NWO facilitates in all domains non-thematic project applications, the so-called Open Competition. 

Domain Applied and engineering sciences

Scientific research financed by TTW always concerns innovative research with a potential for utilization.

  • Open Technology Program: This program open to innovative research with a clear focus on application of the results in industry. The program offers companies and other organisations an easily accessible way of becoming involved in scientific research that leads to usable knowledge. Applications can be submitted throughout the year. 
  • Open Mind: This small grant is for researchers with a brilliant idea how technology can be used to solve major societal issues and thereby help people, society and the world. The program encourages researchers to submit out-of-the-box research ideas that contribute to creative and sustainable solutions for global societal challenges. 

Domain Science 

The Science Domain has Open Competition with several options to fund one or more scientific positions, investments, and collaborations with other scientists.

  • ENW XS: This grant is open for university employees across the line: from postdoctoral researchers to full time professors. It and has several application rounds per year. It started in 2019 as a pilot where all applicants take part in the assessment of other XS proposals. It is meant for encouraging curiosity and new ideas in research as part of promising, high-risk projects
  • ENW KLEIN 0, KLEIN I and KLEIN II: These grants are intended for realising curiosity-driven, fundamental research of high quality or scientific urgency. Researchers have the possibility to elaborate on creative and risky ideas and to realise scientific innovations that can form the basis for the research themes of the future. The KLEIN grants have a continuous application procedure. 
  • ENW GROOT: This grant gives researchers the opportunity and freedom to strengthen or expand excellent, challenging and innovative lines of research, as a part of a consortium for curiosity-driven, fundamental research.

Domain Social Sciences and Humanities 

The Social Sciences and Humanities Domain has an Open Competition for scientists that obtained their PhD >15 years ago. The procedure has a pre-proposal and full proposal phase. There is one apllication round per year. See more information.

The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (managed by ZonMw)

This ZonMw Open Competition is a curiosity-driven research programme that gives the possibility to renew your research line, start new collaborations and preform excellent science in the health domain. Collaboration among new groups is a key criterion. Your PhD date should be >15 years ago to be eligible to submit. Check the website of ZonMw for more information.

DUTCH RESEarch agenda (NWA)

The Dutch Research Agenda (NWA) is the framework for a joint approach that urgent challenges the Netherlands faces must be tackled together with the entire scientific field. The NWA Idea Generator has a creative and innovative focus and with a potential for societal impact. This grant supports out-of-the-box thinkers to submit creative, exciting and innovative research ideas which are relevant for the NWA program.