Boost of 1 million euros for science communication thanks to new NWA call

4 June 2020

NWO has published a new call for proposals in the area of science communication as part of the Dutch Research Agenda (NWA). The call of 1 million euros must give science communication in the Netherlands a new boost with a broad range of projects.

Funding from the call for proposals NWA Science Communication enables professionals from knowledge institutions, museums and other public organisations to use new forms of science communication, but also to deploy existing forms differently. Ideally, new insights will arise about how to generate impact among a wider public than just the target groups who are already interested in science. The call is specifically aimed at reaching a public that does not automatically come into contact with science, a public that does not yet have a sufficiently clear idea about what exactly science is and its significance for society.

This call for proposals NWA Science Communication falls within the context of programme line 4 of the NWA programme. The funding must give a considerable boost to science communication so that a greater impact is achieved among the general public. Furthermore, the aim is to acquire new knowledge in the Netherlands about how a wide public can be involved in science (and its results) and how the societal embedding of science can be strengthened.

Who can apply?

Applications can be submitted by researchers, but also people with another type of position. The call is open for applicants employed at organisations from one the following categories:
•    universities and universities of applied sciences, TO2 institutions, institutes and government knowledge institutions,
•    not-for-profit organisations with a public task and that carry out research independently,
•    applicants employed at (science) museums that are a member of the Museums Association. They can apply for funding based on the General Block Exemption Regulation (Dutch acronym AGVV).

What can be applied for?

Applications can fall within three funding levels:
•    small projects (maximum € 25,000);
•    medium-sized projects (more than € 25,000 and at most € 50,000);
•    large projects (more than € 50,000 and at most € 200,000).

Applicants can apply for personnel costs and material costs for the realisation of the project. Any allocation between these two categories is permitted.


For medium-sized and large projects a consortium must be formed. Such a consortium is made up of just applicants or from a combination of applicants and collaborating civil society partner(s):
•    for medium-sizes projects, a consortium consists of at least two organisations, and at least one of these is an applicant;
•    for large projects , a consortium consists of at least three organisations, and at least one of these is an applicant
•    collaborating civil society partners include foundations, associations, companies, NGOs and government bodies, who have not been listed as applicants and who play a crucial role in realising the project.

A total of 1 million euros is available for this call. The deadline for submitting proposals is 22 September 2020. After this deadline, a selection committee will assess the proposals. A granting decision will be taken by the NWO Executive Board and is expected in December 2020.

About the Dutch Research Agenda

On behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, NWO has funded research in the context of the Dutch Research Agenda (Dutch acronym NWA) since 2018. The aim of the NWA is to provide a positive, structural contribution to the knowledge society of tomorrow, by building bridges now and jointly tackling scientific and societal challenges. Amongst other things, this is realised via programme line 4 that focuses on science communication.

Beside societal impact, relevant and engaging science communication makes a significant contribution to the embracing of science in general and research results in particular. The more effective the science communication field is in reaching the general public and interesting them in how science benefits the Netherlands, the greater the acceptation of science by the general public will be.

Source: NWO