ZonMw – Efficiency Studies

comparing two methods

Efficiency studies are about determining which treatment methods yield the best results and at what cost. This is often done by comparing two methods. The ultimate goal is high-quality, affordable care.

The Efficiency Studies programme has been financing research into effectiveness in comparison to costs of non-pharmaceutical care since 1999. The financed projects yield knowledge about which care has added value, and which care should no longer or not be applied.

Programme 2022-2026

In 2020, the ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport decided to extend the programme for the period 2022-2026. 48.7 million euros will be made available for this.

The main objective of the upcoming programme is developing socially relevant and high-quality knowledge about the efficiency of innovative and existing non-pharmaceutical interventions. To realise this, three programme objectives have been formulated:

  • Development of socially relevant knowledge
  • Development of high-quality knowledge and quick implementation of studies
  • Making developed knowledge accessible and usable

Grant types

The programme contains several different subsidy types:

  • Open calls: research into health care efficiency issues arising in health care practice and policy making.
  • Preparatory studies: exploratory and supporting research in preparation for an efficiency study. The following types of studies are eligible:
    • Pilot study
    • Feasibility study
    • Systematic review
    • Meta-analysis
  • Incentive grants: for setting up and/or intensifying partnerships between stakeholders, and for engaging additional support and expertise.
  • Targeted call: for current and urgent questions around efficiency.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Necessity to apply for the incentive grant
  • Topic should be consistent with the Efficiency Studies programme 2022-2026
  • Quality of the partnership and the tangible contribution made by the incentive grant
  • Activities: Quality of the project plan
  • Final product: The final product must be full grant applications mentioned above
  • Feasibility: Realistic planning and timeline


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This fact sheet aims to provide a quick overview of the objectives, structure, and conditions of this subsidy scheme. No conclusions can be drawn from this information. Moreover, this document has no legal status.

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