Homepage Actueel Call for NWA Cybersecurity - Towards a secure and trustful digital domain

Call for NWA Cybersecurity - Towards a secure and trustful digital domain

This call for proposals calls upon knowledge institutions and other interested parties to participate in research and implementation projects involving cyber security and governance and cybersecurity, governance and cryptology. The consortia to be formed will work in an interdisciplinary manner and across the entire knowledge chain. Talent development will receive specific attention, and there will be a clear possibility to draw talent from outside of academia for PhD research.


The collaborating ministries (Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Justice and Security, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport) underline the importance of research into cyber security by their commitment to a joint programme via the Dutch Research Agenda. In a letter to the Dutch House of Representatives, the directorate Cybersecurity of the Ministry of Justice and Security has already emphasised the urgency of this research programme in one of the seven main ambitions in the Dutch Cyber Security Agenda (NCSA); the Netherlands has a an integral, public-private approach to cybersecurity. The programme will contribute to the objective of the Dutch Digitalisation Strategy, in which the Netherlands assumes a strong international position in the increasingly digitalising world in which there is room for inclusivity, security and the protection of privacy. The development of the research also take place against the background of the Ministry of Defence's Cyber Strategy 2018 and the Dutch government’s vision on the digital future of the Netherlands.

Who can apply

Applications must be submitted by a consortium in which the broad knowledge chain, as described in Chapter 2 of the Call for proposals, is represented. We differentiate four categories of participants in the consortium:

  1. Main applicant;
  2. Co-applicant(s);
  3. Co-financier(s);
  4. Cooperating partner(s)

What to apply for 

The budget available for this call for proposals is € 8.11 million, of which € 5.11 million is for research in the thematic lines stated in Section 2.2 of this call and € 3.0 million for research that connects with one of the thematic lines stated in Section 2.2 and also specifically addresses cryptographic research.
Funding can be requested to cover the following types of costs (modules): 

  1. Personnel costs;
  2. Material costs;
  3. Knowledge utilisation;
  4. Internationalisation;
  5. Money follows Collaboration.

Extensive information about the modules can be found in paragraph 6.1 of the call for proposals.

When to apply

Proposals should be received by NWO before 31 March 2020, at 14:00 hours CEST.



Evaluation criteria 

The proposals will be assessed on the following three criteria:

I. Quality of the research proposal

II. Quality of the consortium

III. Potential for scientific and/or societal breakthroughs 


All full proposals will be assessed, using the evaluation criteria, by at least two independent (inter)national peer reviewers. Applicants will be given the possibility to respond in writing to the anonymised advices of the reviewers (‘rebuttal’ phase) within five working days.

The selection committee will assess and prioritise the proposals based upon the comments of independent reviewers and the response of the applicant to these on the basis of the evaluation criteria. The selection committee could decide to interview the main applicants/consortia. The main applicants/consortia of the highest ranked proposals are invited for an interview with the selection committee. The selection committee reranks the proposals based on the proposal, the referee comments, the rebuttal and the interview, coming to a final ranking. The highest quality applications end up the highest and are therefore the first to be eligible for funding. The final ranking will be submitted to the NWO Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) Domain Board. 

The NWO SSH Domain Board provides a motivated advice on allocation or rejection to the NWO Executive Board for decision-making. The NWO executive board will take the final granting decision about awarding or rejecting proposals

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