Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO)

Name translated in English

Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research

Postal address

PO Box 93138
2509 AC The Hague
The Netherlands

Visiting address

Laan van Nieuw Oost Indië 300
2593 CE Den Haag


+31 (0)70 344 06 40


+31 (0)70 385 09 71




NWO stimulates, initiates and coordinates fundamental and strategical scientific research in all branches of science. It furthers the quality of scientific research by subsidizing and informing about subsidized research.


NWO is an independent organization established by Act of Parliament in 1988. It succeeded the Netherlands Organization for the Advancement of Pure Scientific Research (ZWO).

NWO is a decentralized organization. It comprises seven Councils which represent as many fields of science: Geo and Life Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Physical Sciences, Humanities, Social Sciences, the Medical Sciences and Technical Sciences. The Councils are responsible for the implementation of research policy and resource distribution in their area. When allocating funds they are responsible to the Governing Board.

In addition there are two multidisciplinary foundations, reporting directly to the Governing Board. These are the Netherlands Foundation for the Advancement of Tropical Research (WOTRO) and the National Computing Facilities Foundation (NCF).

The Councils account for over 70 percent of the NWO funds, channeling the major part of NWO's resources into academic Ph.D. and post-doctoral research. A system of open competition is operated in which researchers are invited to submit grant applications. Peer review plays an important role in the assessment of applications. The Governing Board is responsible for the policy of the organization as a whole and assigns funds to the Councils from the central budget. The NWO office is headed by the Director General, who is also Secretary to the Governing Board.

Independent advisory committees evaluate the research proposals. In order to increase the transparency of the organization on behalf of the social environment, every Council is monitored by a social advisory council. Within NWO, the evaluation of research proposals and the decision-making concerning the grants are formally separated.

Additional activities

The organisation of lectures.


Hypothese (quarterly)

Related internet links


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