NWO also facilitates non-thematic project applications, so-called Free or Open Competition.

The NWO divisions each have different types of research schemes in this respect.

  • Chemical Sciences (CW): The Free Competition of the NWO Chemical Sciences consists of TOP and ECHO grants. For more information: TOP Grants and ECHO Grants.
  • Earth and Life Sciences (ALW): Researchers in the earth and life sciences can develop their own new lines of research with funding from the Open Programme. For more information: Open Programme.
  • Humanities (GW): Within the Free Competition Humanities, researchers can apply for funding for curiosity-driven research that does not fall under the thematic funding programmes. For more information: Free Competition.
  • Physical Sciences (EW): The Physical Science TOP-Grants for curiosity-driven research scheme is divided into two modules: Module 1 is a grant for senior researchers, module 2 is a grant for junior researchers. For more information: TOP grants
  • Physics (N): None
  • Social Sciences (MaGW): Research Talent is a funding scheme that offers young researchers a platform to pursue a scientific career and carry out research. On behalf of the candidate the envisaged promoter submits a pre-proposal. For more information: Research Talent.
  • WOTRO Science for Global Development: None
  • Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM): Vrije Programma (Closed until further notice)
  • Technology Foundation STW: The Open Technology Programme. For more information please click here (no English version available).
  • Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMW): The TOP subsidy from ZonMW is intended for researchers to conduct innovative research with high risk. For more information: TOP subsidies.