Universiteit Leiden

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Funders and Funding Schemes

Many national and international research funders can provide financing for your research project.

National Funding

The Netherlands has several national organizations that fund research. The largest Dutch funding schemes are:


The publicly-funded Dutch Research Council (NWO)  provides funding, facilitates collaboration between researchers and institutions, and promotes research excellence across various fields: from natural sciences to social sciences and humanities.

NWO funds curiosity-driven research through their Talent Programme. These individual grant are available by career stage: Veni, Vidi and Vici.

  • Veni, for researchers who have recently obtained their PhD (within the last three years.
  • Vidi, for researchers with several years of research experience (applicants should have completed their PhD  three to eight years ago).
  • Vici, for senior researchers who have already demonstrated their own line of research (applicants should have completed their PhD more than eight years ago).

NWO provides curiosity driven research through their Open Competition line. These grants vary in size and are available across the domains of NWO; Social Science & HumanitiesScience (ENW) & Applied and Exact Science (TTW).

The Dutch Research Agenda  (NWA) provides funding for research into societally-relevant topics. Types of funding available under this initiative are:

The Knowledge and Innovation Covenant (KIC)  stimulates economic growth through research. It started when ministries, Dutch Top Sectors and the knowledge sector worked together to identify key topics of interest. KIC funding programmes, run by the NWO, are:

  • Mission: Thematic programmes of between 5-11 million based on high-priority, economically-relevant topics.Demand: Funding for consortia with public and private partners.
  • Strategy: Large-scale, long-term consortia to develop the scientific field in the Netherlands

Other National Funders

The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) finances specific topics and established scientists.

As a University, we also do research directly with several Dutch government ministries. Please contact your grant advisor if you would like more information on these Tenders.

Horizon Europe

With Horizon Europe, the European Commission (EC) aims to increase Europe's competitiveness by stimulating science and innovation. In addition, the EC wants to challenge industry and academia to work together to solve societal issues across Europe.

The fundamental activity of the ERC, via its main frontier research grants, is to provide attractive, long-term funding to support excellent investigators and their research teams to pursue groundbreaking, high-risk/high-gain research.

  • Starting grant - Researchers of any nationality with 2-7 years of experience since completion of their PhD. Principal Investigators must demonstrate the groundbreaking nature, ambition, and feasibility of their research proposal.
  • Consolidator Grant - Researchers of any nationality with 7-12 years of experience since completion of their PhD. Principal Investigators must demonstrate the groundbreaking nature, ambition, and feasibility of their research proposal.
  • Advanced Grant - Established research leaders of any nationality with a significant track record of research achievements in the last 10 years.
  • Synergy Grant - Support for a small group of two to four Principal Investigators to jointly address ambitious research problems that could not be addressed by the individual Principal Investigators and their teams working alone.
  • Proof of Concept - The ERC Proof of Concept Grants aim at facilitating exploration of the commercial and social innovation potential of ERC-funded research. Therefore they are only available to Principal Investigators whose proposals draw substantially on their ERC funded research.

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) fund excellent research and innovation and equip researchers at all stages of their career with new knowledge and skills, through mobility across borders and exposure to different sectors and disciplines.

  • Postdoctoral Fellowships – These aim to support researchers’ careers and foster excellence in research. For researchers with a PhD who wish to carry out their research activities abroad, acquire new skills and develop their careers
  • Doctoral Networks – These aim to implement doctoral programmes by partnerships of organisations from different sectors across Europe and beyond to train highly skilled doctoral candidates, stimulate their creativity, enhance their innovation capacities and boost their long-term employability.

Promotes collaborative projects and is organized around the the following interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral, cross-policy and cross-border clusters:


Leiden University does research in an international setting with many foreign funders. Please have a look at our registrations page to see which funders we currently work with. For questions regarding working with funders from particular countries, please contact your local grant advisor.

Leiden University Fund (LUF)

The aim of the LUF is to help Leiden University to thrive. LUF provides multiple funding opportunities for Leiden University scholars and students. These are both individual and collaborative in nature and aimed at various career phases. Please visit the LUF website to learn more about the opportunities.

Smaller Funds

Many Foundations provide funds for specific types of research and projects, such as NIAS, Humbolt Foundation, Volkswagen Foundation, Fulbright Center, AXA-research fund, etc. Please contact your local grant advisor for more information on these schemes.

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