Comenius programme

The Comenius programme stimulates innovation in Dutch higher education.

The grants and fellowships enable professionals in higher education to implement their ideals and ideas in practice. By facilitating a wide range of educational innovations each year, the programme contributes to the improvement of Higher Education in the Netherlands. Furthermore, by demonstrably valuing excellent and inspired teaching, the ministry of education is keen to contribute to more variety in the careers of teachers and researchers at universities and universities of applied sciences.

The Comenius Programme has three ‘tiers’:

  • Teaching Fellow (€50,000, one-year project, small-scale innovation)
  • Senior Fellow (€100,000, two-year project, innovation in a complete degree programme)
  • Leadership Fellow (€250,000, three-year project, innovation in one or more faculties or a complete institution.)

Budget & who can apply?
In 2018, a total of 74 Fellowships can be awarded to 46 Teaching Fellows, 22 Senior Fellows and 6 Leadership Fellows. The budget is split evenly between projects at Universities of Applied Sciences (HBO) and Research Universities (WO).

Applications can be submitted by professionals working in publicly funded higher educational institutes in the Netherlands. For each tier, specific terms and regulations apply.

Substantive themes (Teaching & Senior Fellowships)
Teaching and Senior Fellows submit their proposals in any of the three substantive themes, or the open category:

Applications are assesed on the following criteria:

  1. Innovative nature of the project
  2. Expected result of the project
  3. Quality of the project and research plan
  4. Results for other teachers/professionals in (Dutch) higher education
  5. Teaching experience and vision of the applicant

Additional information on the character of the Comenius projects, the themes and criteria and the application and assessment procedure can be found in the calls for proposals

Calls for Proposals & How to apply
Deadlines for the letter of intent and information on how to apply can be found on the Funding Pages on the NWO website:

Frequently Asked Questions
Click here for a list of Frequently Asked Questions (English)

On 14 June 2017, NRO hosted an information session on the Comenius Programme.
» a powerpoint presentation that was presented that day (in Dutch).

Previous rounds of the Comenius programme
2018 will be the first year Fellowships in all three tiers are granted. In 2017, the first ten Comenius Teaching Fellowships were granted.
» more information about these projects (in Dutch).