Both individual researchers and research groups at Dutch universities and research institutes can turn towards the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) for funding. NWO invests almost €1 billion annually in curiosity-driven research, research focused on societal challenges, and in research infrastructure.
Funding is for knowledge institutions only. Other consortium partners act as co-funders, cooperation partners or users. Common budget modules are: personnel costs (temporary research positions), material costs, investments, knowledge utilisation, internationalisation, Money follows Cooperation and project management.
NWO’s funding instruments can be broadly divided into six focus areas, within which several schemes are available: Talent, Valorisation, Open Competition, Knowledge and Innovation Covenant (KIC), National Science Agenda (NWA) and (Scientific) Infrastructure.
Within the first three categories, the researcher determines the topic and purpose of the research. These schemes reappear annually and there is broad competition. Calls within KIC, NWA and Infrastructure have a specific theme or scope, which is determined by government policy and focuses on societal impact. These calls are often issued once and competition is much less broad.