Rolling-grant fund

The advisory report Balance in the research system: the relationship between unfettered and strategic research that de Academy published in early 2020 contains an important recommendation to set up a rolling-grant fund in the first flow of funds. This should help to combat 'projectification', promote unfettered research, reduce pressure on the science system, and guarantee continuity.

An Academy committee is going to detail the plan. Its chair is Bert Weckhuysen, who also chaired the Balance in the research system committee.

Objective and effect

Researchers at different stages of their careers need more calm and continuity so that they can successfully contribute to scientific discoveries and societal developments. This can be achieved by means of a new permanent fund in the first flow of funds. The fund should create more scope for unfettered research, so that the second flow of funds will be under less pressure, thereby increasing award percentages of NWO funding programmes. The budget from the rolling-grant fund should be allocated without fierce competition.


The committee will write a proposal for the rolling-grant fund. Points requiring attention:

  1. fund target groups
  2. implementation of the fund and possible differences per field of science
  3. preserving the interdependence of education and research
  4. correlation with other policy instruments, such as sectoral plans
  5. the application procedure and quality assurance of the fund and the avoidance of bureaucracy
  6. financing of the fund

The proposal will serve as a basis for a memorandum from the Academy board to the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science for the upcoming budget discussions and to various political party offices for election manifestos.


The composition of the rolling-grant fund committee.


The Academy will offer the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science a detailing of the rolling-grant fund no later than mid-2020.