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Fund your individual research career with the NWO Innovational Research Incentives Scheme

July 03 2017

There are several individual research grants available for researchers within life sciences. But how do you know you are ready to apply for such a personal grant?

We have in the past provided an overview of the ERC frontier research grants. In this article, we discuss one of the leading individual grants for scientists at Dutch host institutions, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) Incentives Scheme, as well as the requirements that should be met by the researchers applying for such grant.

Scientific excellence

There are three grants within the NWO Incentives Scheme that can be applied for by researchers, depending on their career stage: Veni, Vidi and Vici. With a focus on scientific creativity and unrestrained science, with these grants NWO aims to encourage innovative research that can lead to surprising and even groundbreaking results. The main criterion for obtaining a Veni, Vidi or Vici grant is scientific excellence. NWO is looking for excellent researchers with a striking and original talent for doing challenging and pioneering research, which should be conveyed through:

  • work experience since completing your PhD;
  • academic staff supervised (e.g. PhD students and postdoc researchers);
  • brief summary of research over the last five years;
  • international and other academic activities (e.g. study visits abroad, collaborations, memberships of editorial boards);
  • grants, scholarships and prizes;
  • up to five top publications related to the subject of this proposal;
  • total number of output items (e.g. refereed articles, non-refereed articles, letters (to editors), books, book chapters, patents and other such as invited lectures, working papers, proceedings);
  • median impact factors for your own field.

Are you ready for an NWO Incentives Scheme grant?

Below we provide a comprehensive overview of which NWO Incentives Scheme grant applies to which stage of your career and the specific requirements of these grants.

Veni

Scientific eligibility criteria

Outstanding researchers with a striking talent for scientific research, who have obtained their doctorate within the last three years. Extension is possible on the grounds of care responsibilities, pregnancy, illness and/or training in a clinical specialism.

Your track record should show:

  • that you are in the top 10 to 20% of your international peer group;
  • academic excellence as demonstrated by the PhD thesis, publications and/or other relevant achievements in the field;
  • inspiring enthusiasm for research and/or technology;
  • persuasiveness;
  • clear indications of an outstanding talent for academic research.

Next deadlines

This is a yearly returning call, but it is currently not open for applications. The next deadline is expected in January 2018. For more information visit our Life Sciences Funding Database.

Vidi

Scientific eligibility criteria

Excellent researchers with a demonstrated ability to generate and effect innovative ideas independently, who have obtained their doctorate within the last eight years. Extension is possible on the grounds of care responsibilities, pregnancy, illness and/or training in a clinical specialism.

Your track record should show:

  • that you are in the top 10 to 20% of your international peer group;
  • academic excellence as demonstrated by e.g. the PhD thesis, publications and/or other scientific achievements;
  • inspiring enthusiasm for research and/or technology;
  • persuasiveness;
  • that you are demonstrably capable of generating innovative ideas and independently developing these successfully;
  • that you have both a good national and international position;
  • that you are capable of leading and supervising other researchers and staff.

Next deadlines

A funding round is held every year, but this call is currently closed. The next deadline is expected October 2017. For more information visit our Life Sciences Funding Database.

Vici

Scientific eligibility criteria

Outstanding senior researchers with a demonstrated ability to develop their own innovative lines of research and act as coaches for young researchers, who have obtained their PhD within the last fifteen years. Extension is possible on the grounds of care responsibilities, pregnancy, illness and/or training in a clinical specialism.

Your track record should show:

  • that you are in the top 10% of your international peer group;
  • academic excellence as demonstrated by numerous publications of international standing and/or other academic achievements;
  • inspiring enthusiasm for research and/or technology;
  • persuasiveness;
  • that you are demonstrably capable of successfully developing own new innovative line of research;
  • that you have both a national and international prominent position;
  • that you have demonstrable leadership and coaching skills.

Next deadlines

There is a two-stage application process for this call. Deadline for submission of pre-proposals was March 23 2017. Full proposals are due August 24 2017, at 14:00 CET. For more information visit our Life Sciences Funding Database.

It’s not only about your CV

However, applications are not only assessed on the basis of quality of the researcher. The quality, innovative character and academic impact of the proposed research counts for 40% of the score, while knowledge utilisation counts for 20%. Therefore, do not forget to highlight the originality of your project and how it will make an important contribution to society and to the advancement of science.

Request assistance

If you feel confident that you are the ideal candidate for a Veni, Vidi or Vici grant or would like to further discuss your chances in this competitive funding scheme, feel free to contact us for help and advice.

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Karlijn Bastiaansen, PhD