Science Diplomacy Fund (SDF)

Science Diplomacy Fund (SDF)

In 2020, NWO established a new fund that will be used to organise activities in the field of science diplomacy with countries that the Netherlands wants to intensify its diplomatic relations with. A part of the fund will be allocated through an annual call for proposals aimed at knowledge institutions in the Netherlands. The remaining part will be earmarked for activities organised by NWO together with knowledge institutions and Dutch embassies and consulates in specific countries.

Possible partner countries

Within the SDF, specific budget will be reserved for two countries: Turkey and Russia. The remaining budget will be made available for science diplomacy activities in other countries outside of Europe, and priority will be given to countries with which NWO realises bilateral research programmes in the context of the Merian Fund: Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa.


The activities funded by the SDF are science for diplomacy activities: scientific activities that make a positive contribution to the diplomatic relations between the Netherlands and the partner country. Activities must also contribute to the visibility and international position of Dutch science. Possible activities are scientific seminars/workshops or seminars/workshops at the interface of policy and science on subjects that contribute to improving the bilateral relations between the Netherlands and the partner country.

Implementation of NWO strategy

The establishment of the Science Diplomacy Fund is a further elaboration of the NWO strategy 2019-2022 “Connecting Science and Society”, in which NWO announced that it would deploy visitor grants and other funding instruments in a more strategic manner.

Funding instrument for this programme

All grants for Science Diplomacy Fund