Credit pxhere - Paul van de Velde

Thematic Programming (NWA)

On behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW), NWO has funded research in the context of the Dutch Research Agenda (Dutch acronym: NWA) since 2018, including research via thematic programming that is realised in collaboration with government ministries. The NWA states challenging and trendsetting issues that connect with the strengths of Dutch science, the major societal challenges of this time and the economic opportunities that arise. Specific thematic programming for urgent societal themes ties in with this.

  • Aim and objectives

    Questions from government

    The NWA offers government ministries the possibility to encourage research into themes that are particularly relevant for them and to find substantiated answers to societal questions that are high on the agenda. Each year, the ministries can put forward themes and policy questions that they would like to be investigated. Several of these questions are further developed into calls for proposals with an additional financial contribution from the NWA.

    Building bridges

    Thematic programmes from the NWA are mainly intended to build bridges between the various scientific disciplines, between different types of research (fundamental, applied, practice-oriented) and between various national and international agendas. Far-reaching multidisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity, a knowledge-chain-wide approach and collaboration with societal partners including government ministries, companies and NGOs are therefore crucial characteristics in the consortia that realise projects and programmes.

    Societal embedding and support

    Knowledge transfer, knowledge utilisation and application of the results throughout the duration of the projects are vital within thematic programmes, as these aspects optimise the societal embedding of the calls and generate support for the usability of the outcomes for policy and implementation.

  • Budget and duration


    The available budget varies per theme.


    The publication of the thematic calls is spread throughout the year.