Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research
NWO LogoBasis UK.tif
PurposeNational research council
HeadquartersThe Hague, Netherlands
Chairman Governing Board
Stan Gielen
500 million euros

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO Dutch: Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek) is the national research council of the Netherlands. NWO funds thousands of top researchers at universities and institutes and steers the course of Dutch science by means of subsidies and research programmes. NWO promotes quality and innovation in science.

NWO is an independent administrative body under the auspices of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The organization receives about 400 million euros per year, of which approximately 300 million comes directly from the ministry. NWO directs the 300 million budget toward Dutch universities and institutes, often on a project basis. Also, the NWO has its own institutes.

NWO is also known for the annual Spinoza Prizes, and the National Science Quiz for Dutch television.

Nijmegen professor Stan Gielen is president of NWO as of October 2016. Former NWO presidents include Peter Nijkamp en Jos Engelen.


The organisation was established in 1950 as Nederlandse Organisatie voor Zuiver-Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (ZWO). This organization did not focus on applied research; the research organization TNO was established for that purpose. In 1988 ZWO was renamed as NWO and was given the broader mission.

The NWO signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities in May 2005.[1]

NWO organisation[edit]

Science divisions[edit]

NWO's science divisions allocate subsidies and grants, mostly within programmatic limitations, to scientists from their own specific disciplines. The divisions have their own budget, Council Board and Council Executive Committee:

  • Earth and Life Sciences (ALW)
  • Chemical Sciences (CW)
  • Physical Sciences (EW)
  • Humanities (GW)
  • Social Sciences (MaGW)
  • Medical Sciences (MW), managed by ZonMw Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development
  • Physics (N), managed by FOM Foundation
  • Technical Sciences (TW), managed by Technology Foundation STW
  • WOTRO Science for Global Development

Research institutes[edit]

NWO has eight institutes that make a strategic contribution to university research in the Netherlands. They coordinate and facilitate at a national level and house large, frequently international, research facilities:

The Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM) is a subsidiary of NWO and manages three of the institutes:

The institute Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS, in cooperation with KNAW) is also part of NWO.


  • Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM)
  • NLeSC (Netherlands eScience Center, in cooperation with SURF)

Temporary Task Forces[edit]

The Temporary Task Forces have a semi-permanent status. They collaborate with industry experts in order to accelerate the development of promising technologies.

  • National Initiative Brain & Cognition (NIHC)
  • Netherlands Initiative for Education Research (NRO)
  • Taskforce for Applied Research (NRPO-SIA)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Berlin Declaration: Signatories",, Munich: Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, retrieved 17 July 2018

External links[edit]

52°5′0″N 4°19′0″E / 52.08333°N 4.31667°E / 52.08333; 4.31667 (Den Haag)