms of gender, migration background and career paths. NWO is not only introducing modifications to NWO procedures, but there is also an ongoing cultural shift regarding the way research is recognised and rewarded. NWO wrote the position paper ‘Room for everyone’s talent’ to that end together with the VSNU, NFU, KNAW and ZonMw. To promote diversification in research, a pilot project was conducted in the Talent Scheme with narrative CVs, and initial responses were positive. In line with professors Ellemers and Van der Lee’s advice to discourage unwelcome implicit associations, NWO is committed to providing training and instruction, and diversifying its evaluation committees and referees. Attention will also be devoted to language use in NWO procedures to make it more accessible for applicants. NWO will also contribute to the development of the National Inclusion and Diversity Action Plan in Science. This action plan will be set up in 2020 with key players in the field of science under the supervision of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

About the Aspasia programme

The Aspasia programme advocates equal representation of women in the higher levels of academia and encourages universities to promote talented female academics to the level of associate or full professor. The programme has entered its twentieth year and during this time it has provided impetus for the promotion of female academics.

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Source: NWO