24 Starting science talents go to top foreign institutions thanks to Rubicon

Foto Rubicon onderzoeker die een boek leest

24 researchers who have recently received their PhDs can do their research at foreign research institutes thanks to a Rubicon grant from NWO. The Rubicon programme gives young, highly promising researchers the opportunity to gain international research experience.

They investigate, amongst others, why the gender pay gap has stopped decreasing and the effect of synthetic chemicals on biodiversity. Another researcher tests whether social-cognitive processes, defender-/victim characteristics and norms contribute to successful defending against bullying.

Directly to research projects Rubicon 2021, round 1

Top institutions

For many researchers, experience abroad is an important step in their career. Thanks to the Rubicon grant these young researchers can do their research at top institutions such as Oxford and Harvard. 

NWO is complying with the measures announced by the Dutch government to tackle the coronavirus. This will have an impact on the funding rounds, ongoing research and NWO’s policy. NWO will ensure that these activities do not stop. The current circumstances require appropriate measures, which will differ per instrument. This means that the researchers awarded Rubicon funding in this round will only start their research when the situation is safe for them.

Facts and figures

76 researchers submitted a proposal for Rubicon, 34 of them women and 42 men. The overall award rate was 31,6%. The award rate was 35.3% for women and 28.6% for men. The majority of the researchers will go abroad for a period of 24 months. A total of 21 Rubicon researchers are going abroad for 24 months, the rest for 12 to 18 months. Six laureates are going to the United States, Five to the United Kingdom. Five laureates are going to Germany. Two laureates are going to Zweden, two to Switzerland. The rest of the individual researchers are going to Canada, Finland, Denmark and Spain.


With a Rubicon grant researchers can spend up to 24 months doing research at a foreign institution. The size of the grant is dependent on the destination chosen and the duration of the stay. Each year, NWO can fund about 60 young researchers within Rubicon (for a total amount of 7 million euros allocated over three rounds). The awards in this item concern two combined rounds of  2020.