NRO working methods

Please note that NRO calls for proposals usually are published in Dutch and that applications usually need to be written in Dutch.

The procedure for submitting a research proposal to NRO is, in principle, the same as the procedure for the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), which NRO is a unit of. This is to ensure that funding is allocated to the best scientific talent and the best research proposals in a meticulous and objective manner.

Broadly speaking the submission of a research proposal to NRO proceeds as follows:

  • Publication of the call for proposals. NRO does its utmost to ensure that applicants have sufficient time to write a good proposal. 
Calls are often announced on this website several months before the deadline of applying. When a call is published you can find this under the deadlines (in Dutch). The complete call for proposals is always published on the website of the Dutch research council NWO.
    To see examples of the NRO calls, we offer some in English:
    – Call for Proposals – Human Capital; 21st Century Skills  (online pdf)
    – Call for Proposals – Open and online higher education (online pdf)
    – Call for Proposals – Differentiation in Education (online pdf)
    Call for Proposals – Postdocs in Educational Sciences (online pdf)
    Messages about the publication of new calls are also announced via @hetNRO on Twitter and in the NRO newsletter (both in Dutch).
  • Applicants submit their proposal via the electronic application system of NWO: ISAAC. For this applicants need to have an ISAAC account. Read more about ISAAC on the NWO website.
  • Assessment: after the deadline has passed, NRO asks several experts to assess the applications. Their background is either science, policy, or educational practice.
  • All proposals are discussed by the selection committee, which takes into account the advice already issued by the experts. Similar to the assessment referees, the composition of the selection committee is dependent on the subject of the funding round concerned. Committee members are, for example, scientists, policy makers or education professionals, or a combination of these. The committee awards each proposal a qualification: ‘excellent’, ‘very good’, ‘good’ or ‘unsatisfactory’.
  • The committee produces a ranking of all proposals based on the qualifications. All of this information forms an advice for the allocation of funding. This advice is sent to the programme council which decides on funding.
  • Final decision: The NRO programme council concerned decides which research proposals will be awarded funding. The number of proposals being awarded depends on the budget available.
  • The applicants are informed as quickly as possible about the awarding or rejection of their proposal. An applicant who does not agree with this decision can make use of the objections and appeals procedure.
  • Applicants of proposals awarded funding receive the grant in stages from NRO. This is usually a part at the start, a part half way through and the last part after completion of the project. The applicant is obliged to adhere to various conditions to be able to claim and continue to claim the funding. Examples are the submission of progress reports and adhering to the code for scientific integrity.

 No rights may be derived from this explanation.