NWO Open Competition ENW – something for every need

Exacte en Natuurwetenschappen

The NWO domain ENW has recently restructured its Open Competition grant instrument.

From now on the Open Competition provides an answer to many needs in the form of three different grant programs:

  • NWO OC ENW – M (previously NWO small)
  • NWO OC ENW – XL (previously NWO large)

NWO Open Competition ENW – XS

The ENW – XS program enables innovative yet risky initiatives within the research areas of the NWO-domain ENW. The proposed research must be paradigm shifting and contribute to scientific progress at large. An ENW-XS grant provides the applicant with €50.000.

After a first successful pilot in 2019-2020, of which the last application round closes on September 1st, 2020, we expect the call for the next round of the ENW-XS grant to be published in the fall of 2020.

The ENW-XS call is suitable for everyone with a paradigm shifting idea, whose feasibility has yet to be demonstrated.

NWO Open Competition ENW – M

The ENW-M grants offer researchers the opportunity to perform original, innovative, and high-risk research that will lead to scientific innovations that lie at the basis of the new research themes of the future.

There are three categories of ENW-M grants:

  • ENW-M-1 (1 scientific position)
  • ENW-M-2 (2 scientific positions)
  • ENW-M-invest (investments into infrastructure/equipment)

Starting on August 6th, 2020, applications for all three categories can be submitted. The 2020-2021 application round will close once the allotted budget of €30 million has been depleted. It is therefore important to apply as quick as possible and not wait too long with your application, since funds may run out.  The 2020-2021 round of ENW-M is expected to be published in August 2021

The ENW-M grant scheme is well suited for both principle investigators and younger researchers that are currently establishing their own research groups.

NWO Open Competition ENW – XL

De ENW-XL grants support consortia of researchers that will create added scientific value through their collaboration, especially when compared to research funded by personal grants (e.g. ENW-M). The program supports excellent challenging and innovative fundamental research and will publish a call every two years.

We expect the call for proposals for 2021 to be published by October 2020. The expected deadline for pre-applications is set for April 2021.

The ENW-XL grants are mainly interesting for principle investigators that set out to lay the foundation of a new field of research through interdisciplinary collaboration.



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