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Kiem call: apply for a seed grant for interdisciplinary research

27 June 2023

Please note: this call closed on 30 June 2023.

Finding answers for societal challenges requires an interdisciplinary approach, since these issues do not adhere to disciplinary boundaries (e.g. challenges relating to climate,  health and migration). Breakthroughs in some fundamental science questions may also be found at the boundaries of disciplines and between disciplines. Leiden University therefore aims to encourage these interdisciplinary collaborations.

The Kiem (Dutch for ‘seed’) call is a Leiden University initiative, offering seed grants of €10,000 maximum per project for developing new interdisciplinary (and interfaculty) research collaborations and encounters. In 2023 this Kiem call initiative has funding available for 22 proposals. An application for the Kiem call must include colleagues from at least two (and preferably more) faculties of Leiden University. These grants are not intended for projects focusing on the research of one individual researcher or to support primarily interuniversity projects.

Proposals may focus on network building, organising seminars and workshops, conducting a pilot study, producing publications, creating research proposals, etc. The Kiem call funding is not intended to exempt the researcher from teaching, but it may be used for other personnel-related expenses, such as hiring student assistants or management assistants and support for meetings.

Who can apply

Applicants should be researchers with a paid appointment (permanent or temporary) at Leiden University, excluding PhD candidates. Applicants with a temporary appointment must have a contract for at least the duration of the initiative. All applications should include at least two researchers, each from a different faculty, and at least one early-career researcher (i.e. PhD awarded after 2015).

Admissibility requirements

  • The proposal promotes interdisciplinary research through encounters, connections and collaborations between faculties; 
  • The proposal includes researchers from at least two faculties; 
  • Ongoing, existing initiatives are not eligible (e.g. organising an annual event);
  • New proposals from existing collaborations are welcome; 
  • The proposal includes at least one early-career researcher (i.e. PhD awarded after 2015);
  • Each researcher is included in no more than one submitted proposal; 
  • The budget and timeline fit within the specified frameworks (€10,000 and maximum duration of 24 months);
  • All the required information has been supplied (see below). 


Applications may be submitted using this application form and must include the following information: 

  • Title of the application 
  • Brief summary
  • Description of the project and explanation of how it will contribute to more interdisciplinary collaboration
  • List of participating researchers, faculties/institutes, contact details and year of PhD award 
  • A project budget, using this budget form


If more than 22 applications are submitted, the Kiem call will be awarded by drawing lots (after the admissibility requirements have been checked).

The complete application may be sent by email to Caroline de Ruijter: kiemcall@bb.leidenuniv.nl. Applications must be sent before 30 June 2023. 

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