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NWO acceptance rates

data publication
05 August 2022
nwo Grants
The Dutch Research Council (NWO) is a major funder of competence-based research programmes and projects within the scientific system. In this data publication we look at the funding percentages of a number of groups of NWO programmes and the development of the funding percentage for all programmes together. The funding percentage is the proportion of applications that receive funding.

In short

  • The acceptance rates differ substantially between the various programmes.
  • These vary between 20% and 53%.
  • In recent years, the award percentage has varied between 25% and 31%.

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

In 2021 NWO received 4,919 research proposals, of which 1,527 were granted. This is substantially less than in previous years. In 2020, 7,098 applications were submitted, of which 1,778 were granted. This difference is due to the fact that NWO was hit by a cyber attack in 2021. The subsidy processes have been suspended for five weeks and have therefore been rescheduled. The long-term planning of various grant programmes has also been delayed due to the cyber attack.

In 2021, as in 2020, most applications (38%) were submitted in the 'talent' category. The differences in award percentages between the programs are substantial. The award percentage for the 'Taskforces' is two and a half times higher than the award percentages for 'Basic research'.

How have the acceptance rates of NWO programmes developed?

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%. In 2021 the acceptance rate is 31%.