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The Dutch National Research Agenda (NWA) invites researchers from all fields of science to come up with proposals for research that connects science and society. The second round of the NWA-ORC programme has been opened, and there is a new funding instrument for small-scale, innovative projects with a high potential for breakthroughs, the NWA Idea Generator.


The aim of the NWA-ORC 2019 call for proposals is to fund research and innovation focused on the NWA routes, designed and implemented by interdisciplinary consortia spanning the entire knowledge chain, in which relevant social partners are also represented. The participating co-financiers should jointly contribute at least 10% of the total project budget in the form of co-funding (in cash or in-kind).

This round consists of three phases:

  • Deadline for submitting initiatives: 9 May 2019. It is compulsory for consortia to announce their initiative online. This way, potential partners can show their interest and possibly join the consortium
  • Deadline for submitting pre-proposals: 6 June 2019. It is compulsory in 2019 to include a signature of the highest administrative authority of the main applicant when submitting the pre-proposal.
  • Deadline for submitting selected full proposals: 16 January 2020


The first phase of the application procedure (submission of initiatives) is not subject to assessment. Pre-proposals will be assessed per budget range (€0,5 - €2 mln, €2 - €5 mln and €5 - €10 mln) by the selection committee(s) without consulting external referees. Applicants are given the opportunity to submit a reaction to the motivation of the selection committee. These reactions will be taken into account by the selection committee in their final assessment of the concise proposal (this is a binding decision). The applicants of the highest ranked concise proposals in each budget range receive an invitation to submit a full proposal (unlike the 2018 round, this will be a binding decision).

Idea Generator (NWA-IDG)

The Idea Generator intends to advance research with potential for high societal gain which also comes with a high risk of failure by supporting creative, out-of-the-box thinkers to submit exciting and innovative ideas which are relevant for the NWA-programme. Small projects can be funded to further develop a new idea by doing research. Applicants of all disciplines and backgrounds are welcome. Proposals that focus on practice-oriented research, applied research or fundamental research are welcome. (Young) researchers can individually apply, but they can also work together with co-applicants. The deadline for submitting proposals is 2 May 2019.

Main applicants do not need to have a permanent position. Application is thus also open for PhD-candidates, postdocs, researchers at Universities of Applied Sciences or other researchers with a temporary position. The maximum grant amount is € 50k per project, for one year. There are no requirements or obligations on the form of the research. This means that any type of research suited to execute the proposed idea is possible. Examples of types of research that could be chosen for are (societal) internships, living labs/field labs/knowledge labs, ‘researchers in society’ where researchers can perform a project at a public or private organisation.