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Museum Grants

The programme Museum Grants shapes the possibility to do short-term research in one of more than 400 museums in the Netherlands. The research is headed by museum expert and takes place in collaboration with university researchers. The results will be published in an article that will be made available in open access form.

The intended aim of the Museum Grant is to explore and shed more light on the ideas, materials and objects in museum collections. The second sub-round is currently open: you can submit your proposal for research funding until 21 September 2021. Various conditions are attached to the proposal, the details of which you can find in the call for proposals.


Go to the call for proposals

  • Purpose and objectives

    The aim is that the research results directly benefit museum practice. Therefore only museum employees who have a tenured or temporary contract from a museum can submit research proposals. The research proposal must clearly explain the importance of the research for the museum institution or the museum sector.

    With their research, employees of museums may contribute to scientific research into museum collections and the development of this scientific domain. Besides the scientific objective, the research projects realised within the programme can provide a reason to further develop and refine guidelines and criteria for the rewarding of scientific museum research.

  • Budget and lead time

    The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science made 1.3 million euros available for a new round of the programme. NWO is realising the programme in 2020 and 2021. NWO had previously initiated a Museum Grants programme in 2014 and 2018, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. These programmes also concerned the development of talent and scientific research in the museums sector. Since then, fourteen succesful projects were realised. The results of these projects have been bunled in a publication about the Museum Grants.

    In April 2021, the first five projects from sub-round I were awarded funding. Applications for sub-round II can be submitted until 21 September 2021.

  • Proposals by museum employees

    You can submit a proposal if:

    • you have a master’s degree (or a comparable qualification);
    • you have a tenured or temporary contract at the museum during the research;
    • the museum is registered in the Dutch Museum Register.

    Please note: this means that when you submit the proposal, you do not have to be employed at the museum, as long as you can enter a temporary contract to realise the research.

    What can you apply for?

    A grant of at most 25,000 euros for scientific research, consisting of:

    • Between 10,000 and 20,000 euros for personnel costs;
    • A fixed amount of 5000 euros for the supervising researcher;
    • From 0 euros upwards for material costs.

    All costs must be directly related to the research.

    Personnel costs are salary costs for the applicant and (possible) additional personnel. Material costs include diverse cost items. Examples are travel costs, costs for using materials and equipment, costs of purchasing software and access to databases, and publication costs.

    Please read the full conditions in the call for proposals

  • The museum’s own contribution

    At least 20% of the total research budget should be funded by your own institution. That can be done in various ways, for example:
    - You want to make use of one of the museum’s machines in your research to discern paint layers in the painting. The use of the machine involves costs. In the budget, you can enter these costs as part of your own institution’s contribution.

    • You need support from specialists during the research. The costs for this can be covered in the budget by the museum.
    • You provide a budget in which 20% of all personnel and material costs are paid for by the museum.

    Please read the full conditions in the call for proposals

Publications for this programme

Since 2015, fourteen succesful projects were realised. The results of these projects have been bunled in a publication about the Museum Grants [only available in Dutch].