Second Wave | Research Programme COVID-19 | NWO-ZonMW

Second wave

Following in the footsteps of the first wave COVID-19, ZonMw is now launching the so-called second wave research programme. This programme comprises a total of €27 million and is funded by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport; the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science; and NWO. It concerns both research and practical projects.

Its three main objectives are to combat and contain the current pandemic; to generate new knowledge about pan- and epidemics; and to gain insights into the (global) societal dynamics, both during and after such a health crisis. The programme does not only concern medical research: Projects from all scientific fields are eligible.

Proposals can be submitted within the following three themes, each comprising different types of projects:

  • Predictive diagnostics and treatment
    • Urgent clinical trials
    • Urgent, non-clinical research into treatment or prevention
  • Care and prevention (including transmission)
    • Care organisation
    • Caring for vulnerable citizens
    • Transmission
  • Social dynamics
    • Research into the effectiveness of corona measures
    • Research into social resilience
    • Research into economic resilience

Finally, there is also a budget available for small studies and projects (max. €25,000) that contribute to answering policy questions and giving practical impulses.


The following budgeting applies for each subject:

Predictive diagnostics and treatment€9.645.000,-
Care and prevention€7.945.000,-
Social dynamics€6.809.000,-
Practical impulses and policy questions€1.351.000,-
Communication and implementation€ 250.000,-
Implementation costs€1.000.000,-

For the three main themes outlined above, proposals can be submitted via two tracks:

  • Urgent research questions track
  • Bottom-up funding track


The following requirements apply to both tracks:

  • The research is of great importance because it has the potential to have an impact in the short term (within six months).
  • The Netherlands has a unique position to execute this research (added value).
  • The research is not already taking place elsewhere.
  • A competent research group is available to start the project within two weeks.
  • Intended results should also have an impact in the long term.

More information on proposals concerning policy questions and practical impulses will be made available at a later date.


The call for proposals for themes 1 and 2 was launched on 1 May and will close on 14 May (14:00). The call for Theme 3 and policy questions and practical orientations was also launched on 6 May. The call is open until 25 May (14:00). It is expected that the first requests will be honoured at the end of June, beginning of July.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Quality
  • Feasibility
  • Relevance (this criterium applies to the bottom-up funding track only)


Share this article via: LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook