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NWA–ORC 2020/2021 new call: 1 October deadline registration initiatives

The new round of the Dutch Research Agenda (NWA), Research along Routes by Consortia (NWA-ORC) is announced. The NWA consists of 25 routes and 140 questions on topics formulated by the Dutch public. Consortia need to focus on one or more of the 140 cluster questions in their proposal. This and next year’s call has been combined due to the Corona outbreak, resulting in an increased overall budget for this one round.

Each consortium needs to be (1) knowledge-chain-wide, (2) interdisciplinary, and (3) involve cooperation with civil society organisations, including industry. The goal is to create a breakthrough in answering one of the 140 cluster questions.

New this year

This year there is a focus on the cluster questions, on top of the general routes in the NWA. So consider your route and question(s) carefully prior to the initiative registration. During this initiative registration, which is mandatory in order to be able to submit a pre-proposal, the main applicant, NWA cluster question, and NWA route and research idea have to be registered. These cannot be altered after the initiative has been registered.

Also, consider that successful main applicants of previous years (2018/2019) are no longer eligible to submit again this round as the main applicant.

We invite all researchers to join the NWA-ORC online events

Get the basics

Register to the online webinar of NWO on the NWA-ORC to get in touch with NWA programme coordinator Varsha Karpoerchan. Hear all about the new elements of this year’s call and go to breakout sections to ask your questions on specific topics.

Hear what its really about

Planning to hand in an initiative this year? Join the online SBD-Grants Office UT ‘meet-up’, where you can get in touch with Prof. Barend van der Meulen, an NWA-ORC committee member from 2018 & 2019, to hear about his experiences and perspective on the NWA. In addition, you will be informed about the support the SBD-Grants Office can offer in the process and on the new impact plan approach. Also, the procedure around the confirmation letter (mandatory in the pre-proposal phase) will be explained. If you were unable to join in the online NWO meeting, SBD-Grants Office can answer any question that you may still have on the NWA-ORC.


Thursday, 17 September 2020


NWO webinar:13:30 – 15:30
UT online meeting: 15:45 - 16:45 

Facts on the NWA-ORC call 2020/2021

Total funding available: €132,2 million

3 Project sizes: 

  • 500 K – ≤ 2M euros;
  • 2M – ≤ 5M euros;
  • 5M – ≤ 10M euros.

Co-funding: 10% of total; in cash or in-kind

Maximum duration of project: 8 years

Mandatory matchmaking event in October/November


  • registering initiatives (mandatory): 1 October 2020, 14:00 CEST.
  • submission pre-proposal phase: 14 January 2021, 14:00 CET
  • submission full proposal phase: 24 June 2021, 14:00 CEST

Where to find information online

All information on the NWA call 2020/2021 is gathered on the NWA-ORC page of the SBD-Grants Office - UT website.

Proposal information and how to register an initiative can be found on the website of NWO.

More information

For more information you can contact the SBD-Grants Office via