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16 August 2021

NWO acceptance rates

Within the scientific system, NWO is an important funder of research programs and research projects, which are awarded in competition. On this page we look at the acceptance rate for a number of groups of NWO programs and for all programs together. The acceptance rate is the share of applications that is granted.

In short

  • In 2020 NWO received 7,098 research proposals, of which 1,778 were granted.
  • The acceptance rates differ substantially between the various programmes.
  • In recent years, the award percentage has varied between 25% and 30%.

What are the acceptance rates of the different groups of NWO programmes?

Analysis
In 2020 NWO received 7,098 research proposals. 1,778 were granted. 38% of all proposals received are in the categories 'Talent'. The acceptance rates differ substantially between the various programmes. The acceptance rate for the category 'Research infrastructure' is about four times higher than the acceptance rates for 'Talent advancement programmes'. 
 

How have the acceptance rates of NWO programmes developed?

Analysis
Between 2006 and 2011, the overall acceptance rates strongly declined, from 37 to 22 percent. Thereafter the acceptance rate stabilizes at about a quarter of the proposals. In recent years, the award percentage has varied between 25% and 30%.

37%
Award percentage in 2006
22%
Award percentage in 2011
27,5%
The award percentage in the last couple of years is around 25% to 30%
Definitions and abbreviations